Grow Your Own Mushroom Kit Instructions
Congratulations, you are on your way to harvesting your own mushrooms! Your kit consists of a substrate block of organic materials that has been colonized with mushroom mycelium. To ensure success, please follow the instructions below:
Steps to follow:
- Open the box and remove the substrate block and mister. Unfold the bag (pulling the filter end up) and place it upright on a counter that receives natural light (not direct sunlight). DO NOT cut the bag open :) At this point, the bag is out of the box for the next 7 days (up to 14 for Lion’s Mane). You will start to see fresh mycelium grow (white) and possibly even some small fruiting bodies starting to emerge. This is an important step which will allow the mycelium to rejuvenate and will ensure a successful grow.
- After you see healthy white mycelium growing or better yet, baby fruiting bodies (pins), it is time to put the bag back in the box. Open one of the perforated panels on the box and lay the box flat on its back with the open panel up.
- While keeping the bag folded, insert the bag into the box so that the end with the most mycelium (white area) or pinning is near the bottom of the open panel of the box. This is usually the end of the bag with the folded filter. Make sure the fold is not on the side of the open panel but rather on the back side. Close the box.
- Cut an “X” in the bag right in the middle of the healthiest mycelium. This will be where it is very white. If you see little fruits starting to grow cut a small “X” there instead. Place the box upright.
- Fill the spray bottle with cold water and spray the open “X”. Repeat 1-2 times a day. Leave the box in a vertical position and place in a room that has good natural light (not direct sunlight though) and room temperatures 18-22 degrees Celsius.
- The mushroom mycelium will sense the oxygen in the air causing the increase in relative humidity and natural light to produce mushroom “pins”. The “pins,” also known as baby mushrooms, should begin to grow within 5-10 days of cutting your bag open.
- If you see pins or fruiting bodies in the opening above your “X” you can cut a 2nd “X” in the bag for those fruits to grow out of. This may sometimes happen. It’s ok to have two clusters of fruiting bodies.*Note that if your mushrooms start to grow, but then start turning brownish, and potentially dry up and die, this may mean that your growing conditions are too dry, and a humidity tent will be necessary for your growing process. We’ve included these instructions further below.
- For Oyster Mushrooms, harvest your mushrooms before the caps flatten or become concave. For Lion's Mane Mushrooms, harvest when teeth have formed and while it's is still white (before it turns golden brown). Mushrooms can grow quickly in the right environment. When you spot your first baby mushrooms coming out, keep an eye on them. Your mushrooms should be ready to harvest between 4-7 days after the “pin” formation. *To harvest, hold the mushroom cluster at the base of the stems at the plastic bag hole opening. Twist and pull. Some substrates will come off as you harvest.
- Start a new flush cycle by repeating step 5. You can also remove the bag from the box and find a spot where there are some fruiting bodies growing and cut a new X there. You can continue growing out of the box at this point.
- Top Fruiting: If your Lion's Mane kit is fruiting on the top of the bag feel free to cut the top open and allow it to fruit there!
What is mycelium?
Your kit includes Stay Wyld Organics’ proprietary substrate colonized with mushroom mycelium. At first glance, it looks like it is covered with a soft, white, mold-like substance - that's the mushroom mycelium! It is completely normal. The mycelium of some species is more prominent than others.
If you see green mold before you open your bag, please take a photo, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not open the bag, and discard into the garbage or dump contents outside in the forest. If for some reason you see green, black, or yellow mold after opening the bag please send photos to us and discard immediately. If the bag is exposed to temps over 25 degrees Celsius, mold can grow. It’s important to store your kit in the refrigerator if you are not going to use it right away.
How to make a humidity tent:
Mushrooms are 90% water and require high humidity levels. Simply take a trash bag or other loosely fitting plastic bag and put PLENTY of 1/2-inch holes in it (THIS IS IMPORTANT: Mushrooms exhale CO2 and inhale oxygen. They will suffocate themselves if there isn’t adequate airflow! Mushrooms that look stringy or strange are usually growing that way because they need more air!).
Lift the side of the plastic bag and mist inside the humidity tent daily. You want to see water droplets on the inside of the humidity tent and on the mushroom bag itself. If your house is dry, mist inside the tent twice a day. Remember, the bag is living and if the humidity or temperature is too low, mushrooms will not grow and dry out.
*To help with airflow within the humidity tent, you can use toothpicks or skewers to create a space between the tent and the growing kit. The bottom of the humidity tent bag should rest at the bottom of the growing kit box.
IMPORTANT: Cautions & Considerations
If you’re going to consume home-grown mushrooms, make sure to cook your fresh mushrooms thoroughly with heat. If it is your first time eating this species, it is best to start with a small amount to check for allergies, even if cooked.
Mushrooms grow spores as they develop. This is a natural means of reproduction. This is when people with allergies or compromised immune systems may want to consider putting fruiting mushroom kits outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Spores in mushrooms sometimes cause respiratory irritation. In rare cases, spores may also cause irritation for some non-allergic or non-immunocompromised mushroom growers. If you are one of them, it is recommended to reduce the overall spore load by harvesting mushrooms while they are still in their younger growth stages.