Learn to Grow
Mist & Grow Kit Instructions
Learn to Grow
Mist & Grow Kits
Setting up your Humidity Tent
We strongly recommend the use of our humidity tents with our Mist & Grow kits. They are the perfect tool for providing your growing mushrooms with the perfect humidity to flourish.
Kit Instruction Sheets
(Pearl, Pink, Elm, Yellow, Blue)
King Oyster Kits
Lion’s Mane Kits
Wine Cap Kits
Turkey Tail Kits
Questions About Mist & Grow Kits
Oyster mushrooms are by far the easiest and most reliable mushrooms to grow. For beginners we recommend our Mist & Grow Oyster mushroom grow kits. Simply cut an X in one side of the bag, cover with a humidity tent, and mist a few times daily. Within 7-10 days a cluster of baby mushrooms will appear!
To learn more about mushroom growing check out our Learn to Grow page. Check YouTube for the many videos of people growing their own mushrooms. Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets is an excellent book about the amazing benefits of fungi and the basic techniques for growing them.
While we recommend starting your mushroom grow kit sooner rather than later, it is possible to delay for weeks or even months if kept refrigerated. Keeping your kit at as cold a temperature possible slows down growth and delays fruiting.
When you are ready, bring them out of refrigeration and warm to room temperature. After a few days, follow the growing instructions for your specific mushroom species. Click here for growing instructions.
Wine Caps can be expanded indoors anytime, for future planting outdoors.
Planting outdoors depends on where you are located in Canada. Here on Vancouver Island, Wine Caps can start growing from March onwards. Other parts of Canada you might want to wait until April or May. Wine Caps can survive cold weather, they just won’t grow very well until things warm up. Check the last frost dates for your region to get a better idea of when to start your Wine Caps.
Roll up the bottom of the humidity tent three times like you would a pant leg, and flatten out the gussets at the top to form a box. Place over your grow kit and mist inside tent with a spray bottle. Watch a short demonstration of setting up a humidity tent here.
Oh, those mysterious mushrooms! Sometimes a grow kit just doesn’t produce mushrooms in the timeline you expect, despite following the growing instructions.
Each grow kit is an individual. Some are late bloomers who need a little more time, and some are quite particular about the humidity or temperature being just right for them. Mushrooms need extremely high humidity to form, and not enough is often the problem.
If you have been trying for several weeks and your kit has not produced, try these steps that replicate the natural conditions – heavy rains combined with cold nights and warmer days – that trigger many mushrooms to fruit in the wild:
- Rehydrate it. Heavy rains are an important factor that trigger wild mushrooms to fruit. Completely submerge your kit in cold water for 2-4 hours (use a plate to weigh it down), and then drain off any excess water. Poke small holes in bottom if necessary to encourage draining, as water pooling in the bag can cause bacteria and mold to form.
- Give it a “cold shock”. Temperature fluctuations can also stimulate the fruiting of wild mushrooms. Think of pleasantly warm spring and fall days when the temperatures then drop to cold nights. To emulate this temperature fluctuation, place your kit in your refrigerator for a night or two
- Keep humid. High humidity is essential for mushroom formation, particularly tiny new mushrooms which are very susceptible to drying out. Place your kit under a clear plastic humidity tent with holes that allow for air exchange. Mist the inside walls of the tent several times daily, or more often if you find the water droplets evaporate completely off the walls of the tent. Alternatively you can create a simple fruiting chamber by putting a water vaporiser inside an aquarium or small greenhouse, and using a computer fan to bring in fresh air.
- Change the location. Some species of mushrooms prefer to fruit in cooler environments (like King and Blue Oysters),while others prefer a warmer environment (like Elm, Yellow and Pink Oyster). Try moving the kit to a cooler or warmer location.
- Don’t give up! As long as your kit is white with fungal mycelium and has no patches of blue/green or black mold, it’s alive! If you are ready to give up, find a nice shady location outdoors where your kit will be exposed to rain, and leave it be. You’ll often get a pleasant surprise months later when it suddenly produces a bouquet of mushrooms after a heavy rainfall.
If, in spite of following instructions, your kit doesn’t fruit, we are happy to replace it!
It is common for “baby mushrooms” (pins) to form inside the bag, particularly for species like Oyster and Lion’s Mane. You just can’t hold them back! Not to worry. You can either carefully cut a flap opening to allow those baby mushrooms to emerge, or you can just ignore them and wait for mushrooms to form at the opening you have already created. Keep in mind that the more holes you have cut into the bag, the faster the kit will dry out and you may need to rehydrate by soaking in water between crops.
Note: If the “baby mushrooms” forming inside the bag are already fairly mature before you “set them free”, you might find they grow “leggy” with more stem or deformed once you “let them out”. Stems of most mushroom types are generally more chewy than the caps.
Lion’s Mane have a habit of making mushrooms prematurely – before the fungal mycelium forms a thick white mat around the kit. When you receive your kit, you may still see the brown colour of sawdust. But if you look closely you will also see fine wispy mycelium spreading through the entire kit. Your kit is ready to cut open, keep humid and grow mushrooms now. If you prefer, you can let it mature longer before cutting open. If you wait too long, some mushrooms might start to form wherever there is a gap between the sawdust and plastic bag. Not to worry. You can ignore them and cut open where you would like your kit to fruit.
While Lion’s Mane kits are relatively easy to fruit, getting the perfect white spiny fruit body can be more challenging. They are a bit “sensitive”.
When conditions are just right, your Lion’s Mane will form one or several white balls that grow in size, and at the final stage dangling spines will form.
If, instead of a nice white “pompom”, your Lion’s Mane branches like a coral or takes on an alien form, these deformed shapes indicate a build up of CO2 produced by the fungus. It’s probably too late to fix the issue for this mushroom, so harvest and enjoy, then plan to provide more fresh air exchange while growing your second crop. You can do so by poking more air holes in your humidity tent, propping up the tent bottom, or even providing a fan. To compensate for bringing in more dry air, you will also need to mist more to maintain the high humidity.
A pinkish hue is very normal for young Lion’s Mane, and not at all a concern. As your mushroom matures, you may find they turn a yellow or brown hue before the spines elongate. This discolouration can be caused by misting water directly onto the Lion’s Mane mushroom, or it can be caused by air currents that dry it out. Lion’s Mane with some discolouration are still good to cook and eat, as long as they don’t have mushy brown rotting sections!
When conditions are right, your kit will produce a cluster of overlapping oyster mushrooms with broad caps.
Fresh Air Exchange
One of the most common issues is “leggy” oyster mushrooms with long stems and small caps. This is caused by a build-up of CO2 produced by the fungus, and at extremely high levels will cause oyster mushrooms to look like a branching coral or white octopus.
If your mushrooms already look a bit strange, it’s probably too late to fix it for this crop. Harvest and enjoy, then plan to provide more fresh air exchange while growing your second crop.
You can increase air exchange by poking more air holes in your humidity tent, propping up the tent bottom, or providing a fan. To compensate for bringing in more dry air, you will also need to mist more to maintain the high humidity. It’s ok to mist a little directly onto the oyster mushrooms, as well as the inside walls of the humidity tent. Some people use a tray of perlite under the tent, or a reptile fogger to increase humidity.
Baby “Pins” Stop Growing
Sometimes a cluster of mushrooms start to grow, but some or all of them “abort mission”. It is common if conditions aren’t perfect for some “baby mushrooms” within a cluster to abort while the others grow to maturity. Remove the stunted mushrooms when you harvest your mature cluster as they will not continue to grow.
If all the mushrooms stop growing, and they appear slightly dry with some browning on the edges, this indicates that they need consistently higher humidity. By contrast, if they look a little mushy and shrivelled, it may be the result of bacterial contamination that gets hold when too much water pools on the mushrooms. In that case avoid watering so much directly onto the mushrooms. Remove all aborted mushrooms, tweak the growing environment, and wait for the next crop to emerge.
The colour of your oyster mushroom may not be as expected. Their colour (and texture) varies under different environmental conditions. When fruited in cold conditions, oysters tend to have a deeper hue and have a thicker flesh, whereas they can be thinner fleshed and pale to white when grown in warmer environment. Humidity and light levels also impact the colour of the mushrooms.
Your mushroom kit can produce anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 kg (1-3 lbs) of fresh mushrooms over its lifespan. The amount depends on many factors including:
- which species of mushroom you are growing,
- the growing conditions you provide (each mushroom species has its’ own optimal range of temperature, humidity, air exchange and light), and
- if you have the patience to fruit your kit a second, third or fourth time. (Generally the first harvest is the largest, with subsequent crops being smaller and smaller until the kit has used up its food resources within the bag.)
Of course your kit has the potential to produce abundantly more mushrooms through expansion into bulk substrates or logs (ie. feed it more food). See “How Can I Expand my Kit” or have a look through the tutorials on the website to learn more!
Grow Mushrooms Canada ships freshly made mushroom kits and cultures that are grown under sterile conditions and are guaranteed to arrive free of mold or other contaminants. The white “stuff” in your kit is not mold, it’s the fungal mycelium which are growing on the the sawdust or wooden dowels in your kit. When provided the right conditions, this mycelium will produce delicious mushrooms.
Mold is the bane of mushroom growing, as it thrives under the same warm humid conditions as mushrooms. Mold shows up as areas of black or green. If you see mold on your unopened mushroom kit or plug spawn contact us so we can replace it! Once you cut open your kit, it is exposed to mold spores that are always in the air. Over several weeks or months, the likelihood of mold invading your kit increases. To reduce this risk, keep the room as clean as possible, and run a hepa air purifier if you have one.
If you are planning to expand your mushroom kit into pasteurized or sterilized substrate, use the contents immediately upon opening. Some people want to fruit their kit first, and then try expanding. While you can certainly do this, there is more risk of contamination since your kit will have been exposed to mold spores in the air.
When inoculating logs with plug spawn, be sure to use clean hands and disinfect your drill bit to reduce any contaminants.
We are a family-run Canadian company that grows all of our mushroom kits, plug spawn, and liquid cultures from our home-business on Vancouver Island, BC. We value supporting Canadian farmers and the substrate in our mushroom kits is pure Canadian hardwood sawdust supplemented with organic wheat bran and rye from the Canadian prairies.
When your grow kit has finished producing mushrooms, it means that the fungal mycelium has eaten all of the substrate – but the fungus isn’t dead! It could potentially keep producing more mushrooms, if you give it more food to eat. Some people transfer the substrate into logs, or make beds with new substrate to continue harvesting more mushrooms. Check out this video showing to inoculate a log with your grow kit, and check out our resources page for more growing tips.
If you want to eat anything you’ve grown outside, you must be 100% certain in your mushroom identification, as toxic or even deadly wild mushrooms could be fruiting in your bed. Unfortunately, we cannot identify mushrooms for you from photos.
We don’t sell any Button or Portobello mushroom kits.
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The Key is to Keep Cold or Delay Shipping
Refrigeration will delay fruiting for a month or more, and a cold dark basement will slow them for 2-3 weeks. A sticker on your parcel will alert the recipient to keep it cold.
We encourage you to order early to avoid the uncertainties of the seasonal postal rush, and delay shipping. To delay shipping, select a date on the checkout page, found directly under your total order $ value. If you don’t select a date, we will ship in 1-2 business days.
The elves at our family farm are doing our best to keep everything in stock, but we request your understanding just in case we run out and substitute a similar product in order to ship on time.
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