Mushroom grow kits vary in the mushroom species they include, the substrates they use and how hands-on they are. Some kits produce small amounts of mushrooms – ideal for gifting to kids, friends and family members – while others can yield several pounds. Consider how much you want to cook with the mushrooms you harvest before selecting a mushroom growing kit.
While many kits only include the mushroom spores and liquid cultures, some also come with growing substrates or bags that you can fill with manure, wheat bran or coco coir. This makes it easier to customize your mushroom garden based on your tastes, but keep in mind that these substrates are less likely to provide optimal conditions for high-yielding fruiting.
Some of the best mushroom grow kits are simple to use, but they do require attention and a little know-how. Look for kits with clear instructions and a good online community to join, so you can ask questions as you go along. This is especially important when you’re first starting with a new type of mushroom because there can be nuances to cultivating it at home that aren’t necessarily intuitive.
This kit from Third Wave is a great example of a simple, user-friendly mushroom growing kit. It includes a gardening block with inoculated sawdust that you spread and spritz with water two to three times per day. The result is beautiful oyster, lion’s mane or shiitake mushrooms. They’re a fun option for kids and beginners, and they don’t require the time commitment of an outdoor garden or fumbling around with pots and soil.