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7 Essential Mushroom Growing Supplies: What You Need TO Get Started

Growing mushrooms is an intimidating process when you first see what it requires. However, so long as you have the right mushroom growing supplies, you can start growing your own mushrooms with no trouble at all!

Let’s go over everything you need to know about growing mushrooms.

mushroom growing supplies

Different Methods for Growing Mushrooms

There are several different ways to grow mushrooms at home, and each method requires different mushroom growing supplies. Some methods mimic nature more than others. Your containers can vary from bags to buckets to growth “tents,” or even downed logs!

The method you use will depend on a few factors, including which type of mushroom you’re growing and whether you’re growing outdoors or indoors. You will need many of the same supplies to grow your mushrooms no matter which method you choose.

Let’s go over everything you need to get your hands on!

What You Need

wood ear mushroom benefits

1. Mushroom Spores, Spawn, Cultures, or Kits

What It Is

When growing mushrooms, you start out with either spores, cultures, or spawn. If you’re a beginner to mushroom growing, you may want to choose spawn over cultures, and cultures over spores. Spores are the most difficult to properly germinate.

Mushroom spores and spawn are different things, but both can play the role of “seeds.”

However, spores are not true seeds. You require more than one spore to create a mushroom, while a single seed is enough to grow a full plant on its own.

Cultures are different than both of these, though they’re similar to spawn. You can get a liquid culture of your chosen mushroom variety; most sources agree these cultures produce better specimens than spores!

Mushroom kits are similar to cultures, though they come dry. You spray them down yourself with water.

Why You Need It

You can’t grow any plant without its “seed” component! Without mushroom spores, spawn, kits, or cultures, you’ll get nowhere fast on your mushroom growing expedition.

Our Recommendations

Kits come with most of what you need to grow the mushrooms, though there are some tools you’ll still want to invest in. If you’re fresh to the world of mushroom growing supplies, a kit is going to be the best place for you to start. One example is the Blue Oyster kit from True Leaf Market!

If Blue Oysters aren’t what you’re looking for, you can also get your hands on Golden OysterPink Oyster, or Lion’s Mane mushroom kits.

If you’d rather try your hand at growing mushrooms from spawn, you can grab shiitake mushroom spawn from Amazon or Park Seed. (You will need a log for these; make sure it’s classified as hardwood!)

If you don’t have logs on hand or want to try another growing method, you can purchase portobello mushroom spawn from Amazon.

2. Substrate

What It Is

Substrate is the “soil” component of your mushroom growing supplies. However, substrate itself doesn’t contain any soil. Mushrooms just don’t grow in dirt, so don’t add soil to your mushroom growing supplies list!

There are many forms of substrate; for example, the aforementioned logs you use for shiitake mushrooms are a form of substrate. Other options for mushroom growing tool include manure, straw, mulch, and even paper cat litter.

Basically, whatever you choose as your growing medium is considered a substrate.

Why You Need It

Choosing the right substrate is key to boosting your mushroom yield. Certain mushrooms take best to certain substrates, while others aren’t as picky.

For instance, shiitake mushrooms grow far better when they have a hardwood log as their substrate.

Meanwhile, Lion’s Mane mushrooms also love hardwood, but they grow best in hardwood sawdust rather than a whole log.

Our Recommendations

You’ll want to research your chosen mushroom variety and take note of their preferred substrate when making your list of mushroom growing supplies.

If you’re looking for a cheap paper substrate, paper pellet cat litter is the best way to go. If you need a hardwood log and you’re struggling to locate one, you can try to track one down on Etsy! This isn’t the place most people would think to look, but you’d be surprised by what you can find!

If you need sawdust, you can order a big container right on Amazon. You can find manure substrate in several places, including AmazonTrue Leaf Market, and Etsy.

If you’re using a kit, they will come with their own substrate. You can get a shiitake kit with a spore-inoculated log, for example.

3. Fertilizer/Supplements


What It Is

Fertilizer for mushrooms actually comes in the form of “supplementation.” Some substrates come pre-supplemented; others will need supplements to be added.

Why You Need It

Unlike some other plants, fertilizer/supplements aren’t really optional when it comes to mushrooms.

Some need less supplementation than others; shiitake mushrooms don’t need as much, while Lion’s Mane mushrooms need more.

Our Recommendations

Some mushroom growing supplies that count as supplements are coffee grounds, alfalfa, oat bran, gypsum, wheat bran, vermiculite, and coco coir. Coffee grounds are simple enough to find at any grocery store; oat bran and wheat brain, too!

Here’s where you can find the rest:

Coco Coir

· Amazon

· Etsy

· True Leaf Market


· Amazon

· Etsy

· Hoss Tools


· Amazon

· Etsy

· Hoss Tools

· True Leaf Market


· Amazon

· Etsy

Keep in mind, you don’t need every single one of these supplements for your mushroom growing supplies. It solely depends on the needs of the mushroom variety you want to grow.

4. Watering Tool

watering can filling

What It Is

You’ll be watering your mushrooms quite often, so you’ll want a watering tool that’s easy to handle!

A watering can isn’t your best bet for keeping your mushrooms moist. Instead, you’ll be looking at a sprayer or mister of some type.

Some are manual spray bottles, which you’ve likely seen before! These tend to look similar to cleaning spray bottles. Other sprayers are more automatic. With a pressure sprayer, you give them a couple pumps, then hold down the handle and let them spray all on their own!

Why You Need It

Mushrooms require a lot of humidity to grow best. In fact, it’s recommended you keep them far from the sun to avoid evaporating the moisture they need.

Our Recommendations

Your best choice for the watering tool among your mushroom growing supplies will be either a pressure sprayer or a simple spray bottle, depending on how big your mushroom crop is!

5. Growth Containers

Mushroom grow bags

What It Is

Growth containers are the next mushroom growing supplies you’ll need to add to the list. Growth containers are mainly used to keep mushrooms properly humidified. They trap moisture inside and keep the mushrooms from drying out.

There are a few popular choices for growth containers: bags, buckets, and tents!

Grow Bag

If you choose to use a bag to grow your mushrooms in, good news—it’s one of the easiest methods.

All you need is a grow bag, your substrate mixed with your supplements, and your mushroom spawn. (However, if your grow bag doesn’t include a way for air to be ventilated, you may have to invest in a fan. We’ll go over that later.)

You can hang a grow bag anywhere you like, so long as it’s a cool, dark place.

Grow bags offer the absolute best viewpoint of your growing mushrooms, so it’s easy to keep tabs on how they’re growing. You should be able to easily spot any problems arising.

Grow Bucket

If you choose a grow bucket, it’s not too different from the grow bag. You’ll have to make sure your bucket is clean before use. If the bucket isn’t carefully cleaned, it can pollute your mushroom crop.

You will have to cut holes in your buckets to allow the mushrooms to grow outward.

Grow Tent

If you plan on growing a large yield of mushrooms, you will likely want to choose the grow tent method.Grow tents are larger than grow bags or grow buckets, allowing for larger crops.

You’ll need a fan to add to your grow tent setup, as well as trays for your mushroom substrate, so keep that in mind!

Why You Need It

It’s important to have a controlled environment for your mushrooms to grow in, and bags, buckets, and tents all allow you to keep control of things such as humidity, temperature, and more.

Our Recommendations

If you choose to use grow bags, you can get some with built-in ventilation and eliminate the need for a fan. If you want to save time and money, you can also purchase grow bags with substrate already included.

If you decide to try a grow bucket, good news—you can use any old five-gallon bucket from any hardware store!

If you want to set up a grow tent, your best bet is to find one with drip-friendly shelves. There will be a lot of moisture, and you won’t want puddles gathering on your grow tent’s shelves!

6. Thermometer

Compost thermometer in grass

What It Is

A thermometer is another important mushroom growing tool. You’ll want a way to easily keep track of the temperature in your mushroom growing setup, no matter which one you choose!

Why You Need It

Mushrooms grow well in humidity, but not in heat. The ideal growing temperature for mushrooms is no lower than 65 degrees and no higher than 75.

Generally, this isn’t a difficult temperature threshold to meet indoors. However, if you notice temperatures climbing or falling past those points, an adjustment will need to be made.

Our Recommendations

If you choose the Wittime Thermometer, you’ll have a way to monitor both the temperature of your mushroom growing setup and the humidity level!

7. Fan

electric fan

What It Is

Fans are often used in grow tents to assist with proper ventilation! You don’t need anything high-powered or expensive. In fact, low power is better!

Why You Need It

Mushrooms require plenty of fresh air to grow to their full potential, so a little extra ventilation can work wonders!

Our Recommendations

For a fan you can place anywhere in your grow tent, you’ll want a small fan that can be clipped to the supports of the tent.

Mushroom Growing FAQ

Is it very difficult to grow mushrooms at home?

Though it sounds like a complicated process, growing mushrooms at home is fairly simple! So long as you follow the preferences of your chosen mushroom and set up their growing place accordingly, it should be a low-effort endeavor.

Of course, there are more complicated methods you should avoid as a beginner, but growing mushrooms from spawn or from kits should be easy enough.

What if I have allergies?

If you have any known allergies to mushrooms, you should not grow them. Even in a grow tent, it’s incredibly easy for spores to escape, and it can cause an allergic reaction.

Even if you have no known mushroom allergies, you should be sure to expose yourself to a small amount of your chosen mushroom before attempting to grow them.

Gather Your Mushroom Growing Supplies!

Now you have a list of everything you’ll need to grow your own mushrooms!

For more information on mushroom growing, take a look at our mushroom section now.