How to Grow Lion’s Mane Mushroom Growbags
Difficulty Level = Intermediate
Your Mushroom Grow Bag has been sealed with 5 lbs of sterilized spawn-inoculated substrate. Over time, the mycelium will grow, emitting CO2 in the process. When your bag arrives it may be inflated or become inflated but the filter patch on the bag allows for some gaseous exchange while preventing contamination, so it won’t over-inflate.
In ideal conditions these mushrooms can be expected to yield around 1lb of mushrooms per bag! Yum!
Be sure to follow the directions carefully!
Storing your bag
Store your bag unopened at room temperature until you are ready to fruit it. To store for more than a week, refrigeration is best. In general, the warmer it is the faster development occurs. If you bag is full of white mycelium, then it is ready to fruit. If it is mostly brown substrate, then leave the bag alone until the mycelium have grown more.
Remember: The bag contains a living organism and can die if you neglect it too long. Once the mycelium have spread throughout the bag, the fungi needs moisture, light and fresh air.
Fruiting your bag
- Make sure that you do not cut into your mushroom bag until fruit bodies start to form at the top of the bag. Once you notice the white fungi forming, proceed to the next step.
- Set the bag on a dinner plate, tray or in a shallow plastic container. Mushrooms need light and consistent humidity so keep your block somewhere you’ll see it often, like the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.
- Make one 1″ slit anywhere along the bag where thick white fungus (a fruiting body) is prominent. Be sure to not cut into the block.
- Roll down the top of the bag and tape it tightly against the top of the block (make sure to not tape over the slit you just made). The slit in the bag will allow moisture and air to enter.
- Drape the fabric over the bag and keep the fabric misted or soak it in water a couple of times a day to keep it damp. If your bag is not yet producing, water really well every other day.
- Wait for the mushrooms to grow! (This may happen quickly or it may take a few weeks) Watch out – the mushrooms may try to grow through the fabric.
- A large mushroom will grow out of the slit. To harvest, twist & pull the mushroom right where it come off the block. Do NOT cut the mushroom off with a knife (it may contaminate the block). Do not cut into the block or plastic.
- Second flush: after the first harvest, more mushrooms will eventually grow out of the same slit! If it doesn’t seem to be fruiting, sometimes a cold shock will trigger more mushrooms to form. You can stick the block outside or in the fridge for a day or two.
Follow directions below for more information about caring for your mushroom bag!
Humidity: High humidity is essential for growing healthy mushrooms. After you cut a slit in the bag, moisten the enclosed polyester woven fabric and keep it draped over your open mushroom bag at all times. Keep the fabric misted or soak it in water a couple of times a day to keep it damp. You can also increase humidity by placing the bag in an uncovered plastic tub containing a few inches of moistened peat moss, potting soil, sponges, rags, perlite, or anything else that absorbs water and then tenting the fabric over it.
Light: Light quality is important and most commonly overlooked. The best is natural light through a window which is indirect but bright. Other possible sources include florescent or LED lights – the brighter the better.
Fresh Air and Temperature: Fresh air allows for normal development of most mushrooms. By cutting the bag open you are providing the spawn with plenty of fresh air to grow. Fruiting temperatures between 50-75˚F are ideal for most species.
Harvesting & Cooking Notes: To harvest, twist and pull, trying not to damage the block in the process. DO NOT CUT INTO THE BLOCK! COOK until Golden brown!!
Once your mushroom block starts producing, it will be at its highest production during the first 2 months. Eventually though, your block will contaminate. This is normal and usually happens after the first or second flush. You might observe green or black mold, similar to what you would see on cheese or bread, growing on the surface of the block. At this point, if it is above freezing, put your block outside and it will typically fruit another time or two. If it is winter time, put the block in a black plastic garbage bag and store in your basement or garage till spring. Then soak it and put it outside to see if it fruits some more.
Of course, never consume a mushroom that you haven’t positively identified!
Photos and expert information courtesy of Asheville Fungi. Have questions, problems, or would you like more information on how to expand your bag after it is done fruiting?… Contact Chris Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org