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Getting More From Your Kit

We've put together some tips to help you get even more out of your kit.

  • It's been a month and my mushrooms still aren't growing! Are they dead?
    The time it takes for your mushrooms to begin to sprout can vary widely based on species, temperature and time of year. In the winter, most mushrooms are particularly slow to grow. If you're unsure about whether your mushroom is on its way, the first place to look is at the hole in the box. For Blue Oyster and Lion's Mane mushrooms, if the hole shows white or yellowish mycelium, there's a good chance your mushroom is not far away. If you'd like to speed it along, pop in in the fridge for 12-24 hours before resuming your regular care routine. (WARNING THIS IS NOT APPLICABLE FOR PINK OYSTER OR YELLOW OYSTER AS THEY DO NOT LIKE COLD TEMPERATURES!) White or yellowish mycelium means that your Lion's Mane or Blue Oyster mushrooms are on their way! Pink Oyster mycelium is slightly more wispy than Blue Oyster or Lion's Mane so it can be a bit harder to tell by looking at the hole in the box. If you see see some off-white or pink wisps of mycelium your mushrooms are probably on track. This is a well colonised pink oyster kit. Note that the growing medium looks light with a pink tinge, rather than dark brown. In nature, fruiting is sparked by a change in season or weather. A change of environment can also help. Try moving your kit somewhere warmer or cooler, with more sunlight or less sunlight, or somewhere with more humidity. This change in environment can help speed along fruiting. If you've waited for over a month and are still concerned, you can open your box and pop out the block inside to see what's going on with you mycelium. Here are some examples of well colonised blocks: A well colonised Pink Oyster block A well colonised Lion's Mane block If your block seems well colonised but hasn't fruited, it's possible that the mycelium in the area of the slits has dried up slightly and this is inhibiting fruiting. Tape up the original slits with sellotape and make slits in a new area. You can now grow your mushrooms directly from the bag. In mushroom cultivation, it's always a race between the mushroom mycelium and other competing organisms. As a result, it's not uncommon to see small patches of competing organisms on your growing medium. They can be green, brown, dark yellow etc. If more than 10% of your block is covered in patches of competing organisms, it's likely that you may see some reduction in yield of mushrooms. If it appears that your block is not well colonised or you see more than 10% competing organisms, please send a photo of each side of your mycelium block to us via email or WhatsApp and we'll help you figure out what's going on!
  • My mushroom looks different from photos I've seen online. Does this mean it's poisonous or dangerous to eat?
    Every mushroom is unique Like humans, how a mushroom looks depends a lot on the environment in which grew and it's unique genetics. Scrolling through instagram you might think that every Lion's Mane or Pink Oyster mushroom looks a certain way, but that's mostly because people usually choose the best photos with the best angles of the most desirable specimens to post. At Fat Fox, we are constantly working to pick the best looking, fastest growing and most delicious strains to cultivate, but it's never an exact science, and we can never control the growing environment in home kits! The fact that your particular mushroom might not meet instagram beauty standards does not make it any less beautiful, special or delicious! Gourmet mushrooms can not spontaneously become dangerous As most people are aware, there ARE poisonous species of mushroom. Sadly, this causes a lot of unwarranted fear surrounding mushrooms in general. If you're feeling nervous about eating your unique looking mushroom, just remember that there are plenty of poisonous berries and plants out there, but in the same way that strawberries don’t magically turn into juniper berries or celery into hemlock, gourmet mushrooms can't spontaneously change species! Even if we've accidentally shipped you a blue oyster instead of a pink oyster or a reishi instead of a lion's mane (if this is the case do get in touch and we'll fix it!) we don't cultivate ANY mushrooms at Fat Fox that are not delicious and/or healthy for humans! There’s no need to fear the fungi!
  • I’ve harvested my mushrooms. How long until I see another flush?
    It can take between 2-5 weeks to see a second flush of mushrooms and often even longer - it depends very much of temperature, humidity and other conditions. In winter, the time between the first and second flush can take quite a while becasue of the cool temperatures. Subsequent flushes can take even longer, as the mycelium looses in vigour and the growing medium looses moisture with each flush. In most cases, patience is the name of the game. Subsequent flushes might pop up and surprise you months later when temperature and humidity changes cause the mycelium to produce more mushrooms. Here are some tips for initiating more flushes: Cold Shock (Blue Oyster & Lion's Mane only) For Blue Oyster, Lion's Mane & Shiitake kits, pop them in the fridge for 12-24 hours to speed the process along (NEVER PUT PINK OYSTER MUSHROOMS IN THE FRIDGE. IT WILL KILL THE MYCELIUM). Change your kit's environment: A change of environment can also help. Try moving your kit somewhere warmer or cooler, with more sunlight or less sunlight, or somewhere with more humidity. Making a new slits in the bag: If the original slits in the plastic you made have been open for a long period, it's possible that the mycelium in that area has dried up slightly and this is inhibiting fruiting. Remove your mycelium block from the box, tape up the original slits with packing or duct tape and make slits in a new area. You can now grow your mushrooms directly from the bag. Soaking: If all else fails, soaking your block for 24 hours and then draining it can help promote more flushes once the block has lost a significant about of moisture. Patience: Finally, and probably most importantly, patience and benign neglect are often the best attitude to take when you're waiting for another flush. Mushrooms tend to pop up once you've stopped fretting over them! Plant it: At some point, your mushroom growing kit will have lost so much moisture and/or energy that will not produce any more mushrooms. When this happens, you may be able to get a final flush by planting your kit in the garden. This will give the mycelium more constant access to moisture. Note: This will only work for pink oyster mushrooms in the warmer spring and summer months, but will can any time of year for other species.
  • Are Fat Fox mushroom growing kits suitable for vegans? I've heard that some mushrooms are grown on animal products.
    While some mushroom companies use blood fish and bone meal as a source of nitrogen, we do not use any animal products in our mushroom growing kits. We use only vegan-friendly natural substrates such as sawdust, straw & grain.
  • Some of my mushrooms are bigger than others. Can I pick them one at a time or should I harvest them all at once?
    Although it might be tempting to pick each new mushroom individually, It’s best to wait until the largest mushrooms are just beginning to flatten out and then harvest the whole bunch together. If you pick individual mushrooms and leave the rest it can affect the flushes that follow and decrease your overall yield.
  • My mushrooms are growing from a different part of my box! What’s going on?
    Mycelium can have a mind of its own. Although your mushrooms should grow only from the hole you’ve created in the plastic, if they've been left a long time before you've started your kit they WILL find a way to escape! Your best bet is to harvest whatever has already started to grow, and then to remove the mycelium block from the box and grow your mushrooms directly from the hole bag instead. See our FAQ on what to do if your box is wet or mouldy. This blue oyster kit was left in a cupboard for 2 months. It has started to grow through the edges of the box and will begin to consume the box.
  • My box is mouldy or damaged. What should I do?
    While you should never be spraying your Oyster mushroom box so much or keeping so much moisture in your Lion's Mane humidity tent that your box becomes mouldy or sodden, sometimes a box becomes so damaged (especially after several flushes) that it's best to grow your mushrooms straight from the bag. To do this, simply remove the mycelium block from the box and carry on as normal. Your mushroom should grow from the slits you previously cut.
  • There's a slit in my grow bag. Should I be concerned?
    In order to deflate bags enough to fit them into the box for shipping, we make a small slit in the side or middle of the microporus filter bag. This is totally normal and should not be a cause for anxiety or concern. If you're growing a top-fruiting mushroom (for example Reishi or King Oyster) please follow the directions on how to prepare the bag to fruit your mushrooms. If you're growing a mushroom that fruits directly from the side of the box (for example Lion's Mane or Oyster) Please read the instructions carefully. Your block should not be removed from the box unless the box is damaged.
  • There's white or pink dust on my kitchen counter? What's going on? Is it dangerous?
    A white (or pink in the case of pink oyster mushrooms) dust under your mushroom growing kit means that your mushrooms have started to drop spores. This is not a problem, it just means that you've waited a bit too long to harvest your mushrooms. They'll still be perfectly delicious and the spores put out by a mushroom growing kit are not dangerous. Just wipe down your counter and harvest your mushrooms right away!
  • Where can I find information about my mushroom growing kit?
    If you have any questions about your mushroom growing kit, please see our online instructions at or our FAQs at
  • My kit seems to be attracting tiny flies. What can I do?
    Unfortunately fungus grant are a reality of mushroom growing. They're attracted to the mycelium you've exposed when you made a slit in or opened the grow bag. Filling a cup or jar with some apple cider vinegar and a splash of washing up liquid can help trap them and draw them away from your mycelium. Fungus gnats are more likely to be a problem in the spring and summer and are more likely to be attracted to top fruited species such as King Oyster. For top fruiting species, draping the top of your kit with fine mesh cloth can help keep them from accessing the mycelium. If it appears that fungus gnats have actually begun to infest your mycelium block, we suggest harvesting and mushrooms it has produced and using Mosquito Bits (Bacillus thuringiensis sp israelensis a naturally occurring bacterium that will kill gnat larvae. Mix 4 tablespoons into 5l of water. Let mixture sit for 30 minutes and skim off the floating granules. Soak your block in the water for 24-48 hours, making sure to use a brick or other heavy object to keep your block from floating. Drain your block well, and resume fruiting. Use your leftover liquid to water any house plants which should help prevent the issue from occurring again!
  • My Lion's Mane has unusual or coral-like growth pattern. What's going on?
    Every Lion’s Mane mushroom grows in its own unique way, so some variation in growth pattern is to be expected. However, an unusual or coral-like growth pattern may indicate too much humidity and not enough airflow. Either way, the growth pattern will not affect the taste or medicinal properties of the mushroom. A mushroom with a coral-like growth pattern is usually a sign of too much humidity and not enough airflow. To address this problem, make sure that you have positioned the humidity tent correctly. It should be draped loosely over the front of the box, with enough room for the mushroom to grow and for some air to flow through the bottom and/or sides. Your humidity tent should be draped loosely with enough room for your mushroom to grow, and some airflow through the sides and/or bottom. A telltale sign that your mushroom has been getting too much humidity is if your box has become damp or sodden. If this is the case, you’ll want to correct your tent position (if applicable) and cut back to remoistening the tent once every two weeks. If you’re having trouble controlling the amount of water you get in your tent, one or two sprays from a spray bottle is all you’ll need to create the prefect environment. While changing the way you care for your kit may not have an effect on the growth pattern of this mushroom, it will probably change the growth pattern of your next flush. A Lion's Mane mushroom with an unusual growth pattern. Note that the box appears to be quite damp. This is a sign that humidity has been too high. If your box has become so sodden that it is falling apart or developing mould, see our FAQ about what to do if your box is damaged our mouldy.
  • How should the Lion's Mane humidity tent be positioned?
    Your humidity tent should be placed loosely over the box so that there is still some air flow. It should never be so wet that your box becomes sodden or begins to mould.
  • I've misplaced my humidity tent. What should I do?
    You can use any large plastic or compostable bag as a humidity tent. Just make sure it is large enough to leave some room for airflow around the edges, and for your mushroom to grow.
  • My Lion's Mane is pink! What's going on?
    A pink tinge to your Lion's Mane mushroom is not uncommon and is usually a sign of happy and rapid growth. This is perfectly normal and will not affect the taste or medicinal properties of your Lion's Mane.
  • The tips of my Lion's Mane are turning brown, what should I do?
    If your Lion's Mane is fully grown, this is probably a sign that your Lion's mane is ready to harvest. If it is not fully grown, this can either be a sign that the mushroom needs more humidity, or, more likely that the humidity tent is not positioned properly and the bag has been touching the mushroom. Make sure the tent has plenty of room inside for your mushroom to grow.
  • How do I know when to inflate my Reishi bag and how do I do it?
    You'll want to inflate your Reishi grow bag when your block is either fully white, or if it has developed a yellowish or red crust starting to form. By this time, you'll need to give your Reishi more room to grow! You do this by unwrapping the block, cutting open the bag at the top, and taping it closed again, being sure to give the mushroom plenty of room to grow.
  • How long until my Reishi mushroom is ready to harvest?
    In nature, Reish mushrooms are a perennial bracket fungi. This means that they grow over the course of several years. They are among the slowest growing mushrooms, and often take 6 months or more before the young caps even start to emerge. Once they do, they often start off as lumps and bumps on the top of the block and sometimes clinging to the wall of the bag as they climb upwards towards more oxygen rich environments. Try not to disturb them by moving the bag as they can be easily damaged during this stage and may need to start over again. Over the course of the first year you should expect to have a Reishi mushroom ready to harvest. If you leave it for longer it may grow bigger.
  • How can I give my Reishi more room to grow?
    We suggest that you grow your reishi inside of the grow bag because is is a simple way to this keep your mushroom in a humid environment and it will also keep spores from dropping in your house. However, there are some drawbacks: 1. Your mushroom may cling to the side of the bag, which may lead to them accidentally breaking off if they're disturbed. 2. Your mushrooms may grow through the filter patch or through the sealed top of the bag as they search for more oxygen. This is not a problem, per se, but it does mean you should move them to a location where their spore drop will not be a problem (for example outdoors in a shady spot). If you'd like to avoid either of these drawbacks you can choose to make your own growing chamber! A large plastic storage tub turned on its side will give your mushrooms more room to grow and will contain any spore drop inside. Spray the inside of the container weekly to keep up the humidity. See the image below!
  • How do I know that my Reishi mushroom is ready to harvest?
    If you are at the stage when you are considering harvesting your Reishi but are not sure if it's ready, the easiest way to tell is by looking at the rim of the bracket. The rim is typically white during times of accelerated growth, which often occurs during warmer months. Once the rim of the cap becomes orange/brown this is normally an indication that the cap is no longer rapidly growing. You can also feel the weight of the block. If the block feels very light, this is often a clear sign that the Reishi mushroom is unlikely to grow any larger.
  • There are some green spots growing on my reishi block. Is this a problem?
    In mushroom cultivation, it's always a race between the mushroom mycelium and other competing organisms. As a result, it's not uncommon to see small patches of competing organisms on your growing medium. Because reishi takes so long to grow, the presence of competing organisms can be. much more visible. As your mushrooms grow, you will likely notice small patches of competing organisms (usually green) on the surface of your block. This is because non-sterile air has entered the bag when it was inflated. It will not affect the growth, health or quality of your mushrooms and can be cleaned off after harvest. If more than 10% of your block is covered in patches of competing organisms, it's likely that you may see some reduction in yield of mushrooms. If this is the case, please send photos via Email or WhatsApp and we'll help you assess the situation.
  • Some of my Reishi Brackets or stag horns have turned completely red. Should I harvest them separately?
    It's best to wait until ALL of the tips of your reishi brackets or stag horns have turned completely (and quite dark) red until you harvest. It can be hard to wait, but you want to give your reishi the chance to grow to its full size before harvest.
  • My Reishi Mushroom has gotten large. I really want to see what's going on! Can I open the bag?
    While we generally suggest that you grow your reishi mushroom inside of the bag to keep the humidity up, if you're just itching to know what's going on inside, you can cut open the top of the bag once your mushroom has reached between 10-20mm. Add 1/2 inch of water into the bottom of the bag to keep the humidity up. Without added moisture your mushroom will dry out and stop growing prematurely. If you'd like to cut the plastic bag away completely, see our FAQ on how to give your reishi more room to grow.
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