Yesterday Frank and I finally took the plunge and bought a box of mushrooms to grow at home. We’ve been toying with the idea for literally years but we weren’t sure what kind to get and quite honestly the payback seemed questionable (this kit cost $20 – you can buy a lot of mushrooms for $20).

In the end we just went ahead and bought the only kind Bunnings sells. They’re your generic button mushrooms. Scads of companies sell mushroom kits online in a myriad of varieties (Swiss Brown, Shitake, Oyster…) and if this experiment works, we’ll be giving them a go.

We LOVE mushrooms so figure it’s impossible to make a wrong decision here.

This box is now sitting in our spare room. It’s been there about 12 hours and I can smell it when I go in the room (various people have posted there is no smell because of the peat covering – maybe I’m smelling the peat?). It’s not a problem but if it becomes one, the box goes under the house. It should be kept at something like 17-20 degrees and out of direct sunlight. Under the house is a bit cooler (actually, so is the spare room) but we’ll see.

The box should start producing in 1 month for about 3 months after which we’ll put the dirt in our garden somewhere and hope some of the spores at the bottom of the box get their chance to produce.

Another experiment has begun. I’ll update progress here.

Update 16 July: Total, unmitigated failure. Not a single mushroom. Nothing more than a damp smell. The box went back to the shop today where were asked for and received a full refund. We are now debating whether to try to order a different (more interesting) variety online or to give up. We’re leaning towards giving up. The cost-benefit ratio ain’t great and it’s not nearly as fun to watch fungus grow as veggies.


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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