5 Ways You Can Make the Most Out of Your Old Mushroom Grow Kit

5 Ways You Can Make the Most Out of Your Old Mushroom Grow Kit

Seraiah Alexander
Seraiah Alexander
May 20, 2024
4 min

Mushroom grow kits have gained so much popularity over the past few years that even Wiz Khalifa has his own brand now! These kits are a foolproof way to grow fresh mushrooms at home, but they don’t last forever. After a few flushes, they tend to slow down in their mushroom production and eventually stop growing altogether. This is because when mushrooms grow, they require a constant supply of nutrients. The substrate that they grow on only goes so far – at a certain point, the mushroom’s mycelium completely takes over and no longer has enough to feed on. However, before you think about tossing your kit in the trash, why not give it another chance at life? There are several ways that you can repurpose your old mushroom grow kit to make the most out of all of its mushroomy goodness. 

Try for another flush

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So, you’ve successfully harvested your first batch of mushrooms? Great! But don’t get too excited yet—your kit might still produce a few more batches if you’re lucky. To try for additional flushes, simply repeat the initial steps you followed when you first started your kit:

  1. Cut another hole on the opposite side for the mushrooms to grow out of.
  2. Soak the block in water for 6-10 hours to rehydrate.
  3. Store it in an area with indirect sunlight and moderate temperature to encourage another round of growth.

Plant it outside

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Ever wanted your own mushroom garden? Now’s your chance! If you have an oyster mushroom grow kit, you can continue its legacy right in your backyard. Oyster mushrooms can grow on almost any substrate, including soil. Here’s how you can plant it outside:

  1. Choose the right spot: Find a well-shaded area in your garden. Oyster mushrooms thrive in damp, shady environments.
  2. Prepare the area: Dig a hole large enough to bury the mushroom block.
  3. Plant the block: Remove the mushroom block from the plastic and place it in the hole, covering it with soil or mulch.
  4. Water regularly: Keep the area watered and moist to encourage growth.

Alternatively, instead of burying the kit whole, you can break it up and sprinkle it on your mulch. This might increase the chances of the mycelium establishing itself in the new environment.

Keep in mind that depending on the climate and substrate, you may or may not see more mushrooms. But it’s worth a try! If the mycelium establishes itself, you could have a mushroom patch for years to come. 

Create more kits

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Interested in an unlimited grow kit hack? Try making more kits with the kit your already have. As we discussed earlier, grow kits only last for such a short period of time because the mycelium no longer has any substrate to gain nutrients from. The solution: just keep feeding it!

If you’ve ever made your own grow kits from scratch, you know it can be a bit of work since you need to sterilize the appropriate substrate to prevent contamination. However, you can also purchase pre-sterilized substrate online from any major mushroom-growing company. 

The majority of mushrooms sold in grow kits (oyster, lion’s mane, shiitake) can grow on a sawdust-based substrate. Here’s how you can create more kits:

  1. Sterilize your surroundings and wear gloves as a precaution against contam.
  2. Break up the mycelium and substrate from your old grow kit into smaller pieces.
  3. Mix these pieces with the new substrate to give the mycelium more nutrients to feed on.
  4. Seal the bag with a twist tie or heat sealer.
  5. Store properly and maintain a humid environment and appropriate temperature for the mushroom type you are growing.

Grow more in a bucket

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Want a fun way to stretch your mushroom yield? All you need is a bucket, some woodchips, a power drill, and your spent mushroom substrate. In about a month, you can have fresh mushrooms again! Here’s a simple method to grow more mushrooms in a bucket using your old grow kit:

  1. Prepare the bucket by drilling several 1/4-inch holes evenly on the sides and 1/8-inch holes on the bottom for drainage.
  2. To prevent contamination, you’ll want to pasteurize the woodchips (you can use the aspen ones from the pet store). Soak the wood chips in hot water (160-180°F) for an hour, then drain and let cool. 
  3. Break up the old mycelium pieces from the kit and put them to the side. Then, fill the bucket with alternating layers of straw and grow kit mycelium in a 5:1 ratio (substrate to mycelium).
  4. Place the bucket in a dark, shaded area outside and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap to maintain humidity.
  5. Give the mycelium time to colonize the substrate (around 2-4 weeks), then move the bucket somewhere with indirect light. Mist the bucket twice a day to keep it moist.
  6. In another 1-2 weeks, you’ll have more mushrooms to harvest!

For a more detailed tutorial, check out this YouTube video by FreshCap Mushrooms.

Compost it

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Don’t want to go through all that trouble for more mushroom flushes? No problem! Why not compost it instead? Composting your grow kit doesn’t only keep it out of landfills, but it also enriches your soil with valuable nutrients. Just remove the plastic from your grow kit and compost it as you would with any other food item. Make sure to break up the substrate into smaller pieces to increase surface area and speed up the decomposition process.

Don’t let your grow kit go to waste!

oldgrowkit 1

With these simple and sustainable methods, you can continue to benefit from your old mushroom kit time and time again. Whether you’re stocking up on mushrooms, enriching your garden, or just looking for an eco-friendly way to dispose of your kit, we commend you for embracing the entire life cycle of a mushroom… and then some more. So the next time your mushroom grow kit runs its course, fear not: there are so many creative and beneficial ways to reuse and repurpose it, so nothing goes to waste!


Seraiah Alexander

Seraiah Alexander

Content Editor

Table Of Contents

Try for another flush
Plant it outside
Create more kits
Grow more in a bucket
Compost it
Don’t let your grow kit go to waste!

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