The magic of growing your own mushrooms – Win a mushroom grow kit

by Mars
Mushroom Grow Kits

We love mushrooms. In fact, mushrooms feature in some way or another in our dinners 4-5 per week because they’re so versatile, healthy and delicious, and we enjoy them all from chestnuts mushroom to oysters and from shiitakes to enokis or shimejis.

Not only do mushrooms add flavour and texture to meals, they’re low in calories, sodium concentration and glucose, and have significantly high levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. They are a tiny health bomb.

Regular followers will know that we grow our own veg and I’ve toyed with the idea of growing mushrooms for years, but haven’t taken the plunge because unlike growing tomatoes or kale, growing mushrooms requires specialist knowledge, and so I’ve put this off.

So when we were given the opportunity to evaluate a grow kit of chestnut mushrooms and shiitakes from Suttons we jumped at the opportunity because it would give us valuable first hand experience growing mushrooms without going through the complex process of making substrates.

Watch our 60-second video below to see how they turned out.

You can buy the chestnut mushroom and shiitake grow kits we used directly from Suttons or enter our giveaway below to win a chestnut mushroom grow kit.

Win a 7.5 litre chestnut mushroom windowsill kit from Suttons

Win A Chestnut Mushroom Windowsill Kit

Chestnut mushrooms

Chestnut mushrooms are undoubtedly the most versatile fungi when it comes to cooking. They work in just about every dish you’re preparing so we were really keen to grow these ourselves.

Here’s the interesting thing about chestnut or button mushrooms. When you harvest button mushrooms when they’re relatively small (and young) they look like the button mushroom we all know, but if you let them keeping growing for another 5-7 days they essentially become portobello mushrooms that initially take the shape of a dome and flatten out with age.

That’s what we did, and the results were extremely satisfying. The button shaped mushroom opened up and revealed gills on the underside that were really dark brown/black. The flavour and texture was incredible – we grew a mushroom that was dense and that had the texture of meat, and the flavour was deep, earthy and rich.

As an added point of interest, if you picked these mushrooms between their button and portobello stage, they’re essentially crimini mushrooms.

In terms of harvesting, you’re supposed to twist the mushrooms from the bed. Due to the location of where we harvested the mushrooms, we didn’t want to disrupt the next flush of mushrooms that were emerging, so we used a sharp knife to cut them at the bottom of the stems and that worked perfectly.

In terms of timelines, it took us about 20 days before we had good-sized chestnut mushrooms and 25 days for portobellos. The only downside was that we wished we had more mushrooms. Having said that, from the time we filmed the first harvest, the second flush is under way and it looks like it’ll deliver more mushrooms. After each harvest we watered the growing medium to ensure that the next wave had sufficient moisture.

Shiitake mushrooms

While we use chestnut or portobello mushrooms 90% of the time in our own cooking, shiitakes are my out and out favourite for Asian stir fries and they are a true gourmet mushroom in the kitchen.

We mentioned the health benefits of mushrooms and shiitakes are real winner in this area. There’s scientific data to suggest that they can slow down the growth of cancerous tumours and they generally improve the level of immune cells in your body.

Shiitakes have better flavour and texture than button mushrooms and they have a wonderful aroma when sautéing or cooking them. In a well balanced stir fry, they play a critical role in delivering umami.

Our shiitake caps were about 10cm wide. As they grew, the cap was domed and gradually leveled out and became flatter. The caps were dark brown and faded into a light brown colour. The gills were white.

These mushrooms started fruiting and producing very quickly, and they were terrific in terms of taste and texture. It’ll be interesting to see how many more we get in subsequent flushes.

Growing conditions

For both kits, we placed them on the far wall of our studio. Mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll so they don’t need light to grow in. They do require some light, but not direct sunlight, and the light just acts as a signal for the mushrooms to fruit, so if you’re growing these on a windowsill be aware of this.

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Iona Cornish
Iona Cornish
1 year ago

I love Chanterelles

Lynn Evans
Lynn Evans
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms

Julia Linsley
Julia Linsley
1 year ago

I love chestnut mushrooms

Michelle J
Michelle J
1 year ago

I LOVE Shiitake mushrooms. Definitely my fave but I love all varieties

Cherry Lloyd
Cherry Lloyd
1 year ago

My favourite mushrooms are brown chestnut mushrooms

Dusty Mears
Dusty Mears
1 year ago

chestnut mushroom
Thanks for the competition

Sonia Brown
1 year ago

O yes please love growing things🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄

Jackie Williams
Jackie Williams
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms, so versatile and yummy!

Louise Jelf
Louise Jelf
1 year ago

I love chestnut mushrooms the most. Yummy.

Gwyneth Hanson
Gwyneth Hanson
1 year ago

I enjoy eating brown Chestnut mushrooms but hope to try more unusual ones sometime.

simon bliss
1 year ago

My fave are chestnut mushrooms 🙂

Lisa Troccoli
Lisa Troccoli
1 year ago

Chestnut Mushrooms have a nice flavour.

Jasmine D
Jasmine D
1 year ago

I love morels. It’s a shame they’re so difficult to cultivate.

Airi
Airi
1 year ago

My favorites are also Chanterelles.

Richard Bryant
Richard Bryant
1 year ago

I like all mushrooms. But particularly fond of a stuffed portobello

Helen Thurston
Helen Thurston
1 year ago

I love Chestnut Mushrooms – tastier and so versatile

David Page
David Page
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms

Karen Harvey
Karen Harvey
1 year ago

I’m a big fan of oyster mushrooms

Daphne
1 year ago

Growing mushrooms looks fascinating. Good luck to everyone who has entered this generous giveaway.

Denise Watts
Denise Watts
1 year ago

My favourites are Portobello

Romana Richards
Romana Richards
1 year ago

I like forestiere mushrooms . My grandchildren seem to like them in dishes too.

Elaine Savage
Elaine Savage
1 year ago

I love all mushroom but button mushrooms are the best

Eileen Hindley
Eileen Hindley
1 year ago

Shiitake mushrooms

Marie Nicklin
Marie Nicklin
1 year ago

I love growing my own but never tried Mushrooms would be amazing

Kim Murray
Kim Murray
1 year ago

Haven’t tried many different types but do like Chestnut mushrooms x

Iain maciver
Iain maciver
1 year ago

chestnut mushrooms

Gillian Brown
Gillian Brown
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms

anthony caryl
anthony caryl
1 year ago

Cepes (but Chesnuts are a close second)

Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith
1 year ago

I love them all but a juicy portobello is hard to beat

cat
cat
1 year ago

Chestnuts, they are just so versatile and easy to find in the shops.

Julie T
Julie T
1 year ago

Portabello Mushrooms are my favourite

Sheena Batey
Sheena Batey
1 year ago

Portobello

Margaret Clarkson
Margaret Clarkson
1 year ago

Portobello

Claire Driver
Claire Driver
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms

fiona waterworth
fiona waterworth
1 year ago

I love the flavour of oyster mushrooms but getting them is a challenge

Michael Bull
Michael Bull
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms are my favourite variety

Paula O.
Paula O.
1 year ago

I love chestnut mushrooms for most dishes, and Shiitake for yummy veg stir fries.

DanS
DanS
1 year ago

Hen of the Woods!

Pamtay
Pamtay
Reply to  DanS
1 year ago

Exotic !

Margaret Norvell
Margaret Norvell
1 year ago

Can’t beat a good chestnut mushroom !

Emma Deeley
Emma Deeley
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms

john prendergast
john prendergast
1 year ago

chestnut mushrooms

John Tunnicliffe
John Tunnicliffe
1 year ago

We love Enoki mushrooms

Luke
1 year ago

Reishi

Mark Fridlington
Mark Fridlington
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms are my favourite because they are really tasty and easy to cook.

Deborah Gilbody
Deborah Gilbody
1 year ago

Field mushrooms

Leslie Evans
1 year ago

Chestnut Mushrooms

Pamtay
Pamtay
1 year ago

Chestnut mushrooms not only taste good they store well

Louise A
Louise A
1 year ago

We use Chestnut mushrooms a lot, especially good in home made soup

Emilia Nastaly-Howard
Emilia Nastaly-Howard
1 year ago

chestnut mushrooms

Tracey Poulter
Tracey Poulter
1 year ago

Porcini Mushrooms

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