There’s so much more to mushrooms than buttons and shiitakes and, by far, the best way to get to grips with this fascinating family of fungi, is to grow your own at home using mushroom grow kits.
Mushroom growing kits are easy to use, and reduce the guesswork when trying to grow your own mushrooms. In this article, we’re going to run through some of our favourite mushroom grow kits Australia has to offer, and dig deeper into some of the brands that make them.
What are Mushroom Growing Kits?
Mushroom grow kits come as a collection of tools and equipment, with all, or most, of what you will need to get started. Different mushrooms have different growing needs (humidity, light, shade, temperature, and growing times) so each kit will have slightly different instructions.
Most mushroom grow kits are sold with spores, or inoculated dowels, but the best mushroom grow kits come with everything from logs to polythene bags to provide shade and humidity in any location.
How do Mushroom Grow Kits Work?
Mushroom grow kits work by providing inoculated logs, or dowels that have been covered in an inoculated coating to insert into your own growing medium. As most gardeners will be aware, mushrooms can grow pretty much anywhere, from dead wood, pathways or compost piles.
Different mushrooms like different conditions though, so follow our guide below for more information on what mushroom to grow where, and what mushroom grow kit is best for you.If you need to know more about using mushroom grow kits, or how to build a DIY grow kit, Milkwood has a brilliant guide for growing your own mushrooms at home, with information on lighting, temperature, and humidity to get you started.
What are the Best Mushroom Varieties to Grow in Australia?
Choosing the best mushrooms to grow isn’t as simple as finding what’s available, it’s about flavour, and how you want to use them. For vegetarians, any native mushroom, Lion’s Mane or Coral Mushroom is going to pack the most flavour in broths, stocks, and gravy, but for cooking in general, Shiitakes and Button Mushrooms have the best texture.
For the more adventurous mushroom growers, I’d have to suggest the native Coral tooth Mushrooms, or Australian Reishi Mushrooms. They grow easily, and are heavy croppers, and there are few mushrooms in Australia, if not the world, that are as versatile in the kitchen too.
Mushroom Grow Kit Brands in Australia
There aren’t that many brands of mushroom grow kits in Australia, but those that do exist are passionate and dedicated to producing gourmet mushrooms for home growing, straight from the garden to the table.
Below, we’ve broken down the best bits about our favourites:
Little Acre Gourmet Mushrooms
Little Acre, as well as their cute branding, are really easy to use. Their kits are simple, and literally, just open and grow. They take some time to grow well, but their range is one of the best in Australia.
If you want mushroom kits that can grow anywhere in the house, and you’re not sure where to start, try Little Acre. Their simple guides are easy to follow and hard to get wrong, so you’re pretty much guaranteed at least one meal’s worth of mushrooms for your efforts!
That Mushroom Guy
That Mushroom Guy, proudly made in NSW, offers a unique option for mushroom enthusiasts with their larger, moderately priced mushroom grow kits. This small Australian-owned business stands out due to their commitment to eco-friendliness, using recycled hardwood in their kits.
Each kit contains everything you need for successful mushroom cultivation and comes with a grow guarantee! By choosing That Mushroom Guy, not only will you grow a large quantity of mushrooms, but you'll also support a local, environmentally conscious business.
Mushroom Kit are the most basic brand for anyone getting started with mushroom grow kits in Australia. Their kits are super simple to use, and can be grown alongside all sorts of herbs and greens too.
Mushroom Kit sells a variety of mushroom grow kits too, including Button Mushrooms, Portobello Mushrooms, and Oyster Mushrooms for more refined palettes. If you’re looking for an easy way to grow your own mushrooms without the hassle of inoculated logs, dark, humid spaces, and everything else that goes with it, these simple, open, and grow kits are great fun.
Aussie Mushroom Supplies
Aussie Mushroom Supplies have a brilliant range of mushroom grow kits for beginners, right through to expert growers and commercial growers too. My favourite kit from Aussie Mushroom Supplies is the Australian Reishi Mushroom, which doesn’t just taste good, but it’s a great way to get to know more about our native bush tucker along the way by growing native mushrooms!
You can buy kits for over 20 types of mushrooms from Aussie Mushroom Supplies.
New Generation Mushroom Supplies
For the more serious mushroom grower, NGMS (New Generation Mushroom Supplies) takes everything up a notch. Their mushroom kits aren’t for the faint-hearted, and require time, space, and dedication. As well as selling spores and inoculated materials, they sell mushroom boxes, hydrometers, and pretty much everything else you could need to grow a commercial scale mushroom farm at home.
If you’re ready for the next step in your mushroom growing journey, you should seriously consider getting to know NGMS.
Back to the Roots
One of the cheapest mushroom grow kit brands is Back to the Roots. Their products sell through amazon, but they’ve got a range of brilliant grow kits which work within weeks. In ideal conditions, these mushrooms can grow to full maturity in less than two weeks, which is an incredible growth rate, even for basic mushrooms like buttons!
Mushroom Growing Kits Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a mushroom grow kit last?
Mushroom grow kits typically last for about four weeks in storage before you need to start growing them. Inoculated logs and fibres need to be used fresh, so do try to use your mushroom grow kit as soon as you receive it when possible.
What are the most valuable mushrooms to grow?
Shiitake mushrooms are the most valuable mushrooms you can grow at home. There are plenty of rare mushrooms out there, but by weight, shiitake are the most sought-after mushrooms that’s reasonably simple to grow yourself.
What is the best place to put a mushroom grow kit?
Mushroom grow kits like humidity, but not direct sunlight, so place your mushroom grow kit away from direct light, in a humid part of the house (or mist it several times a day if it’s somewhere dry).
Kitchens are a sensible place to place them, either on the counter, or on top of the refrigerator where less light can impact their growth.
Are mushroom grow kits worth the money?
Weirdly, the more you spend on mushroom grow kits, the better value you get, and the longer you can harvest for. Cheap mushroom grow kits don’t yield very much, but they are fun to use, and the results are spectacularly delicious.
All mushroom grow kits are worth the money, but the more you spend, the more you get.
Do mushroom grow kits keep growing?
Mushroom grow kits won’t last forever without re-inoculation. Their spores and mycelium require proper nutrients and regular support, so a standard mushroom grow kit will rarely keep growing after its first harvest.
Do mushroom plugs come back every year?
Hardwood mushroom logs, inoculated with mushroom dowels, can continue producing mushrooms for up to five years. Eventually, the nutrients in the log will be expended, and your mushrooms will slow down, or stop.
How long does it take for mushroom grow kits to grow to full size?
Most mushroom grow kits take between 3-4 weeks to develop to their mature size. Some are faster, others are slower, and can even take a year or more.
Should mushroom grow kits be kept in the dark?
Generally speaking, mushrooms do not need to grow in the dark. Some commercial mushroom farms use darkness to trigger new periods of growth, but in general, they prefer low light, to no light.
What do you do with mushroom logs in the winter?
Mushroom logs, the more complex version of mushroom grow kits, should be kept somewhere cool and sheltered through winter. They can be wrapped in bin bags to conserve humidity.
As long as they are protected from severe frosts and winds, your mushroom logs should produce again next year.
Wrapping Up Our Mushroom Growing Kit Guide
Growing mushrooms at home doesn’t need to be intimidating. It’s as easy as growing herbs on your windowsill, or perennial vegetables. If you’ve ever grown your own food at home, the next step has to be mushrooms.
Fried, grilled, or cooked down into deliciously rich sauces, mushrooms are one of the most rewarding things you can grow. I hope this guide gives a useful starting point for anyone looking for the best mushroom grow kits in Australia and sets you on the path of a lifetime’s love affair with home grown mushrooms.