Growing FAQs

Here are some questions we’re frequently asked, if you need a specific question answered, please contact us.

For general support please e-mail

Is the product guaranteed to produce?

No, it is not, although it should. The mycelium is a living organism with specific needs. Products are guaranteed to be, by all appearances, viable and healthy at the time they’re shipped. Please report any shipping damage immediately. Mushroom growing advice and support is available although a full education in mushroom growing is beyond the scope of this service. Given the proper conditions, you should have success.

Can I grow these outdoors?

There’s no reason you can’t grow outdoors, as long as the temperature, humidity, and fresh air requirements of the mycelium are all still maintained. Shade is a must for most species. Further information specific to your type of mushroom can be found online or in any library. The book “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms” by Paul Stamets is highly recommended by many people. Bear in mind that as with anything grown outdoors, insects and other pests can become an issue.

Can I put these in my regular greenhouse?

In theory a greenhouse type environment is good, but there are some drawbacks to consider. The first is that it will likely be too hot for the mushrooms, perhaps even hot enough to prevent fruiting, depending on the species. Humidity will likely be high enough but may condense on the fruits and risk bacterial contamination if spraying is done. Lastly, fungus gnats and their larvae are relatively common in houseplants and purchased plants. Normally they eat soil fungus and aren’t a cause for concern, but they can be devastating to a block of mycelium if left unchecked for an extended period of time. If you absolutely must put the block in a greenhouse with other plants, it is highly recommended to lay some non-toxic sticky traps on nearby surfaces (fungus gnats fly poorly.)

How will I know when my kit is finished?

The mycelium, over the course of several harvests, will eventually produce few or small mushrooms, and then none at all. It is weakened at this point, and may be more prone to developing contaminants, especially green mold, which can spread easily to other projects. It will also be dry and relatively light, and physically smaller than when you first received it. At this point it should be considered waste.

How do I dispose of my spent kit?

The mycelium block can be composted, or added to soil, or you can attempt to break it up and use it to grow more mushrooms outdoors on wood chips or another substrate. If you wish to attempt this, further reading on outdoor growing is recommended, to ensure the season and conditions are best. Support is not provided for outdoor growing of spent blocks. The block is in no way hazardous and no special disposal is required should you not wish to further experiment with it.

How can I preserve my mushrooms?

Drying and pickling are two common methods. Drying overnight at a relatively low temperature in a dehydrator or similar is recommended over fast oven-drying. If you plan to sell your dried mushrooms to anyone else, you should be aware that drying qualifies as “food processing” in many places, in terms of food safety regulations.

Can I grow “grocery store mushrooms”?

Most of what you see in the grocery store is Agaricus bisporus, a common button mushroom. Portobellos are the same species, just later in its life cycle. They’re possible to grow but we do not offer kits for them since their nutrient requirements and growing conditions are far different from most gourmet mushrooms. Most of what we sell (and most gourmet mushrooms in general) grow on wood, that variety grows on already-partially-decomposed compost.

Can I grow [popular wild mushroom]?

Maybe. Contact us and we’ll work with you to see what’s possible. Some are nearly impossible to cultivate indoors or in a controlled environment. Some will grow but give a very poor yield. Some will grow easily! Let us know and we’ll see if we can make something work for you. If you were thinking black truffle… sorry.

Can your sawdust spawn be used to grow on logs outdoors?

Absolutely. Selecting, cutting, conditioning, drilling, and inoculating logs is beyond the scope of this document, but our sawdust spawn is suitable for this use. At this time we do not regularly offer plugs (dowels) to inoculate logs, but please contact us if that’s what you need, they can be made to order.

Do you have… “other” mushrooms? *wink wink*

Absolutely not. Any inquiries about “exotic” species will be ignored. You can use our products for whatever you like, but we do not condone growing or obtaining anything that may be illegal where you live. You are expected to use our products in accordance with local laws and regulations.

I’ve heard these mushrooms can be misidentified, is that a danger?

No. The kit or spawn you received was from either commercially purchased liquid culture or liquid culture prepared from a clone of a fruit identified by a qualified mycologist. Whatever you paid for, that’s what you have, guaranteed.

My sterile product is contaminated!

If it was a pre-sterilized product such as a sawdust bag, it should be used as soon as possible after arrival. One week from the shipping date is ideally the maximum. If your product arrives contaminated, please contact us immediately for possible refund or replacement. Please include as many pictures as possible to allow us to gauge the type and cause of the contamination. Some drops of yellow or orange liquid in the bag or jar are normal and likely not a contaminant. No refunds or replacements will be issued for products that have been opened or had their contents exposed to air, although limited e-mail support is available to help you get all you still can from what you have.

These grow so well in the forest, is it better to grow them outside?

It’s neither better nor worse. Inside, you’re protecting them from pests, animals, contamination, heat waves, cold snaps, frost, excessive rain, etc. Outside, you have more fresh air and beneficial microbes but also an even bigger list of things that can go wrong. Why not spawn the block to wood chips when it’s finished and try both ways!

Oh god I have fungus gnats.

It’s okay. Well, it’s probably okay. Vacuum up any gnats you can see in your fruiting chamber first. Next, get non-toxic sticky traps and lay them on flat surfaces near your block. Gnats are very poor at flying. A small bowl of white grape juice with a few drops of dish washing liquid left in the fruiting chamber can attract and kill them also. With a mycelium block of this size, they’re unlikely to cause significant damage in less than a month, but they’re unsightly.