As long as instructions are followed and the mycelium is kept moist, most mushroom growing kits will produce several flushes of fruit until the mycelium has consumed all of the substrate in the kit.
More substrate can be given to a healthy mycelium to produce even more fruits, or, in the case of an outdoor kit, the crop may inoculate itself with spores and produce seasonal crops of delicious mushrooms for years.
The rest of this article will go into how much fruit your kit will produce, how many flushes you can expect from certain varieties, how to get even more fruits out of a spent kit, the difference between how indoor and outdoor kits produce, and which kits will give you the most fruit over their lifetimes.
How Much Fruit Will I Harvest in the First Flush?
As long as you follow the instructions that come with the kit and no contamination has occurred, the first flush is the most fruitful (pardon the pun!) Depending on the variety of mushrooms in your kit, you can expect at least half a pound and up to two pounds of mushrooms in your first harvest.
How Much Fruit Will I Harvest in Later Flushes?
The second flush will produce a smaller harvest than the first, and the third will be even smaller. The final flush will produce the smallest amount, and that tiny harvest is a good indicator that your substrate is almost gone.
How Many Flushes Will My Mushroom Kit Produce?
Depending on the variety of mushrooms in your kit, you can expect to grow 2-5 flushes of fruit from a single kit before the substrate is consumed.
This is how many flushes you can expect from these mushroom varieties:
|Mushroom Variety||Number of Flushes from Kit|
Which Mushroom Variety Will Have the Most Flushes?
Oyster mushrooms are a very popular variety for mushroom kits because they fruit so quickly and flush up to 5 times with just the substrate that comes in the kit. They are easy to care for and notorious for producing well, even when conditions are not good or directions are not followed exactly.
Can I Prompt My Mushroom Kit to Flush Again?
If your mycelium has consumed all the substrate that came with the kit, it will not flush again unless you give it something to eat! You can try to renew your kit by giving it a fresh substrate to consume, but it will only work if the mycelium is still alive after the final flush.
What if There is Plenty of Substrate to Consume and My Kit is Not Producing?
Your kit may be stuck and “shocking” it may prompt it to start the next fruiting cycle. Raising or lowering the temperature slightly, adjusting the humidity, increasing airflow, or increasing the amount of light to mimic the fungus reaching the surface, are all methods mushroom farmers use to shock the mycelium.
How Can I Get My Mushroom Kit to Produce More After the Final Flush?
After you are sure the mushroom kit is done flushing, give it a rest in a cooler environment for a week or two, making sure to not let it dry out by spraying it daily.
To get another round of flushes out of your kit:
- Throw away any plastic from the kit
- Weigh the mycelium
- Break up the dry mycelium into small pieces
- Add fresh, dry substrate equal to 4 times the mycelium’s weight
- Mix the mycelium and substrate together in a new container
- Hydrate the mixture well
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for daily care
Can I Keep Feeding the Mycelium Forever with New Substrates?
No, a mycelium will age, just like all biological organisms, and it will eventually “die of old age.” If your mycelium has plenty of consumable substrate, and is being cared for properly but isn’t producing, it may be exhausted and ready to be composted.
Does an Outdoor Mushroom Kit Produce More than an Indoor One?
Depending on the type of kit, an outdoor kit may produce exponentially more mushrooms because it has the ability to inoculate itself with its own spores every season. A log kit will often produce the same amount of fruit as a similarly sized indoor kit, but over the course of months, rather than weeks.
How Often Does a Log Kit Produce?
Log kits produce flushes of fruit on a longer timeline than indoor kits, and can keep producing for a year or more if the conditions are right and the log is large enough. Mushrooms do not flush below 35 degrees Fahrenheit and, just like other kits, a log kit will stop producing any more flushes of fruit once the entire substrate is consumed.
Which Kits Produce the Most Mushrooms?
Outdoor mushroom kits that work by inoculating a shady and moist plot of soil with compost are the biggest mushroom producers, by far. These kits produce their own spores and, as long as they are fertilized with fresh substrate every year, will produce pounds of mushrooms year after year!
How Many Years of Crops Can I Get Out of an Outdoor Kit?
There are backyard morel mushroom kits that are still producing seasonal crops of fruit after 25 years! It will take at least a year for the spores to inoculate the ground, but you should be able to harvest your first mushrooms the next year.
Why Do Outdoor Mushroom Kits Produce More than Indoor Kits?
By the time one mycelium has gotten too old and has stopped producing fruit, spores from previous years will have inoculated the ground and another new mycelium can grow in its place. As long as those spores are continually given moisture and new substrate to consume, that plot of land can produce mushrooms for decades.