Mushrooms are fat-free, low in calories, and full of antioxidants and vitamins. They can even improve your mental health as well as provide tasty meals. But did you know you can grow mushrooms inside your home?
With the right growing conditions and a few tools, you can create a mushroom colony in your house. There are kits on the market that you can use to cultivate tasty mushrooms without having to forage in a forest for fresh mushrooms. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best mushroom grow kit to feed your family.
|Back to the Roots Mushroom Grow Kit||
|Back to the Roots Pink Grow Kit||
|4 Quarts Sterilized Rye and 4 lbs of Manure Based Substrate||
|The Magnificent Bee||
Best All in One
|All in One Mushroom Kit||
Best Mushroom Grow Kit Reviews
1. Back to the Roots Mushroom Grow Kit – Best Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit For The Windowsill
Not to mention that each harvest gives you three to four servings of mushrooms. You place the Back to the Roots kit right on a windowsill so you can grow mushrooms indoors. Furthermore, every box is capable of producing two crops of organic mushrooms.
These mushrooms are great for grilling and sauteeing or add them to all your favorite dishes. Additionally, the Back to the Roots Kit does not use GMOs. This kit is organic and is not modified genetically, so you do not have to worry about intoxicants that can hold back growth.
Easy to Use
The Back to the Roots Kit needs indirect light and a mist twice a day for the organic plant-based soil to encourage the mushroom spawn to grow. Not only is this kit easy to use and convenient, but it also comes with easy to follow instructions and makes a great gift idea. And if you share your results on social media, the company will donate a kit to a school of your choice.
|This product is easy to use. |
Easy to observe and good for beginners.
|The instructions are not very good.|
|It does not use GMOs.|
|You can get two crops out of it.|
2. Back to the Roots Pink Grow Kit – Best Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Bags For Kitchen
Offering up to three to four servings of mushrooms, this grow kit can grow up to two crops. Additionally, the Back to the Roots Pink Kit is an indoor kit, which you can use all year long. Therefore, you can add them to your favorite dishes knowing they are fresh and safe to eat.
Easy to Use
If you share your results on social media, the company will send a kit to the classroom of your choice. The Back to the Roots Pink Grow Kit uses organic plant-based soil, which is infused with mushroom spawn to cultivate a mushroom harvest. And, it also comes with an easy to follow instruction booklet.
Safe for the Whole Family
A great gift idea, this mushroom grow kit is 100 percent guaranteed to work. Consequently, the Back to the Roots Pink Kit does not use intoxicants or produce genetically modified products, so the mushrooms are safe for your whole family to enjoy.
|The mushrooms are safe for your whole family to eat.|
Easy to observe and good for beginners.
|The instructions are not very good.|
|It uses organic plant-based soil.|
|Mushrooms can be ready to eat in 10 days.|
3. Out Grow Four Quarts Sterilized Rye and Four Pounds of Manure Based Substrate – Best Value Mushroom Grow Bags For Easy To Store Until Use
All you have to do is shake the jars once the jars after colonization. At this point, you should shake up the jars or use a sterilized utensil to break up the grains before adding spawn to one bag of the manure-based substrate. Next, seal the bag with tape or an impulse sealer before mixing the contents allowing the substrate to colonize. Consequently, the manure-based substrate will fruit in the bag growing mushrooms.
Easy to Use
These jars of manure substrate are easy to store until you have jars ready for spawning. Additionally, all these sterilized products are hydrated and ready to use. Therefore, purchasing this combined kit is cheaper than buying each part separately.
|They are easy to use and store.||The bags do not work very well.|
|It is an economical way to grow mushrooms.||There are not enough bags to jars ratio.|
|It uses a manure=based substrate.|
4. The Magnificent Bee – Best Sealable and Breathable Mushroom Grow Bag For Indoor Gardening
Sealable and Breathable
You can use an impulse sealer on the Magnificent Bee Grow Kit or tie them. Not only do these bags allow you to pack them tightly, but they also allow you to view the mushroom growth easily. Furthermore, you can use these sturdy and breathable mushroom bags to grow spawn.
Filter Patch Included
Preventing contaminants from getting in, The Magnificent Bee Grow Kit is easy to store and use. Moreover, you get 25 breathable bags that include a filter patch.
|You can easily watch the mushroom growth.||You will need a sealer to keep them closed.|
|It will not let in contamination.||This kit is not a kit as much as a few jars.|
|It is easy to store and use.|
5. All in One Mushroom Kit – Best All in One Mushroom Grow Bags For Add Your Own Mushroom Culture
Sterilized and Hydrated
Since the All in One Mushroom Kit uses a horse manure base, it is perfect for this gourmet mushroom species. Not to mention, this bag includes a self-healing injection port and a five-micron filter patch for the exchange of gas. Also, these bags are sterilized and hydrated.
Ready to Use
Add your own mushroom culture and inoculate the bag. Then, place your all in one bag in a room temperature setting so that it will colonize over the next four to six weeks. And the All in One Mushroom Kit can hold up to three pounds of a substrate and is ready to grow mushroom as soon as you get it.
|You can grow mushrooms as soon as you get the bags.||The bags get contaminated easily.|
|It is handy and easy to use.||The yields are small.|
|It uses a manure=based solution.|
Best Mushroom Grow Bags – Buyers Guide
What is a Grow Kit?
Simply put, a grow kit grows mushrooms. You can use all kinds of mushrooms in a kit. It just depends on the type of substrate that you put into it.
There are several types and brands to choose from, but high-quality kits use polypropylene. As a result, this type of plastic can withstand high temperatures, plus the plastic is flexible, durable, and clean enough that you can monitor the plant growth easily. These are pretty inexpensive kits to buy, and manufacturers are looking at ways to use more eco-friendly materials in the future.
Why Use a Kit?
You can, of course, grow mushrooms without using a kit. There are many different types of substrates that you can use. Some will not need or even fit in a kit like a log.
There are alternatives to kits like plastic tubs and buckets or wide-mouth glass jars, but you will need to make sure that you use a sterilized container fitted with an air filter. Moreover, there are also some ways to grow mushrooms without sterilization that increase the variety of setups you can use, plus there are several low-temperature sterilization methods available.
Many growers prefer not to use a kit due to the amount of plastic waste it creates due to its single-use nature. But there are many benefits to using these kits that include:
You can easily cut holes in a kit that will allow the mushrooms to fruit in every direction instead of just up. You cannot cut holes easily in glass or plastic.
• You can easily monitor the mycelium as it is colonizing in the substrate with a plastic bag. It is hard to see when colonization is complete in a bucket.
• The fully colonized spawn or spent substrate is simple to take out of a bag. Mycelium tends to clump, which can be hard to get out of a bucket or jar.
• Bags are flexible enough to mix the spawn pretty thoroughly throughout the substrate by squeezing it, which you cannot do in a plastic or glass container.
• Kits have pretty low start-up costs. Even if you are growing several types of mushrooms, plastic bags are so cheap it will not cost a lot.
What Can Use Use Kits For Besides Mushrooms?
While we know that kits can grow mushrooms, you can also use the bags for other stages in the mushroom-growing process.
The material that you use to multiple the mycelium quickly to grow a large crop is called the spawn. Grains like rye are popular to use as spawn, but there are many others that you can use as well.
Typically, spores germinate in a Petri dish filled with nutrients. Next, the small mycelium starts to grow before being transferred to a higher quantity of sterilized spawn substrate, which is typically several pounds worth. Not to mention, after you have colonized spawn, you can use the substrate for fruiting and growing or use the spawn to inoculate even more spawn.
Besides, you can either buy bags of spawn that are ready to go or make your own. Spawn needs a sterile condition to grow in. So you will need to monitor it, which makes clear polypropylene bags such a good option.
A fruiting block is a substrate that will not hang together naturally, like sawdust. A bag can serve to neatly contain material as well as keep out any contaminants like weed spores.
Not to mention, these clear bags make it simple to see when the colonization process has ended, which allows you to cut the plastic open and let more fruiting occur without damaging any of the mycelia underneath.
Fruiting in the Bag
You can also leave the bag closed during the fruiting process, but you will need to fill it partially so that mushrooms have room to grow. Moreover, the bag can serve as a little fruiting room where you can easily control humidity and other growth factors. Besides, you need to remember to open the bag often since just the air filter on its own will not provide enough air, and the maturing mycelium will run out of oxygen if you keep it closed up all the time, not unlike an animal.
When you allow the fungus to fruit completely inside a bag, you will not need a climate-controlled room. For certain mushrooms, this can be beneficial. When some mushrooms have more carbon dioxide and less oxygen, it can sometimes force them into some pretty startling growth forms.
Choosing a Kit
You will find that not all kits are the same. When choosing the right bags for your needs, you should consider the bag thickness, filter size, and bag size.
Filter sizes can vary. When discussing filter sizes, you are talking about the pore size in the filter. For example, they can vary between 0.2 microns and five microns.
The smaller the pore size is, the fewer contaminants and spores can get through the bag, but this also means less air. Accordingly, you want to find a balance between the need for air and the need for protection. For this reason, you should look for a filter size at 0.5 microns or less.
When it comes to kits, the size of the bag you need can vary depending on the person. Some bags are too small for your needs, while others are too large, which makes them inconvenient. When deciding on the bag size, consider how large you expect the crop to be and the sterilizer size.
Therefore, think about how large the bag will be when it is full. To give you some idea of what a bag can hold, a large bag that measures five by eight by 18-inches will be able to hold around five pounds of the inoculated substrate.
A thicker plastic bag will be stronger than a thinner plastic bag. Thicker bags are also more expensive. For example, a typical plastic bag range falls between 2.2 mils and 4.0 mils.
A grower can start with a thin bag that is not very expensive, but if these bags start ripping too often, which makes it open to be contaminated, it is time to use something thicker. And you do not need to worry about occasional rips since it is common and just a part of growing mushrooms.
Features to Look for in a Kit
Temperature resistance is vital in a kit. A handy method of sterilization is sticking the bag and contents into an autoclave. Autoclaves are machines that use steam under pressure to kill bacteria. While most plastic bags would melt in that type of condition, an autoclavable bag is safe to use in an autoclave.
A small area of the grow bag, where the air is allowed through a super-fine mesh, is called the filter patch. This mesh is so thin that spores of unwanted fungal species and airborne bacteria cannot get through. With a mushroom grow kit, you can’t weed it like a typical vegetable garden, so you have to keep out the weeds from the start, or you will have to abandon the batch. You will need a filter patch in your kit since it is super important to keep out the weeds to allow the mycelium to breathe, just like an animal needs to.
Gusseted bags fold in on the side, which allows a very roomy and large bag to fold up flat when you aren’t using it. While the mushrooms themselves could care less if the grow bag is gusseted, it’s a nice feature for the grower to stay more organized.
How do you seal the bags?
Since the bags themselves do not come with a seal, you should figure out the best way to do this. Zip ties and wire ties work well, but the time it takes to tie all the bags up can become considerable when you have several bags to seal. However, if you are a large scale grower, you may want to use an impulse sealer to make the process faster.
Can you re-use a kit?
These kits are reusable, but you cannot grow mushrooms in them again. Moreover, as you use the bag, the plastic will get weaker, and you won’t want to risk the bag falling apart or even developing small holes where weed spores can pass in the middle of the growth cycles. Also, you can use the mushroom grow bags in other ways. For example, you can use the bag to boil material that needs sterilization.
How long does it take to grow a mushroom using a kit?
Grow kits come with the substrate inoculated and incubated, so all you need to do is start growing mushrooms.
It is super easy to grow mushrooms with one of these kits. Just open it up and cut a hole in the grow bag. Moreover, you need to mist the bag with water every day, and then about a week later, you start to see little mushrooms. Eventually, in two weeks, you will have fully grown mushrooms that are ready to eat.
With all the different kits on the market, the most common type of mushroom you can grow is the oyster mushroom. Of course, an oyster mushroom is pretty aggressive and can grow on almost anything, so they are great for a beginner.
You are probably most familiar with button mushrooms. And, if you don’t mind waiting, you can end up enjoying three different mushroom types from the same kit. Eventually, button mushrooms will grow into cremini before growing into portobello mushrooms.
Not only is it an educational experience to grow mushrooms at home, but it can be exciting and rewarding for the entire family. Using a mushroom growing kit is an easy way to raise a wide range of tasty mushrooms that allow you to make fresh and healthy meals everyone will enjoy.
If you are interested in hydroponics indoor kitchen gardening and want to grow veggies, leafy greens, and flowers in your garden at home all year long, you can read this article about Aerogarden and How to Grow Hydroponics at Home.