How To Open A
Mushroom Grow Kit

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pink oyster mushroom grain spawn

What Is A Mushroom Grow Bag

Mushroom grow bags are strong, heat resistant bags which are used to sterilise supplemented substrates for mushroom growing and spawn production.

Mushroom grow bags feature a filter patch to allow for fresh air exchange which is essential for the healthy growth of mycelium while ensuring that the substrate remains free from contamination.

How To Open A Grow Kit

There is no singular correct answer. Most mushroom hobbyists prefer to leave the bag in place while making a small incision through the plastic to expose a layer of substrate that has been well colonised by a thick layer of mycelium. This method ensures that the block is protected and maintains high levels of humidity. 

Mushrooms will grow in search of fresh air. Mushrooms will typically form where fresh air and high humidity converge on the surface of the substrate.

A few exceptions are species such as king oyster and lion’s mane which will often try to form fruits beneath the plastic where humidity is highest. This is due to these species having a lesser need for fresh air exchange. In this case the bag may need to be adjusted to allow for the fruiting bodies or mushrooms to develop.

When Is A Grow Kit Ready To Open?

All our mushroom grow kits are dispatched when fully colonised and ready for fruiting. The mycelium will often appear less visible due to the agitation from being in transit.

The grow kit can be opened to expose the substrate to fresh air. Mycelium will quickly begin to grow thicker and more visible where it receives most fresh air.

Species of oyster mushroom will often have thicker and more visible mycelium in comparison to lion’s mane which will produce a layer of fine translucent mycelium.

Most species can be refrigerated to prevent fruiting excluding summer species like pink & yellow oyster which should be fruited upon receipt.

How To Open A Mushroom Grow Kit

The mushroom grow kit needs to be opened to expose the substrate to fresh air.  The presence of fresh air will trigger the formation of primordia which grow into mushrooms. 

The method used to open a grow kit will depend on whether the species of mushroom being grown is side-fruiting or top-fruiting. 

Side-fruiting varieties include lion’s mane and most oyster mushrooms like pink, white, blue, yellow & brown oyster.

Top-fruiting varieties include king oyster, reishi, chestnut & pioppino.

Side-fruiting varieties can be opened by making a small 5 cm long cut into the grow bag to expose the substrate to fresh air. Tape can be used to hold the bag down firmly against the substrate to prevent the formation of primordia beneath the loosened layer of plastic.

Pink oyster mushroom kit fruiting from a 5 x 5 cm cross cut in the side.
Lion's mane grow kit fruiting from a small cut in the side.
King oyster grow kit with the top cut open and folded over with a clip.
Chestnut mushroom fruiting with the top of the bag removed.

Top-fruiting varieties like king oyster and reishi can be opened by opening the top of the bag and folding it over with a clip to restrict airflow. King oyster and reishi are often grown with restricted fresh air exchange to manipulate the growth style of the fruiting body.

King oyster mushrooms will produce larger, thicker stems with small, velvety caps when grown with restricted fresh air exchange.

Reishi will produce long antler-like formations until provided with adequate fresh air exchange provoking a change in growth to form large decorative conks.

Chestnut mushrooms can be fruited by removing the top of the bag as needed to reveal clusters of primordia that tend to form in the humid spaces between the substrate and bag.

Free Delivery With Every Order

Free standard delivery is included with every order. All deliveries are lodged via Australia Post.

Products listed available and in stock will be dispatched within 48 hours.

Flat rate express delivery is available with next day dispatch for any order placed before midnight 12 am.

Express post is recommended for placing interstate orders during the summer months to avoid delay and ensure freshness.

Back order – Any items on back order will be dispatched separately. Items on back order are anticipated to be fulfilled within 21 days unless stated otherwise.

How To Store A Grow Kit In Fruiting Conditions

Once opened the mushroom grow kit must be stored in fruiting conditions for best results. Primordia will usually appear within 1 week when stored in optimum conditions.

Fruiting conditions revolve around humidity & fresh air exchange.

Humidity needs to be kept high to allow the mushrooms to grow large & healthy. Dry, cracked & leathery & discoloured mushrooms often indicate a need to increase humidity. Humidity can be increased via indirect misting or the use of a humidifier or simple fruiting chamber.

Fresh air exchange refers to the amount of fresh air moving around the grow kit. Mushrooms will exhale carbon dioxide which can accumulate within the fruiting. Mushrooms growing long, stretched and deformed often indicate a need to increase the amount of fresh air exchange

Please note that increasing fresh air exchange can often directly reduce humidity. Follow the link below to learn more about making a low cost fruiting chamber for maintaining optimum fruiting conditions.

Making A Fruiting Chamber

Mushrooms require humidity to grow. We recommend using a mini-greenhouse. Spraying the inside walls of the greenhouse will help raise humidity. A cheap humidifier can used to automate the process.

It’s important to ensure that the grow kit has fresh air exchange. Mushrooms produce carbon dioxide and will grow long and leggy if they require more oxygen. 

Check the product pages for species specific requirements.

Alternatively you can build a Shotgun Fruiting Chamber (SGFC) from a few common items found easily in your local hardware store.

Using A Humidifier

Humidity can be managed through a diligent misting and fanning regime, however the introduction of a humidifier and humidity controller can help automate the process and ensure consistency.

Adding a 6L humidifier and controller to a greenhouse with the addition of a USB fan is a quick and easy way to make a low cost fruiting chamber that delivers excellent results.

Harvesting The Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are ready to be harvested once growth appears to slow and before the caps turn upwards. Harvesting the mushrooms before the caps turn upwards will prevent them from shedding most spores and encourage a longer shelf life when refrigerated.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are ready to be harvested once growth appears to slow and the spines have elongated. 

Reishi is ready to be harvested once the white or pale coloured leading edge has disappeared and stopped growing. Reishi will shed a large quantity of spores as it approaches maturity.

Chestnut mushrooms will often remain quite small as they mature. Clusters of chestnut mushrooms are ready to be harvested once opened and growth appears to have slowed. 

 

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We’re a small scale producer of gourmet mushroom grain spawn and ready to grow kits located in South East Queensland. We’re passionate about fungi and we love sharing our obsession with the world.

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