What’s the best mushroom growing kit for beginners? IMVHO it’s the North Spore Golden Oyster Mushroom Kit. With the super easy spray & grow oyster mushroom kit instructions, I had ready-to-cook fresh mushrooms in only one week! Get the details on how to grow mushrooms, recipes, where to buy, and more in this ultimate review guide. Mushroom kits are the perfect birthday gift or holiday gift for budding mycologists!
Are you looking for a cool and somewhat unusual gift idea? A DIY mushroom growing kit is sure to please everyone from foodies to mushroom lovers to indoor gardeners. Maintaining a mini mushroom farm is a fun project for kids and adults.
I've tried several brands of mushroom grow kits in the past. While I enjoyed them all, the North Spore Mushroom Kits are the best mushroom kits I’ve tried. Here are some reasons why:
- High yield: My North Spore Golden Oyster Mushroom Spray & Grow Kit yielded a whopping 13.5 ounces of mushrooms!
- Unusual mushroom varieties: North Spore offers a variety of edible mushrooms you can’t find in stores. They have blue oyster mushroom, pink oyster mushroom, and golden oyster mushroom spray & grow kits. (The pink oyster mushrooms are so gorgeous!)
- Fast growing: Results may vary, but I had mushroom growth in 2 days, and my harvest was ready at day 7. I’ve never had a mushroom kit produce mushrooms so quickly!
- Super EASY: You usually need to soak an oyster mushroom log kit for 24 hours before you can begin growing. With this North Spore oyster mushroom kit, no soaking is required. It is literally just spray and grow.
- USA mushroom grow kit company: North Spore is a company based outside of Portland, Maine. If you want to support US-based businesses, they’re a good choice.
- How to Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms
- How many days do oyster mushrooms take to grow?
- When to Use a Mushroom Grow Tent
- Harvesting Oyster Mushrooms
- Oyster Mushroom Storage
- Oyster Mushroom Price
- Oyster Mushroom Recipes
- Golden Oyster Mushroom Health Benefits
- Where to Buy Mushroom Kits?
- Watch them grow!
How to Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms
This mushroom kit has everything you need to start growing mushrooms except water. Inside the box is a bag with the fruiting block, an amended sawdust block colonized with mushroom mycelium. You also get a mini spray bottle and an instruction guide.
Additionally, there are instructions written on the outside of the box. Remove the spray bottle and guide from the box first.
Next, remove the perforated rectangle from one of the long sides of the mushroom kit. I used a box cutter to remove it easier. Cut a large “X” into the plastic underneath.
Fill the spray bottle with water and spritz the plastic where you cut the X. Put the box in indirect sunlight and continue to mist it with water at least twice per day. That’s it!
I misted the oyster mushroom substrate every morning and evening. If you live in a drier climate, you may need to mist them more often. Keeping them in a humid part of your house will encourage growth.
How many days do oyster mushrooms take to grow?
The North Spore Spray & Grow Kit Guide says it may take up to two weeks to see baby mushrooms. However, I started seeing growth in only two days. The mushroom pins (AKA baby mushrooms) were fully developed by day 4.
The mushrooms should be ready to harvest about 2-5 days after you first see the oyster mushroom pins. It’s advised to harvest oyster mushrooms before the caps flatten and become concave.
For me, the total oyster mushroom growing time was 7 days from when I first cut the plastic. If your home is cooler or less humid, the oyster mushrooms could take 2.5 weeks or more.
North Spore currently has a 30-day return policy, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re having issues with your kit. They’ll answer questions or refund or replace the mushroom kit as needed.
When to Use a Mushroom Grow Tent
If your golden oyster mushrooms growing conditions are too dry, the mushrooms may die. To keep them moist, you can make a humidity tent with a plastic bag. Cut ½-inch (2.54 cm) holes all over the bag- mushrooms need lots of fresh air to grow!
Drape the bag over the mushroom grow kit and mist the inside of the bag with water often. You can remove the bag (but keep misting the mushrooms) when the pins form.
Another reason to use a humidity tent is if the mushroom block arrives broken. Press it back together as best you can and use the humidity tent to help keep it moist.
Harvesting Oyster Mushrooms
To harvest oyster mushrooms, simply take a knife and cut them free from the substrate. You can also break them off with your fingers, but I found it easiest to use a knife.
After harvesting your mushrooms, keep caring for the fruiting block by spraying with water. You may get additional mushroom harvests!
About two weeks after my first golden oyster mushroom harvest, my second flush was ready. Though it was smaller than the first flush, it was nice that this North Spore kit continued producing. Several mushroom kits I’ve tried in the past only produced one mushroom harvest.
Oyster Mushroom Storage
One advantage of growing mushrooms indoors is you can harvest when ready to eat! If you do pick oyster mushrooms ahead of time, store them (unwashed) in a small paper bag in the fridge. They should stay fresh for 5-7 days in the main part of the fridge (not the veggie drawer).
Oyster Mushroom Price
The Golden Oyster Mushroom Spray & Grow Kit currently costs $28 on the North Spore website. The kit yielded a total of 13.5 ounces of mushrooms for me (11 ounces first flush + 2.5 ounces second flush). The mushrooms ended up costing $2.07 per ounce (plus I got to do some fun indoor gardening).
Regular oyster mushrooms currently cost $3.99 per 3.5 ounces at Amazon. Though the $1.14 per ounce price tag is less, you miss out on the experience of growing your own mushrooms. Also, this isn’t quite a fair comparison price-wise, since you can’t usually get golden oyster mushrooms from the store.
It’s important to remember that these numbers reflect my experience. Your mushroom yield may be more or less than mine was.
After you’ve finished growing and harvesting mushrooms, don’t throw the entire box away! Remove the substrate left inside the bag and compost it. As you’re reminded on the box, mushrooms are decomposers of the world.
Oyster Mushroom Recipes
What to do with oyster mushrooms? North Spore’s instruction manual comes with “North Spore’s famous mushroom recipe.”
The recipe is for pan-fried oyster mushrooms cooked in butter or olive oil with garlic and herbs. They offer the option to throw in some white wine and heavy cream if you’re feeling indulgent. (Yum!)
Here are a few more ways to use oyster mushrooms:
- Oyster Mushroom Air Fryer Jerky
- Tagliatelle ai Funghi (a delicious use for homegrown gourmet mushrooms!)
- Tempeh Bolognese Sauce
North Spore recommends starting with a small amount if it’s the first time you’re trying golden oyster mushrooms. They also recommend cooking the mushrooms thoroughly before enjoying.
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Golden Oyster Mushroom Health Benefits
Mushroom in a box kits are a great fit for people with a variety of dietary needs. Mushrooms align with most special diets: vegan, keto, low carb, gluten free, Paleo, dairy free, and so on. Here are some other nutritional benefits of golden oyster mushrooms:
- Increases vegetable intake: Though mushrooms are technically fungi, they count as veggies on the MyPlate. When you eat more mushrooms, you’re getting some vegetable food group foods in.
- B vitamins: Though mushrooms are grouped with veggies, they provide a lot of B vitamins, similar to meat and grains. Oyster mushrooms are an excellent source of riboflavin and niacin. They also provide some thiamin, vitamin B5, and folate.
- Vitamin D: Depending on how your oyster mushrooms were grown, they may provide a natural source of vitamin D. There are very few natural food sources of vitamin D, so this is a wonderful benefit of eating mushrooms. (Particularly for those of us in the north who don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight.)
- Very low calorie: Per Cronometer, 100 grams of oyster mushrooms only provides 33 calories. Mushrooms are a delicious addition to high volume, low calorie meals that are packed with fiber. Don’t forget about mushrooms if you want to lose weight!
- Essential minerals: I talked about vitamins above, but oyster mushrooms are also a good source of certain minerals, such as potassium and phosphorus. Make them a part of your heart-healthy diet!
For most people it should be fine to grow oyster mushrooms indoors. That said, airborne mushroom spores can cause respiratory irritation. North Spore recommends putting the kit in a well-ventilated area or outside if you are immunocompromised or have allergies.
Unlike plants, mushrooms don’t have chlorophyll and can be grown in low light. These golden oyster mushrooms do best in indirect light. The mushroom fruiting bodies can become misshapen if grown in complete darkness.
Keeping mushrooms out of direct light helps preserve the moisture they need to reproduce. However, that doesn’t mean that mushrooms should be kept in the dark. Some mushrooms grow best with indirect light.
There are a couple reasons a mushroom kit may not grow. One common reason is the fruiting block isn’t being misted frequently enough with water. You can try using a humidity tent for mushrooms if the environment is too dry. In other cases, the block may not have been adequately colonized with mushroom mycelium.
After your first mushroom harvest, you may get additional rounds of mushrooms if you keep caring for the block. You can keep using your mushroom kit until the mushrooms stop popping up. Here’s a helpful article from North Spore on getting the most out of your mushroom kit.
The growing environment is the most important thing you can control to increase mushroom yield. Make sure your oyster mushrooms have enough humidity and air to grow. In general, mushrooms don’t like dry environments and those with high carbon dioxide levels.
Where to Buy Mushroom Kits?
You can purchase an at home mushroom growing kit from Amazon or directly from the mushroom kit company. Here’s a price comparison of some popular edible mushroom kit options on Amazon:
|North Spore Pink Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit||$29.99|
|North Spore Blue Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit||$27.99|
|Back to the Roots Organic Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit||$18.28|
|North Spore Italian Oyster Mushroom Plugs||$19.99|
|North Spore Snow Oyster Mushroom Plugs (white)||$19.99|
|BetterFungi Black Oyster Mushroom Plugs||$16.55|
|Everything Mushrooms Pearl Oyster Mushroom Spawn Plugs||$15.00|
(Prices subject to change.)
For more advanced gardeners, North Spore sells sawdust spawn kits and mushroom plug spawn. These can be used for growing oyster mushrooms in garden beds or making mushroom logs. (It’s much safer than foraging wild mushrooms!)