Growing Mushrooms at Home Is Easier Than You'd Think (2024)

Every few months or so, I fight the urge to flee into the woods and live off the land as a reclusive forest hag. To channel this urge, I do things like tending the little garden patch outside my apartment and growing herbs in my window box. It gives me some shred of bucolic life.

But since my inner hag is never satisfied, I am always looking to learn how to grow more things, which is how I became fixated on growing mushrooms at home. There are a number of home mushroom growing kits available online that claim to make the process easy. I tried a few. Here’s what I learned.

Can I grow mushrooms at home?

Yes. Though it depends on what type of mushroom you want to grow and how much dedication you have. The growing conditions for mushrooms can vary widely from species to species, and some aren’t really viable at a small scale. You aren’t going to be growing morels or black truffles—there’s a reason those are so expensive. Still, other mushroom varieties, like oyster mushrooms, maitakes, and reishi are all within the realm of possibility. Pretty much every mushroom growing resource I could find says that oyster mushrooms are the easiest variety for first time-growers, as they grow fast and can easily thrive in substrates made of things like coffee grounds and straw, making them relatively low maintenance.

How to grow mushrooms at home using mushroom kits:

I got a couple of oyster mushroom growing kits from Back to the Roots. As far as cost goes, these kits, which vary between $16–$20 dollars, aren’t necessarily going to serve as an economical substitute for buying mushrooms from the grocery store. But they are a great way for you to get your mushroom-growing legs. In fact, the kits I tried were designed to be an educational tool for children—which made me feel better about my chances for success.

Inside each box is a block of substrate inoculated with oyster mushroom spores. This block itself is sealed within a special plastic bag called a spawn bag, which has a small filter patch to allow for clean air flow. The mycelium-coated substrate itself is a little gnarly looking, particularly the one for pink oyster mushrooms, which had an unsettling, Philip Guston fleshiness to it. All these kits had a pleasant forest floor smell that seeped through the bag, which made me miss being outside, but I digress.

The nice thing about a mushroom kit is that the trickiest and most time-consuming part of growing mushrooms, sterilizing and inoculating the growth substrate, has already been done for you. All you have to do is cut open a little window in the bag, soak it face-down in water, and then place the kit in a cool, dimly-lit room. The kit said that the mushrooms would begin to “pin” in a couple of days, and that is exactly what happened. Each morning I would wake up and find teeny mushroom heads sprouted through the ruddy substrate. After seven days of regular misting, I had a large handful of pink oyster mushrooms. My coworker Anna also tried the kit with positive results.

Growing Mushrooms at Home Is Easier Than You'd Think (2024)


Growing Mushrooms at Home Is Easier Than You'd Think? ›

Keep in mind that while it's easy to get started, not every mushroom has the same difficulty level. Some take longer to develop than others or require special care. You also can grow mushrooms on a log outdoors, but it's a little harder. You have to find the right log and inoculate the log with mushroom spawn plugs.

What are the cons of growing mushrooms at home? ›

You need a place that is dark and humid, which may be difficult if you live in an apartment or other place where it's hard to control such things as ventilation and light levels. In addition, mushrooms put off an interesting aroma which may not be pleasing to some people.

Are mushrooms easier to grow than plants? ›

Mushrooms require less growing materials, water, and energy than other types of crops. There are many reasons why mushroom agriculture is more sustainable than other types of agriculture, which start with the growing process.

Is it cheaper to grow mushrooms yourself? ›

Save Money: It's cheaper to grow your own mushrooms than to buy them, and you can even sell the excess. Quality & Variety: Control what goes into your food and explore exotic mushroom types you won't find in stores.

Is mushroom farming difficult? ›

It can be overwhelming at first, but starting a mushroom farm is fairly simple. There are two options for starting your mushroom farm: indoor or outdoor. Indoor mushroom farming is the best option for serious year-round production.

Is it OK to grow mushrooms in your house? ›

Mushrooms like dark, cool, and humid growing environments. When you're growing mushrooms at home, a place like your basem*nt is ideal, but a spot under the sink could also work. Before you start growing, test out your spot by checking the temperature.

Is it safe to grow your own mushrooms at home? ›

Can I grow mushrooms at home? Yes. Though it depends on what type of mushroom you want to grow and how much dedication you have. The growing conditions for mushrooms can vary widely from species to species, and some aren't really viable at a small scale.

What is the easiest mushroom to grow at home? ›

Wine Cap (Stropharia rugosoannulata) may just be the easiest mushroom to grow at home. They are perfect for those without access to fresh logs or indoor space. They grow best in garden beds made of straw (not hay), hardwood chips, or sawdust.

What is the cheapest way to grow mushrooms? ›

Another easy, inexpensive option for growing mushrooms at home is inoculated sawdust in a plastic bag. These come in kit versions, but you can also make them yourself. Store them in a bathroom where it is dark and moist and you'll start to see flushing pretty quickly.

Can you grow mushrooms from store-bought mushrooms? ›

The best variety for home growing is oyster mushrooms, though you can use any type. Store bought mushroom propagation is quite easy, but you should choose fungi from organic sources. Propagating store bought mushrooms from the ends just requires a good fruiting medium, moisture, and the proper growing environment.

Are mushroom kits worth it? ›

Should You Try a Kit? If you have any interest in growing mushrooms at all, and you aren't ready to do it from scratch, then most definitely yes- you should try a kit! It will give you an idea of how mushrooms grow, and what requirements they need in order to fruit properly.

Where is the best place to grow mushrooms? ›

Mushrooms are best grown under-cover, where temperature and moisture can be controlled. A shed, garage, garden cold frame or cellar will work well – anywhere out of the sun where it's possible to give mushrooms their optimum growing temperature of around 15°C (the temperature shouldn't go below 10°C or above 20°C).

What is the average cost of growing mushrooms? ›

The cost can range from $3,000 to $100,000, depending upon how advanced you plan to make your farm. Garner experience, network with others, and start with simpler crops to grow. This will ensure that you make the most of your mushroom farm investment.

What is the easiest mushroom to sell? ›

Shiitake and oyster mushrooms are the best choice for small-scale production, since they don't require a lot of equipment and space. Shiitake mushrooms are often sold in grocery stores, health food stores, and farmers' markets and are also quite popular for their flavor and consistency.

Do mushroom farmers make a lot of money? ›

Oyster mushrooms sell for about $6 to $9 a pound. A 100-square-foot growing area can produce, on average, 2500 pounds in a year. That's around $15,000, or $1250 a month. Need more money?

Why can't morels be farmed? ›

There are two main reasons why growing morels is so difficult: mycorrhizal relationships and the formation of sclerotia.

What are the problems with mushroom cultivation? ›

The challenges faced by mushroom growers include inadequate supply of spawn at the appropriate time, unfavorable climatic conditions, lack of cold storage facilities, poor marketing avenues, and the perception of mushrooms as non-vegetarian food.

Are backyard mushrooms safe? ›

The clear majority of wild mushrooms aren't poisonous, but it's hard to tell the difference, and many poisonous mushrooms mascaraed as their edible counterparts.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated:

Views: 5890

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.