Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
Congratulations on your purchase of an ion’s mane mushroom growing kit! If you already have a tabletop humidity tent or mini-greenhouse you can use that, otherwise something can be easily improvised (or try without if it’s humid.) At home I use a 4-tier mini greenhouse that I picked up pretty cheaply.
A humidity tent is not required, but may be helpful if the air is dry in the growing area.
You will need:
– your mushroom block
– a clear plastic bag or clear plastic over a frame for humidity (optional)
– a very sharp knife
The spawn block is composed of pelletized hardwood sawdust and various organic supplements such as wheat bran, held together by the white mushroom mycelium. It is ready to fruit when you receive it, although if put somewhere cool and dark it will likely wait for up to a week. When you’re ready, wash your hands, wash a sharp knife, and cut 3-4 two inch vertical slits across the front of the bag, over the sawdust, trying not to cut into the air space at the top Try not to cut the block as much as possible. This is where the mushrooms will grow from.
If you spot tiny mushroom clusters already growing on top of the block, it’s generally not a big deal unless they get larger than marble-sized or start changing color. If you’re concerned about them, you can cut just below the heat seal and reach in with clean hands to pick them off, before pushing all the air out of the bag and re-sealing it.
Put the humidity tent (if present) loosely over the block, which you may need to prop up with wire hangers or other supports poked into the block. Mist it occasionally but do not over-water. Putting a dinner plate under the block can help to control water that may leak out. The mushrooms also need fresh air, or the fruits will be small and thin, but the humidity tent should provide that. If you notice thinner fruits, you can enlarge the holes in the humidity tent slightly. The humidity tent should give 4-6” of room for the mushrooms on every side of the block.
Your mushroom kit requires nothing more than room temperature (not too warm), indirect light, and a bit of extra humidity. Unlike grocery-store-style button mushrooms, these cannot grow in darkness.
After 5-7 days (don’t panic if it takes a little longer) you should see small clusters of tiny mushrooms begin to grow around the slits in the bag. These will grow into full sized mushrooms in another five days or so and should be picked with a clean sharp knife when mature (or when parts of the fruit start to turn tan/brown.) Make sure not to spray mist directly on the mushrooms.
All mushrooms need some amount of air exchange, but these ones even more than most. If you find you’re having growth problems, you may need to cut additional (small) holes in the humidity tent, or increase how often you lift it up to mist it.
When the block stops producing mushrooms, keep misting it, it should start producing again in about a week. If it’s looking especially dry you can dunk it in cold water for a couple hours (make sure to drain the bag well so there’s no standing water.)
If the block develops heavy colourful mold or bacteria (which is rare when kept in a clean environment), do not eat the fruits from it after that point and dispose of it away from other mushroom projects. This happens more frequently with blocks at the end of their lives. Due to the possibility of non-harmful but unsightly fungus gnats, it is not recommended to keep the block in the same greenhouse as potted plants.
If contamination develops, go here for tips!
If you have any problems or questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!
Mushroom growing can be challenging and while, due to the number of factors involved in getting a successful harvest, we don’t offer a guarantee, help is most certainly available.