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Quick-Start Instructions for GIY Mushroom Kits


Instructions for Starting Your Grow-it-Yourself™ Mushroom Kit

Your kit has a bag of live spawn and one of dry substrate mixture. Spawn contains living fungus fibers we call mycelium. Use the spawn within a few weeks of acquiring it – ideally within a few days. If you need to keep it for a while, refrigerate it.

The spawn comes in a growing bag with a filter patch that lets air circulate. You add water, substrate mixture, and other ingredients to the spawn bag, then seal it and let the mix incubate for a few weeks. All of our GIY mushroom kits start this way. Later in the process you will need different instructions for each species, which you will find in other articles in this section. 

To start, in addition to the spawn and substrate mix in the kit, make sure you have

  • Drinkable water (five and a half cups) at room temperature
  • Scissors and strong adhesive tape (like packing or duct tape)
  • 5 ounces of hydrogen peroxide (from a pharmacy or grocery store)
  • For Phoenix Oyster mushrooms, two cups coffee grounds, fresh or freshly frozen and thawed

 Choose a clean, quiet place to work, like a kitchen counter or table. Try to minimize wind and disturbances that can raise dust. Wash your hands well. If convenient, wipe them with alcohol or hand sanitizer. Then follow these steps:

  • In a half-gallon or larger container combine 5 1/2 cups of water and 5 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and set aside.
  • Squeeze the unopened spawn bag to break the spawn into small pieces — the smaller the better. This may take a little effort.
  • Cut the spawn bag open across the top, just below the seal.
  • Pour the coffee grounds and pellet mixture into the bag with the spawn.
  • Fold or roll down the top of the bag a couple of inches, hold it closed firmly (taking care not to poke the filter patch), and shake until mixed — the more thoroughly mixed the better!
  • Open the bag and pour in the water + peroxide.
  • With the top part of the bag full of air, not collapsed, seal the top with tape. Don't tape over the filter patch. Let it sit for an hour or so while the pellets expand.
  • Massage the bag gently to shape it into a loaf, squeezing it upward a bit so it does not press too tightly against the lower part of the bag.

Place the bag gently in a dark but well-ventilated place where you can check it easily to see the fine, white mycelium spread through the substrate. You can keep it in a lighted area — like your living space — in a paper bag or box to shade it. Keep the box top open for air, though. Don’t smother it in a tight space like a drawer. A temperature around 65°F is ideal, but it will do fine between 50°F and 80°F.