Which mushroom grow kit is best?
Whether you love the meaty taste of shiitakes or the health benefits of lion’s mane, grow kits are great if you want to create your own mushroom crop at home. They vary from simple kits that need very little work to complex grow systems that include lamps and humidifiers.
With the proper conditions, you can grow almost any type of edible fungi. For a simple, fast kit that uses organic ingredients, the Back To The Roots Organic Mushroom Growing Kit is the top pick.
What to know before you buy a mushroom grow kit
Types of mushroom grow kits
When picking out a mushroom grow bag or kit, start by thinking about the type of edible mushroom you’d like to grow. If you want to grow a variety, look for a kit that includes a couple of these species:
- Morel: These mushrooms have an interesting appearance and a meaty texture. Morels can be added to many recipes to add a savory, nutty flavor.
- Oyster: Commonly found in Asian cuisine, oysters are perhaps the most popular type of mushroom used in grow kits. Oyster mushrooms appear in a variety of colors, each with a slightly different flavor profile.
- Shiitake: Earthy, versatile and meaty, shiitake mushrooms are perfect for beginners because they’re easy to grow and usually produce a relatively high yield. In nature, shiitake mushrooms grow on trees, so many of these kits come with a small wooden log.
- Lion’s Mane: These mushrooms are famous for their unique look and purported medicinal properties. Lion’s mane is easy to grow and loaded with protein, and people love the mushroom for its slightly sweet, crab-like flavor.
- Reishi: Known for its use in traditional Chinese medicine, reishi mushrooms are flat and brown with a strong, bitter flavor. Many people like to prepare reishi mushrooms as tea to receive the purported health benefits.
The substrate is the material on which your mushrooms will grow and thrive, such as wooden logs, wood chips, manure or even coffee grounds. The majority of mushroom grow kits include a ready-to-use substrate, but others require you to prepare and mix it. Always follow the instructions when preparing a substrate — otherwise, bacteria or mold could take over your crop.
What to look for in a quality mushroom grow kit
Most mushroom grow kits are simple enough for fungus lovers of all ages to enjoy, while others are a little complicated. Consider who’s going to be using the kit when making your selection, and make sure it comes with detailed step-by-step instructions.
If you plan to cook and eat your mushroom crop, look for a grow kit that uses organic ingredients with no genetically modified organisms or GMOs. A USDA Organic seal on your kit means that the product has met vigorous certification standards.
While a simple mushroom grow kit doesn’t require much, if you’re serious about growing and you want to produce a large crop, look for a kit that contains helpful accessories like a humidity gauge, a thermostat or a tent for trapping humidity.
How much you can expect to spend on a mushroom grow kit
The cost of a mushroom grow kit can vary dramatically depending on the size and any included accessories. Simple countertop kits are usually around $20-$60, while comprehensive kits for a professional operation regularly exceed $100.
Mushroom grow kit FAQ
What’s the healthiest mushroom?
A. Most mushrooms are considered healthy, but oysters and shiitakes usually top the list because they’re loaded with fiber, vitamin D and plant protein.
Where should I keep my mushroom grow kit?
A. Mushroom grow kits should be kept away from direct sunlight and air flow — a kitchen counter is often a good choice. The recommended temperature for most grow kits is 60 to 70 degrees.
What’s the best mushroom grow kit to buy?
Top mushroom grow kit
Back To The Roots Organic Mushroom Growing Kit
What you need to know: This popular kit is easy to use and produces organic oyster mushrooms fast.
What you’ll love: Simply place it in a room with indirect light, mist it twice a day with water and you should be able to harvest your mushrooms in about a week and half. The ingredients are USDA-certified organic and GMO-free.
What you should consider: A few users received a carton that wasn’t sealed, resulting in substrate contamination.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top mushroom grow kit for the money
Virgenu 12-Jar Mushroom Growing Kit
What you need to know: If you’re serious about growing tons of mushrooms at home, this comprehensive kit comes with everything you need for a large harvest.
What you’ll love: This huge mushroom grow kit comes with 12 growing jars, a digital thermometer and humidity gauge, a quiet air pump and more. Users note the great customer service and detailed instructions included with the kit.
What you should consider: Some users question the quality of the growing jars.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Forest Origins Specialty Trio Mushroom Grow Kit
What you need to know: This kit comes with three types of oyster mushrooms and is made in the USA.
What you’ll love: Pink, brown and white oyster mushrooms are included in this grow kit along with three substrate logs. The mushrooms start to appear after a week with misting twice daily, and several people reported a particularly delicious flavor after harvesting.
What you should consider: This mushroom grow kit is relatively expensive for its size, and the instructions were difficult for some people to follow.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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