Mushroom growing kits are sets of materials and supplies assembled to allow enthusiasts to grow mushrooms. Such kits usually contain the nutrients and spores necessary to grow a large number of mushrooms, though the kit may require some tending. Most mushroom kits are used to grow mushrooms that will be eaten, but a few contain spores for mushrooms that are valued for their appearance or other qualities.
Mushroom growing kits come in two varieties – indoor and outdoor. Outdoor mushroom growing kits allow enthusiasts to create their own mushroom gardens outdoors. The kits contain nutrients and spores that are usually mixed into gently tilled soil. If climate conditions are appropriate and there is sufficient shading, a mushroom garden will grow. Mushroom gardens generally last until the nutrient supply is completely consumed or weather conditions prohibit their growth. They are sometimes known as mushroom habitat kits.
Indoor mushroom growing kits can be used year-round. They are either self-contained kits or spawn media. Spawn media must be placed in a container, but otherwise works like a self-contained kit. Self contained kits include a growth base that holds the nutrients the mushrooms need to grow. A paste containing mushroom spores is applied to the sides of the growth base if the spores have not already been implanted by the manufacturer. Adding water to the base starts the growing process. In time, mushrooms will grow from the sides of the growth base. Growth bases can usually be used two or three times if properly tended to and refreshed, which may include placing additional spores onto the base.
There are many different types of mushrooms that can be grown from kits. Favorites include blue oyster mushrooms, morel mushrooms, pearl oyster mushrooms, portabella mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms. Inedible mushrooms such as the luminous Panellus stipticus are also available.