frequently asked questions

General Questions:

What temperature do mushrooms need?
  • Mushrooms grow best in room temperature, 60 - 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures will slow the growth of mushrooms.
How do I harvest my mushrooms? 
  • Shiitake mushrooms can be harvested by using a paring knife to cut the mushrooms off the block at the base of their stem. Sometimes it is easier to flip the block over to harvest shiitake mushrooms. For lion’s mane and oyster mushrooms, simply pry off the cluster with your hands. 
How do I know when to pick my mushrooms? 
  • Shiitake mushrooms are ready to harvest when the cap has opened, and the underside of the cap has visible gills. Flip over the grow block to see the gills more easily. Oyster mushrooms are ready to harvest when the cap has begun to curl and is usually 2 to 5 inches wide. Lion’s mane mushrooms are ready to be picked when they have grown short, elongated hairs.
How do I create more humidity for my grow block?
  • Mist your block at least 3 times a day.
  • Blocks can also be placed in a plastic bin with vermiculite in the bottom. Keep the vermiculite moist.
  • Using a thin plastic grocery sack, make a loose tent over your grow block. Blocks need to breathe, so keep this loose.
Where should I keep my block while it is growing? 
  • Place your grow block indoors, in an area of indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight will dry them out. Don’t place them in a fully dark area, as they require some sunlight to grow. Make sure your block has some breathing room, a relatively open room will be ideal, and not too close to any direct source of heat, like a radiator or wood stove.
How do I keep my mushrooms fresh after harvest? 
  • Keep your mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge, to let them breathe a bit. Do not store your mushrooms in plastic, glass or ceramic! 
How can I start a second flush of mushrooms?
  • Second flushes are more challenging because there is a higher chance of contamination interfering with the growth of your mushrooms. For oyster and lion’s mane mushrooms, let the grow block rest for a week before restarting the process of misting. It may be helpful to flip the block over and cut slashes on the other side of the block to promote growth of a second flush. You can also soak it overnight if it is dry. For shiitake mushrooms, let the grow block rest for a week, then soak it in a tub of water for 12 hours. Mist each grow block the same amount as the first flush. 
What do I do with my grow block after I have finished harvesting my mushrooms?
  • Grow blocks are great to compost! Keep an eye on them as you may get another flush in the spring after some rain! Grow blocks are an aphrodisiac for worms, so place it in your compost or garden to invite and feed the worms.
Can I grow mushrooms from spores?
  • Yes, but it is difficult. Two spores must join to create a new organism. When that happens, the spores will grow mycelium which can be used to create a new mushroom block. Check out our blog post for more info! 



Troubleshooting: What went wrong?

Why are my mushrooms growing slowly? 
  • If you are growing your mushrooms in a room cooler than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, they may be growing very slowly. Additionally, if you are not misting your grow block frequently enough, they may be growing slowly.
Why isn’t my block growing any mushrooms? 
  • There are several variables when growing mushrooms, but slow or no growth is most likely caused by too high or too low temperature or lack of humidity. Keep your grow block in a place at room temperature with plenty of air flow, and be sure not to under mist it.
What if I removed the bag from the grow block? 
  • Shiitake grow blocks are the only strain that requires the plastic bag to be fully removed. Lion’s mane and oyster grow blocks should NOT have the bag removed, but if you have by accident, wrapping the block in plastic wrap will retain the moisture just as well. Cut slashes in the plastic wrap as you would if the bag was still intact.
Why is my block growing green/black/orange mold?
  • Excessively high moisture levels encourage the growth of competing molds, funguses and bacteria, so too much humidity may lead to mold. Elevated CO2 levels, caused by a lack of fresh air, can also contribute to mold. In this case, giving your block lots of fresh air to minimize mold growth. It is impossible to eliminate competing molds once they have infected your grow block.
Why are there fruit flies around my grow block?
  • Fruit flies love moisture and bacteria. Make sure you aren’t over misting the grow block. Some people suggest placing a small cup of apple cider vinegar covered by plastic wrap with tiny holes in the top in the same room as the grow block. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and get trapped inside the plastic wrap.
Why does my grow block smell so bad?
  • Blocks should have a pleasant, earthy smell. An offensive smell indicates contamination.