Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Opening Your Kit - X or Strip
For all kits excluding shiitake and Lion's mane cut a 4"x4" 'X' into your substrate bag. For Lion's mane Cut 2-3 1"x1" 'X's' on one side of the bag. The 'X' shape allows water from misting to come in, and mushrooms to grow out while keeping an optimal microclimate. Moving forward we will call your kit a 'block.'
I accidentally removed the bag - What now?
Don't worry, you can still grow mushrooms! The substrate bag helps retain moisture, but there are other ways of accomplishing this! Wrap your kit back up in plastic wrap, and re-open your kit by following the step above. (Does not apply for shiitake).
I opened my block and it's not growing at all
First try scraping the mycelium (the white-ish layer on the surface of the block) to stimulate fruiting body growth. You can do this by using a spoon or fork to lightly disturb the surface. If this does not accomplish growth place your block (plastic and all) into a 5 gallon pot of cold water for 1 hour. Remove, drain, and start misting). (Does not apply for shiitake).
Placement and Watering
Where should I put my Block?
Place your block in your living room, kitchen, or bedroom, in a spot that gets indirect sunlight. Mushrooms do need light, so don't think about putting your kit in that dark closet!
What are the best temperatures for my mushrooms to grow in?
Most mushroom kits will grow at room temperature (65-75 °F). If your space is warmer than this try a Pink or Golden Oyster kit as they will grow up to 85°F. If your space is cooler than this try a Lion's Mane, Shiitake, Blue Oyster or Shiitake kit as they will grow down to 50°F. The cooler the temperature, the slower the growth rate of your mushrooms.
How often do I water my mushrooms?
Using a spray bottle of clean tap-water, mist the exposed mycelium from your cut twice each day. Continue this process daily as you see your baby mushrooms begin to grow. Mushrooms like wet conditions, if you are running your AC or things look dry don't be afraid to add more water!
I'm going out of town, what do I do with my Mushroom Kit
It's best to mist your mushroom block daily. If you aren't able to get someone to water your kit along with your plants, give your block a quick soak before and after taking off to give it the water it needs to grow.
Mushroom Growth and Harvest
How long will it take my mushrooms to grow?
Your mushrooms will grow over the course of the next two weeks. You may not see any growth for the first 3-6 days, but once you see your mushrooms appear, they will double in growth over the course of the next week.
I don't see any growth
See the I opened my block and it's not growing at all section above.
My mushrooms are taking longer than two weeks
Mushroom growth is affected by temperature and humidity. If you live in a dry climate, they may need a bit more water to keep them happy. Additionally if it's cooler than 65 °F or warmer than 70-75 °F, your mushrooms may grow slower or faster, respectfully.
When are my mushrooms are ready to harvest?
When the caps of your mushrooms start to flatten out, or your mushrooms stopped doubling in size daily, they are ready to harvest!
How do I harvest my mushrooms?
You can harvest your mushrooms by grabbing both the caps AND stems at their base, and twisting or pulling them off the kit. Remove all the mushrooms from your kit at harvest time.
How do I store my harvested mushrooms?
We recommend eating your mushrooms right away. If you're not ready to eat them today, you can store them in a paper bag in your refrigerator over the next week before cooking them. They must be cooked before being eaten
How do I get my 2nd flush from my block?
After your first harvest, continue to mist your block two times daily as before. Like your first flush you should see growth again within the next two weeks.
If you do not see growth again within the next two weeks follow the I opened my block and it's not growing at all section above.
Again, temperature and humidity are your biggest factors affecting growth. Make sure your mushrooms are getting what they need to be healthy!
Can I get a 3rd flush?
Anything is possible! Well, not anything, but it's woth a try. It is not uncommon for some mushroom farmers to get up 5 flushes from their crops!
Take pictures of your crop! Tag us on facebook of instagram at @columbiamushroom so we can enjoy seeing your progress as mushroom farmers also!