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GROW KIT FAQS

ALL YOUR GROW KIT QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Q. What is included in the Grow Kit?

Your Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit comes with everything you need. Inside you will find an instruction card and spray bottle. Follow the instructions and be sure to keep your recipe card handy to cook up some delicious mushrooms when they are ready.

Q. What is substrate?

Substrate is the organic material your mushrooms grow on. We make our substrate blocks in Brisbane, using Australian hardwood (eucalyptus) sawdust with some additional nutrients. The sawdust is recycled from sawmills in southern Australia. This sawdust would be a waste product, but instead it's growing food!

Q. How long can I store the kit without fruiting it?

Keep your kit at a stable room temperature. Don't keep it somewhere it could exceed 30 degrees celcius. Your kit should have no problems waiting for you for at least three months.

Q. Why do I cut an 'X' into the bag?

Cutting an 'X' into the bag helps to control humidity, which is a key factor when growing mushrooms. Your grow kit loves high humidity and by cutting an 'X' and spraying within that area, the plastic flaps hold the moisture close to the substrate. This mini micro-climate is perfect for inducing mushrooms to fruit.

Q. What is the white stuff on the block?

The white stuff on the block is called mycelium and this is normal. Mycelium is the fungal organism that produces mushrooms, you can think of mycelium as a root-like structure which is absorbing its nutrients directly from the substrate in the plastic bag.

Q. Where is the mushroom spawn?

The mushroom spawn has already been mixed into the substrate inside the bag. It has colonised the substrate, turning it white and is now ready to fruit delicious mushrooms.

SETUP

PREPARATION

Q. Where should I put my mushroom grow kit?

Place your grow kit in your kitchen, out of direct sunlight. This will allow you to check on them and remember to spray your grow kit regularly to keep humidity high.

Q. What is the most ideal temperature?

The best temperature for our grow kits is just regular room temperature between 20-28 degrees celcius. The warmer the temperature the faster the growth. If it is colder than 20 degrees your mushrooms will grow more slowly.

PLACEMENT

Q. How often do I spray my kit?

To water your kit, lift up the plastic flaps of the 'X' and spray your kit with a few pumps of water whenever you have a chance, at least 2-3 times a day. Make sure the exposed surface of the block always looks moist until baby mushrooms appear. If it's looking a little dry, increase your frequency of watering. Remember that high humidity is crucial for your mushrooms to produce a great crop.

Q. Is it OK if i miss a day of spraying?

This is not ideal but if this can't be avoided as you are going away try and create a mini micro-climate around your grow kit to keep up the humidity. This can involve placing a wet tea towel around the base of the kit or filling a sink with water and placing the kit near by.

WATERING

Q. I don't see any growth, what is happening?

How long has it been? For a number of days after you first cut your 'X', you will see no activity. This is normal, don't worry, the kit is gearing up to fruit mushrooms. Once a really small amount of growth starts you will be surprised at how fast they grow, doubling in size every 24 hours.

Q. How long do I wait for mushroom growth?

You should expect to see some baby mushrooms within 7-10 days. If you grow both varieties you will notice that the Pink Oyster kit produces mushrooms alot faster. This is completely normal and your White Oysters won't be too far behind.

GROWTH

Q. What kind of mushrooms are these?

We have two different varieties of grow kits available - White and Pink. White is a strain of white oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) and Pink is a pink oyster mushroom (Pleurotus djamor). These strains of oyster mushroom grow in a wide range of temperatures so they are great for home growing.

Q. How many mushrooms will I get?

Mushrooms are a living organism and it is very hard to predict exactly what you'll harvest! From your first harvest, you should receive enough to cook a meal for 1-2 people. Every bonus crop (see below) after your first will yield slightly less. If you don't think you're seeing this amount of growth, send us an email with a picture and we'll be happy to help!

Q. How do I know when to harvest my mushrooms?

You want to harvest your mushrooms when the caps have just started to flatten out. You have to be quick, before you know it the caps will convex upwards to release their spores. If this happens pick immediately as the caps will start to dry out otherwise. If you're unsure whether your mushrooms are ready to harvest, feel free to send us a photo and we'll happily advise you.

Q. What is the best way to pick my mushrooms?

The best way is to pull the mushrooms away from the substrate from the base of the bunch. Once you have removed them you can then trim off excess substrate. This is better than cutting them off the block with a knife as it will give you a higher chance of a second crop.

HARVESTING

Q. How do I store my picked mushrooms?

Store your harvested mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge. Remember mushrooms don't like to sweat so avoid storing them in plastic. Harvested mushrooms are best cooked and eaten within 7 days for White Oysters and 4 days for Pink Oysters.

Q. How do I get a second crop of mushrooms?

Once you've harvested your first crop, remove any mushroom debris left on the block and let it rest for a week. You may see a second crop start by itself, in that case start from step 2 on your instruction card. If not, remove the bag from the box and float the bag overnight in a bowl of water, cut side down. The next morning drain any excess water out of the bag and wait for pins to emerge and repeat the fruiting process.

Q. Can I get a third crop of mushrooms?

You may be lucky and try for a third crop, to do this follow the same steps you did for a second crop.

BONUS CROP

Q. My mushroom kit has finished what do I do with it now?

Once your mushroom kit has finished fruiting and it does not want to produce anymore mushrooms you can remove the substrate from the plastic bag and either put it around your garden or indoor plants as mulch, or place in your compost or worm farm.

Q. Is the cardboard and plastic in the kit recyclable?

Yes! The cardboard box can be recycled in any standard recycling bin and the spray bottle is reusable. The plastic bag is a soft plastic and can't be placed into a standard home recycling bin. Please wash out the plastic bag and deposit it into any RedCycle™ Bin across Australia - Click Here for more details.

FINISHED

Q. What happens if my kit doesn't grow mushrooms?

TROUBLESHOOTING

Q. Can I eat my mushrooms raw?

We highly recommend cooking your mushrooms before eating - they taste much better fried, sauteed or roasted! Need some inspiration? Check out our collection of delicious mushroom recipes.

Q. My white oysters are not white?

The colour of a mushroom is greatly affected by how much light they are exposed to. The more light the darker the mushroom, if you are noticing that your white oyster mushrooms are a shade of beige or brown this is completely normal. If you would like them to be as white as possible grow them in a very dark position.

Your Grow Kit hasn't grown any mushrooms? Please follow the steps on your instruction card but if you see no activity after following the instructions after two weeks, send us an email with photographs to hello@littleacre.com.au and we will send you a replacement kit at no charge if you can't get it to fruit following our advice.