Grow Kit Instructions
So... you’ve decided to grow mushrooms. Let's talk about how to grow delicious mushrooms at home using your Boreal Woods Grow Kit!
Your grow kit is sealed in a special mushroom bag. The material inside (a blend of sawdust and soybean hull) has been inoculated and is ready to grow.
Storage: If you're not ready to grow immediately, your kit can be stored in the refrigerator for at least 2 months. Otherwise, it is ready to start growing when you receive it.
Growing Temperature: 50-70° F
Light: Grow kits need ambient lighting in the room they are in (aka enough to read a book) - no supplemental light is needed.
Humidity: The ideal humidity needed fluctuates between 60-80%. This can be created in several ways (see below).
Grow Time: 2-3 weeks, depending on environment and variety.
Step 1: Creating the right environment
Your grow kit needs to be cool and humid while growing. A garage or basement provides an excellent environment but it is also possible to grow in other places in your home.
To create the right humidity, we recommend growing our kits inside a Rubbermaid tote. Use a wet towel on the bottom and sides to help create a “microclimate.”
- DO NOT grow your mushrooms with the lid on - that will suffocate the mycelium. Your mushrooms will produce carbon dioxide and need fresh air to breath, just like you do.
Cooler temperatures will produce the highest quality mushrooms but will grow the slowest. 60-65° F is a good balance for growing most varieties. There are many other methods that work to create a microclimate - use your creativity to find a way that works for you in your space!
Step 2: Preparing your grow kit
In this step, you will trigger the mushrooms to grow by cutting the bag to expose a small section of the block to fresh air and humidity.
1. If your grow kit does not already come deflated, start by deflating the bag by cutting a small notch in the top corner. Tuck the bag down tight around the block. DO NOT remove the block from the bag.
2. Next, each variety is cut differently to maximize harvest size - see below for how to cut for the specific variety you have:
- Oyster Varieties (blue, pink, snow, black pearl): use a razor blade to cut an X, from corner to corner (see photo below).
- Lion's Mane & Coral Tooth: use a razor blade to cut a single slit down the center of the bag, approximately 5 inches (see photo below).
3. Place your grow kit in your prepared Rubbermaid tote in it's growing environment (basement, garage, etc.)
Step 3: Grow your mushrooms!
- For the first week, you'll want to provide consistent humidity (keep the towel in the bin wet and mist the bag a few times each day, using a spray bottle).
- After approximately 7-10 days you'll start to see primordia, aka baby mushrooms, form at the slit you cut in the bag (see photo below).
- Mushrooms grow very fast! Some varieties may be ready to harvest just a few days after you see the first baby mushrooms. Continue to provide humidity until harvest time.
Step 4: Harvest
Depending in the environment, most oyster varieties will be ready to harvest 10-14 days after cutting the bag. Lion's mane varieties may take up to 21 days.
Harvesting too early will decrease your total yield, while harvesting too late will affect shelf life.
- Harvest when the edges of the caps have fully extended and start to flatten out, but before they start to turn upward - see photo below.
Lion's Mane Vareties:
- Harvest when the mushrooms just start to form elongated hairs (or spines for Coral Tooth) - see photo below.
To harvest, pull off the entire cluster all at once. They should release easily from the block.
Step 5: What's next?
Enjoy your harvest! Store mushrooms in the refrigerator in a paper bag.
You can also attempt a second flush from your grow kit:
- After your first harvest, put your kit back into it's Rubbermaid/growing environment.
- The mycelium will rest for a week and then will try to produce more mushrooms.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 above. Your second harvest will be smaller - but just as delicious!
When you're done with your grow kit, discard the bag and add the growing material to your compost bin, mix into your garden soil or feed to your chickens!
We're here to help you on your growing journey! If you have any questions along the way, feel free to email us: email@example.com