Growing healthy gourmet and medicinal mushrooms requires the right gear. From spores to spawn and bags to bins, we've compiled a must-have list of the best tools for growing your favorite fungi indoors and out. Whether you’re a mushroom pro or just getting started, let this be your guide to successfully completing your projects. We always recommend having on hand a trusted book like Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Working with Fungi, Organic Farming and Mycoremediation, or Growing Gourmet Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms.
What do I need to grow mushrooms indoors?
Growing indoors gives you more control over environmental conditions and easier access to your crop. Gourmet edible and medicinal mushrooms including Oyster, Shiitake, and Lion’s Mane, among many others, can be grown indoors in environments ranging from a single 3-lb ShroomTek to the fully automated Boom Room II grow tent. Those beginning their journey might start with a user-friendly Spray & Grow kit, level up with fruiting blocks, and master the game making their own sterile substrates. Advanced growers propagate their favorite fungi from spores, spawn, and from liquid culture in the sterile laboratory. The following is a curated list of North Spore’s indoor growing tools and accessories.
Spawn is living fungal tissue that has colonized a substrate. Gourmet edible and medicinal fungi is typically grown on grain spawn then mixed with either hardwood or manure-based sterile “bulk” substrates to create fruiting blocks of a particular species, which can be fruited in monotubs like the BoomrBin and grow tents like BoomRoom II.
Substrates are the main food source for fungi. North Spore produces a variety of sterile substrates for use in monotubs and grow tents, including hardwood WoodLovr, manure-based Boomr Bag and the all-in-one ShroomTek. Additives including Coco Coir, Vermiculite and gypsum can enhance moisture retention of sterile substrates and are popular casing layers.
Sterilized grain bags are a user friendly, nutrient-rich environment for creating your favorite edible and medicinal mushroom spawn. Designed to accept your favorite Liquid Culture Syringe or spores, grain spawn bags can be used for a variety of projects indoors including inoculating monotubs and jars.
Spray & Grow Kit
Popular with beginner growers, Spray & Grow Kits are 4lb substrate blocks are pre-colonized with gourmet edible mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, Blue, Golden and Pink Oyster. They require little maintenance and make a great gift.
Fruiting Block Kit
These pre-colonized Fruiting Block Kits grow a variety of gourmet edible mushrooms for those looking to cook up gourmet mushrooms on a regular basis. North Spore’s BlocksBox subscription mails you three fruiting block kits every month. We recommend growing them indoors in monotubs like the BoomrBin and grow tents like Boom Room II.
ShroomTek All-in-One Grow Bag
Part grow chamber, part substrate block; all-in-one bags like our ShroomTek are designed for growing medicinal manure-loving fungi indoors. They can be grown as-is or in monotubs and grow tents for more environmental control.
Boomr Bin Monotub
Monotubs like our BoomrBin are one of the most popular indoor mushroom growing environments. They offer more control over environmental conditions than all-in-one bags and can be outfitted with automated controls for fresh air and humidity.
BoomRoom II Martha Tent
North Spore’s own BoomRoom II “Martha” grow tent is equipped with automated controls for humidity and fresh air exchange and can hold up to twenty 5lb-fruiting blocks. Grow from monotubs, all-in-one bags, jars and more with this versatile growing chamber.
NocBox Still Air Box
A still air box is a clean and functional mycology workspace without the financial investment of a flow hood. Inoculate grain bags, monotubs and even clone wild mushrooms outdoors all within the comfort and cleanliness of our NocBox Still Air Box.
Mycology Lab Instrument Set
Clone and culture wild and cultivated varieties of edible and medicinal mushrooms with this collection of corrosion-resistant stainless steel instruments. Each kit is housed in a zippered carrying case for easy portability. Check out our full inventory of lab supplies here.
What do I need to grow mushrooms outside?
Growing mushrooms outdoors is an opportunity to challenge your inner scientist, gardener, and mycologist while also providing delicious and nutritious mushrooms over multiple growing seasons. Outdoor cultivation requires the right species and substrate for your geographic area, plus some specific tools for putting them together. Favorite outdoor species like Shiitake, Oyster, Lion’s Mane and Wine Cap as well as more advanced species like Hen of the Woods (Maitake) can be grown outdoors in a variety of ways including on logs, in garden beds, and from buckets and other containers. When working with logs, don’t forget important safety gear such as gloves and eye protection, and labels to keep track of your work. Here are some common outdoor tools of the mushroom trade.
Grain Spawn and Sawdust Spawn can be used for growing mushrooms in buckets, baskets and other containers outdoors, as well on pillars and in garden beds among your veggies and flowers. As a reminder, spent Spray & Grow kits can be planted outside for additional flushes during the growing season. Both Sawdust Spawn and Plug Spawn can be used in log inoculation, and the right tree species to use will depend on the variety of fungi you want to grow. Here are 5 of the best mushrooms to grow on logs.
Outdoor Log Kit
Outdoor Log Kits contain everything you need to grow mushrooms on logs, pillars, and stumps, with each kit containing a drill bit, sealing wax, a wax applicator, enough plug spawn to inoculate 1 to 2 logs, and an instruction guide. Log kits make an excellent gift for the outdoor mushroom cultivator in your life.
Angle Grinder Adapter
For faster log inoculation, an angle grinder is recommended—it's four times quicker than a hand drill. To connect your drill bit to the angle grinder, get an Angle Grinder Adapter for inoculating multiple logs swiftly.
For efficient log inoculation, we rely on specialized, high-speed mushroom log drill bits from Japan. Crafted to withstand prolonged drilling and equipped with stop collars, they are effective at expelling wood shavings and preventing over-drilling. Use the 8.5mm bit for plug spawn and the 12mm for sawdust spawn.
For sawdust spawn projects, the “thumb-press” inoculation tool is essential. It's a hollow tube with a plunger for injecting sawdust spawn into drilled holes, ensuring proper fit and spawn compression. Pair it with the angle grinder adapter and high-speed drill bit for a significant speed boost in your project - you can purchase the set here.
Choose a clear, food-grade paraffin wax for sealing inoculated log holes. Cheese wax or beeswax can be alternatives. Around one pound of wax seals about 10 logs, with slight variation based on log size and if you seal the ends. While end sealing isn't necessary, hole sealing is vital, safeguarding spawn from falling out, drying out, or being destroyed by wildlife or contamination. Use an old crockpot dedicated to wax melting, as whatever you use will retain the wax coating. Wax daubers are used to administer the wax and seal the holes.