FAQ - Grow Kits

What is the difference between the Self-Grow Kit and the Grow Block Kit?

Basically no difference, the difference lies in the difference in the amount of substrate. The Block Kit is larger than the Self Cultivation Kit. The Self Cultivation kit comes in its presentation box, while the block kits come raw without any box.

How do I make my kit bear fruit? I have zero experience!

There is nothing to worry about! The kits are all suitable for beginners. Some definitely easier than others! For those who are completely foreign to this world, we recommend our self-cultivation kits. All of our kits come with instructions on how to get the most out of your kit! However, we are always available for any advice!                                                                                                                                                                       

  •   Can I keep the kit? If yes, for how long?

There is a living organism inside the Self-Cultivation Kit, so we recommend that you activate it as soon as you receive it. If you need to wait, you can store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight or in the fridge for a few weeks. But be careful , Pleurotus djamor does not resist temperatures below 4 degrees C well, so if you need to keep it, put it in a cool environment away from the sun. Preferably not below 10 degrees.

  • Do I have to take the block out of the plastic?

The kit must remain in the plastic.

Once you've cut out the front panel of the box along the dotted line, cut an X on the plastic package inside. Enough oxygen will get to the block through this cut and direct the fungi to form there. Remember to leave the plastic X flaps on the bag, they will help retain moisture. Mushrooms will easily grow out of this gap, so you don't need to open it more as they fruit.

  • How much and how often should I nebulize my kit?

You don't have to empty the bottle every time you spray, but it's important that the area where you cut the bag is well moist! Try 5-10 puffs each time. It may take some trial and error to get the frequency and amount right. If the surface of the block feels very dry the next time you spray it, you should give it a little more water or mist it a little more often. Keeping the kit in a humid area of ​​the house (for example next to the kitchen sink) will reduce the risk of drying out the substrate.

However, remember that they are not plants and should not be watered! Misting helps maintain a humid microclimate in the area where we want the mushrooms to grow and prevents the water already present in the substrate from evaporating. We recommend recycling a perfume bottle as a nebulizer, as these usually tend to nebulize the water very well, producing very small drops!

  • What is this white stuff? Is my kit getting moldy?

The white you see is probably mycelium, not mold! Your kit consists of a block of sawdust inoculated with mushroom mycelium growing in it. The blockage may appear covered in a soft, white, mold-like substance. This is the mycelium of the mushroom, and it is completely normal and healthy for your mushroom block. The mycelium of some species is more prominent than others. If you're still not sure what's growing on your kit, contact us with a photo and we'll help you figure out what's going on.

If your kit has black, green or orange spots, it could be mold. It is possible that your kit was damaged in transit. Contact us with a photo and we will send you a new one.

  • There's something wrong with my kit!

You have just received your Kit, but something is wrong. To make sure you produce mushrooms successfully, we will help you troubleshoot potential problems as you grow.

First, inspect your kit upon arrival and keep the packaging. If you notice strange colors (green, black) or bad smells before you open the box, please get in touch with some photos. We will be able to determine if anything happened in transit and get you a new kit. A healthy kit should have whitish mycelium weaving through its brown substrate and have a pleasant earthy smell.

If the mushroom block is broken upon arrival , there is still hope! It can happen as a result of shocks during transportation. While it's still in the bag, you'll want to zip all the loose parts of the block together and give it a little extra time to recover before cutting it to begin the fruiting process. It may take about a week to recover. If, on the other hand, the plastic bag has opened, try to reassemble it and make sure to keep the block moist. It is recommended to use a moisture barrier. Take a bin bag or any large loose bag and poke it with several 2cm holes - mushrooms need fresh air to form properly! Place the bag on your pad and mist the inside of the bag every day. When you start to see small mushrooms forming, you can remove the bag and continue misting the blockage following the instructions.

If your mushroom block looks “dead” or like nothing is happening , there are a few possible causes. It is possible that the block was broken during transport and therefore the mycelium needs some time to regrow. Give it a few days, making sure to keep it moist, and see if the white mycelium becomes more apparent. If within two weeks the kit does not start bearing fruit, we will send you a replacement.

What if my block has midges? Humans aren't the only organisms that love mushrooms! It's possible that the bag broke in transit and these opportunistic creatures decided to build themselves a home. Get in touch with some photos and we will replace it for you. It may still be possible to fruit it outside: you can try removing the block completely and placing it on the balcony or garden in a shaded area while you wait for a new kit to arrive.

If your mushroom block looks dry and hasn't yet produced mushrooms , try using a humidity curtain. Take a garbage bag or any large bag and pierce it with several 2cm holes - mushrooms need fresh air to form properly! Place the bag on your pad and mist the inside of the bag every day. When you start to see little mushrooms forming, you can remove the bag and continue misting the blockage following the instructions.

If your block still seems dry using the moisture curtain, or if your block has budded once or twice and dried out in the meantime , you can give it a boost by dipping it in some water. Take the bag out of the box and let it soak, cut side down, in a bowl of water for an hour. Dry the block before putting it back in the box. Mist as directed 2-3 times a day.

  • Why are there mushrooms already growing in my kit?

Sounds like you have a very vigorous kit! This is completely normal. Mushrooms growing inside the bag can be ignored. If they are easily accessible, they can be detached and thrown away, in order to start growing all over again. (Do not follow this advice if you have a Hericium erinacues kit!)

  • Why do my mushrooms look weird?

Sometimes mushroom caps can look bizarre when they are small and start to emerge. As they grow, if there is not enough oxygen or humidity, the mushrooms can become deformed. Long, stringy, or sparse mushrooms need more airflow; let them breathe! Try moving them to a more open place or put a fan near them.

If the mushroom caps are pale they probably need more natural light. Avoid keeping your kit in cabinets or furniture. Diffused sunlight helps them develop rich hues.

  • What are these amber drops in my kit?

It is a by-product of the mycelium metabolic process and is natural and harmless. Fungi digest outside of their body, then release enzymes into the environment to help them break down materials so they can be more easily absorbed. Those amber drops are like gastric juices!

  • Why did my kit start and then stop growing?

Usually, mushroom primordia abort when there is not enough moisture around the block. Don't panic! Your mushroom kit still has all the food needed to produce mushrooms. Simply remove these dried aborted primordia, and wait a week, allowing the block to dry on a plate. Then, soak the block for 20 minutes in cold water, drain all water from the kit, and start the process again. If you didn't use a moisture curtain the first time around, the second round might help. Create a humid microclimate in which your block should thrive.

When you start to see little mushrooms forming, you can remove the bag and continue misting the blockage. Make sure you keep an eye on the kit. Spray 2-3 times a day with water to keep it hydrated.

  • How can I create a humidity curtain?

Mushrooms thrive on moisture and can dry out easily if they don't get enough. You'll want to use a humidity curtain in very dry environments, when blocks have been broken, or if you can't mist your block one day. The tent will create a humid microclimate in which your block can thrive.

Take a semi-transparent bag or other large plastic bag and pierce it with many 2cm holes. Your mushrooms need to breathe! Cover the kit with the bag and mist the inside of the tent or the exposed part of your block several times a day. You can use sticks or anything else you have on hand to prop up the bag if it's not stiff enough to hold itself up. When you start to see fungus forming, you can remove the bag and continue misting the kit.

  • When should I pick my mushrooms?

The general rule is that mushrooms should be harvested before their caps flatten or become concave. Unlike plants, mushrooms grow incredibly fast, sometimes doubling in size every day. Make sure you keep an eye on your kit so you don't miss an opportune moment to pick them up!

We like to pick mushrooms just before their caps start to flatten, while the edge is still a little curved underneath. At this point, the mushrooms are almost fully grown and will keep better than mushrooms harvested later. You can certainly pick and eat the mushrooms after the cap has flattened, but they won't keep as long and will be more brittle.

The Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) has no cap or gills, but only spines. When young they form dense balls, sometimes developing multiple bumps as they mature. The length of the spines can be used as an indicator for when to harvest them. We like to harvest them when the spines are 0.5-1cm thick and before they start to turn yellow.

To collect them, place your hand around the base of the mushroom cluster and rotate. This movement should be enough to detach the mushrooms from the block. You can even use a knife if you want! Remove any excess debris on the block before resuming spraying for the second crop.

If your mushrooms are dry, moldy, or look unappetizing, it's likely they weren't harvested early enough. You can send us a photo to figure out what could have happened. Stringy fungi with long stems and small caps are likely to be found in a high CO2 environment. Give them some air or try a fan!

  • How many crops will the kit produce?

We guarantee at least one crop of mushrooms from your kit, but depending on the species you choose to grow you are likely to get a second, third, fourth or even fifth fruiting, with care and patience. Mushroom growing is an art and it takes skill to be good. Be patient, follow the instructions carefully, and try to maintain a humid environment for your kit and you should be fine.

In terms of yield, you can usually expect your first harvest to be somewhere in the range of 100g to 500g (For the Home Grow Kit). This varies significantly from species to species, from environment to environment. It really depends on how much care you put into maintaining your kit! Each subsequent fruiting will likely be smaller as the fungi consume the nutrients in the substrate.

  • How do I get a second harvest?

We guarantee at least one crop of mushrooms from your kit, but depending on the species you choose to grow you are likely to get a second, third, fourth or even fifth fruiting. After removing the first crop, continue spraying your kit as instructed. If it seems a little dry, you can cover it with a moisture curtain. It is important to keep it hydrated throughout the process. There is no need to take the block out of the bag or cut a second X into it. It may take a little longer for the mushrooms to appear with each successive fruiting. In about 2 weeks, you should start to see little mushrooms forming again.

If there's no progress by then, it's a good idea to wet your block. It is possible that during the first fruiting the kit has dried out a little too much. Take your block out of the box and place it cut-side down in a bowl of water. Let it soak for 20 minutes.

After soaking, leave the block to drain cut-side down for another 10 minutes or turn it upside down to drain excess water. You don't want standing water left in the bag. Dry the block before returning it to the box with the cut side facing out. Continue to spray it 2-3 times a day.

  • Do I need to cook the mushrooms?

Absolutely. Mushrooms should always be cooked well before being eaten! Make sure you are not allergic to mushrooms before consuming them. Maybe starting with a small amount.

Mushrooms produce spores as they grow, which is how they reproduce. Individuals with allergies or the immunocompromised may consider setting up the kit in a well-ventilated area or outdoors during this growth stage of the fungus. Mushroom spores could in some cases produce respiratory irritation even in people without allergies and not immunocompromised. If you're one of them, we recommend picking your mushrooms a little before they fully ripen, as the spore release will be far less. In general, the amount of spores released from one to two kits in a well-ventilated home is not enough to cause problems for most healthy people.