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How to grow

All of our tips on growing fresh gourmet oyster mushrooms at home. Watch our mushroom growing instruction videos and read our FAQs for beautiful and delicious home grown mushrooms.

Watch our how to grow videos:

Key Tips

 

  • Humidity helps and you can increase this by being clever and using a humidity tent. Take a clear or white biodegradable bag (the bags from the fresh produce section of stores are perfect), cut holes in the corners so it’s slightly breathable and cover the box with the bag. Spray/drizzle water on the inner surface of the bag and on the mushroom growing surface 2-4 times per day. Mushrooms need oxygen so it’s important to remove the plastic bag as soon as you notice mushrooms growing and then continue watering them.
  • Use clean tools and wash your hands. Bacteria can appear when dirty hands or tools have touched the growing surface or the plastic surrounding it. If this happens, you can still grow delicious mushrooms by choosing a new white area of the block such as the reverse side.
  • Like a rain-forest – choose an area of the home with still air movement as far away from the heater or air conditioner as possible because this can dry out your mushie box and don’t be afraid of over-watering.
  • Patience is key, rest your box for a week before spraying for your second and third crops and they can take up to 4 weeks each.
  • If someone in the house has a mushroom allergy it’s extra important to harvest your crop while the mushroom caps face downwards so no spores are released. This also means your mushies will taste better and future harvest will be enhanced!

Key Tips

 

  • Humidity helps and you can increase this by being clever and using a humidity tent. Take a clear or white biodegradable bag (the bags from the fresh produce section of stores are perfect), cut holes in the corners so it’s slightly breathable and cover the box with the bag. Spray/drizzle water on the inner surface of the bag and on the mushroom growing surface 2-4 times per day. Mushrooms need oxygen so it’s important to remove the plastic bag as soon as you notice mushrooms growing and then continue watering them.
  • Use clean tools and wash your hands. Bacteria can appear when dirty hands or tools have touched the growing surface or the plastic surrounding it. If this happens, you can still grow delicious mushrooms by choosing a new white area of the block such as the reverse side.
  • Like a rain-forest – choose an area of the home with still air movement as far away from the heater or air conditioner as possible because this can dry out your mushie box and don’t be afraid of over-watering.
  • Patience is key, rest your box for a week before spraying for your second and third crops and they can take up to 4 weeks each.
  • If someone in the house has a mushroom allergy it’s extra important to harvest your crop while the mushroom caps face downwards so no spores are released. This also means your mushies will taste better and future harvest will be enhanced!

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not a very good gardener. Is it difficult to grow these mushrooms? 

Rest assured the hard part is over. Life Cykel Mushroom Boxes are designed for accessing fresher food with simplicity so just spray, harvest, eat and repeat!

How should I care for my mushroom box?

Once the hole in the bag has been cut, you need to spray the front of the box each day to stop the growing mix inside from drying out and to create the humidity that mushrooms love to grow in.

Just spray the whole area where you have cut the hole, pulling back the flaps momentarily to make sure it all gets some water. Then allow the flaps to fall back into place as they will help to keep the humidity in.

Aim to spray at least twice a day, giving the whole area a good soak each time (i.e. approx. 10 sprays).

What temperature is best for growing my mushrooms?

The ideal temperature for the best quality of mushrooms to form is between 18-24 degrees Celsius.

Where should I grow my mushrooms?

All you need is an indoor space that will get fresh air and a good amount of light, so close to a window but not in direct sunlight. Indirect sunlight will help the mushroom caps develop to their full potential. Once you see the tiny pinheads pop out, they’ll double in size each day! Again, be generous with your watering.

When to harvest?

As soon as you notice that your mushrooms aren’t doubling in size each day, you can pick off the entire crop. A brown ring around the edge of the mushroom cap is key indicator that your mushrooms are ready to harvest!

How long can I store my mushrooms for?

Since you’ve grown them yourself, you can store them for up to 2 weeks. In fact, gourmet mushrooms are rarely found in grocery stores because they’re extremely delicate and have a short shelf-life. Best to grow your mushrooms at home ;)

How do I store them?

It is best to store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator. In the paper bag their excess moisture is absorbed by the bag, keeping it off your mushrooms but close enough to retain some moisture!

How many mushrooms can I grow?

Each crop varies in size but you can grow at least 2 crops from one box. So far the going record has been 7 crops from one mushroom farm! Email us at info@lifecykel.com if you beat the record or if your mushrooms are looking particularly beautiful. Also don't forget to tag us in your social media pictures - you might be this month's Homegrown Hero!

What do I do with my harvested mushrooms?

Our recipe page provides some gourmet tips on best enjoying the Life Cykel experience – https://lifecykel.com/recipes/

My mushroom box grew a beautiful first crop but my second crop hasn't come through - what am I doing wrong?

Don’t worry. Patience is key! Each subsequent crop will take several weeks to begin growing. Regular moisture is the key.

What happens if my box doesn't grow any mushrooms?

If you have tried all the above tips and are still having any troubles growing your mushrooms then we are here to help! Please send us some details to info@lifecykel.com so one of our mushroom experts can put you on on the right path to success. Pictures are always helpful. We want all of our customers to have a happy growing experience so we will get back to you as soon as we can.

I'm going away for a few days - will my kit be okay without me?

Ideally you should mist daily, but if you are going to be away, place your box in a naturally damp or humid spot whilst you’re gone. Right next to the sink and away from heat sources for example. You could place the box on a little stand in a tray of water and as the water evaporates it will keep the environment around the kit nice and humid.

What should I do with my bag once finished growing?

Oyster mushroom substrate is packed with nutrients so it makes for a very valuable soil amendment. Be sure to empty the bags contents onto your favourite fruit tree or plant in the garden and watch it take off.

How long can I store my kit before I need to start growing it?

You can store your kit for up to 3 months after you’ve received it. Store it in a dark spot at room temperature (10-20C), and then continue as per the instructions in the box.

You mentioned them being healthy. How healthy?

Oyster mushrooms are extremely healthy given that one-third of their dry weight is protein. They are rich in vitamin B vitamins, calcium, phosphorous and iron. This is why they are commonly referred to as the vegetarian steak.

What's the white stuff inside the bag?

This white layer is the mycelium, or ‘mushroom roots’. It has grown across and throughout the coffee grounds and has completely colonised it before we send it out to you. It’s this mycelium that gathers up the nutrients and uses them to produce delicious Oyster Mushrooms when the bag is opened.