Beginners Guide to Growing Enoki Mushrooms at Home

At the Garden Bench Top, we find cultivating growing enoki mushrooms is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a DIY home gardener.

Whether you are growing them from a pre-made kit, in your own DIY constructed grow kit, or from the left-overs from your store-bought Enoki mushrooms, the benefits are the same.

growing enoki mushrooms

You can expect to learn:

  • how to construct a DIY growing kit for Enoki mushrooms at home,
  • different methods for re-growing enoki mushrooms from left-overs,
  • trouble-shooting problems when trying to grow your own mushrooms, and
  • much more.

If you are ready to jump in, pull on your garden gloves and let’s get started.

A Few Things Before you Begin

Before we get our hands dirty in constructing the enoki grow kits, there are a few items to work out.

What is the best substrate for enoki mushrooms?

Along with your precious mushroom spawn, the bulk of your mushroom farming kits will comprise (a mix) of growing mediums.

Each type of mushroom will favor the conditions that the varying substrates offer. It is also good to know that some varieties will only grow on particular substrates, while others can adapt to many growing mediums (like oyster mushrooms).

For further information and SUBSTRATE RECIPES, check out our deep dive article into mushroom substrates.

Enoki mushrooms prefer a substrate predominantly made from hardwoods, such as oak or wood from fruiting trees (like Hackberry trees).

Both hardwood chips and/or sawdust are perfectly suitable to use in your grow kit.

best substrate for enoki mushrooms

Can I use supplements?

In addition to choosing the right batch of growth medium, you can also add supplements to your substrate, such as lime or gypsum.

The benefit of adding supplements to your mix, is that it provides mushroom spores with the necessary vitamins and minerals to grow healthy mycelium. Which will ultimately result in a healthy flush of delicious enoki mushrooms.

For those of you who are interested, we’ve done a full round up of the types of mushroom substrate supplements.

Should I use an Enoki Mushroom All-in-one Growth Kit?

If you are a regular reader at the Garden Bench Top, you will know we always encourage budding green thumbs to select the DIY route for gardening.

However, we do recognize there are some instances where a pre-made growing kit may be more suitable.

If this is your first adventure in the mushroom farming space, using a mushroom growing kit can sometimes be the best first step along your journey. Grow kits are the easiest method of cultivating mushrooms. They conveniently contain everything you need in a small package to produce a successful crop of edible mushrooms. All you require is tap water and a spray bottle to maintain the ideal moisture levels for mushrooms. Simply give the kit a spritz in the morning and night from the spray bottle.

Another circumstance where growing kits are more suitable than constructing your own, is for those gardeners that are limited in outdoor space. Enoki growing kits are perfect for people who live in apartments or small units, who still want to cultivate home-grown mushrooms.

Can I Regrow Enoki from Store-bought?

The short answer is YES.

growing enoki mushrooms from stems
reusing enoki stems

Reusing your leftover stalks from store-bought enoki mushrooms is a great alternative to achieving a second flush of enoki mushrooms.

The downside to using this method is that the chances of success are less, when compared to say a growth kit.

There are various ways to achieve this, such as planting the stems into some ready-made growing medium, or even using a glass jar with some water. You can find detailed instructions on these methods further in this article.

How to Grow Enoki Mushrooms: Step-by-step DIY Guide

This section of the article details a step-by-step guide for constructing your very own DIY enoki mushroom growing kit.

Let’s take a look at the materials you will need to gather before you begin.

Materials Required

  • enoki mushroom spawn
  • substrate or growing medium
  • sterilized glass container OR plastic container

Step Instructions

  1. Sterilize all your equipment. If there is one step that you take away from this guide as a MUST-DO, it is this one. Sterilize all the tools and containers you will use for your mushroom growing kit. This includes the glass or plastic container, any knives and even your hands. You can use some sterilizing rubbing alcohol, or submerge your tools and equipment in hot water for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare your growing medium. To prepare your growing medium, you will want to ensure there is sufficient water content to sustain the necessary moisture levels in your grow kit. If you are using hardwood sawdust or hardwood chips, we recommend soaking them overnight in hot water. This will pasteurize your substrate (get rid of any unwanted microorganisms), as well as allow the wood to absorb some water. Just remember to get rid of any excess water before adding it to your grow kit.
  3. Mix your pasteurized substrate with the enoki spores. It is now time to get your hands dirty. With sterilized hands or gloves, combine your mushroom spores into your growing medium. It is important to ensure you spread the mushroom spawn as evenly as possible through the substrate. This ensures the maximum surface area for the spawn to attach itself to the substrate.
  4. Fill your mushroom grow kit container. Carefully place the mixture into your clean container, filling it until it is approximately 1 inch from the top.
  5. Find a place to inoculate the spawn. You will now need a space to store the container for the next 2 – 3 weeks. During this phase, the spores will inoculate the substrate with white mycelium growth. For healthy mycelium growth rate, you need to find a space that has a stable temperature around 72-77 degrees Fahrenheit (22-25 degrees Celcius). It is also important to maintain an environment of high humidity level.
  6. Move the container to a cooler environment to stimulate fruiting. Once you see the growing medium overtaken by mycelium, it is time to find a cooler spot to begin the fruiting phase. The target temperature range should be around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit (10-12 degrees Celcius). You will soon observe small mushroom pins growing from the mycelium.
  7. Harvest Time. The enoki mushrooms should begin to grow quite quickly, so it is critical to keep an eye on your mushroom grow kit each day. Once they reach a suitable size, take a clean knife and cut at the stems of the enoki mushrooms. If you have set your mushrooms up correctly, you should be able to harvest several flushes of enoki mushrooms from one kit, before the substrate is spent.
growing enoki mushrooms at home

Growing Enoki Mushrooms at Home: DIY Methods

We understand not everyone has the time and space to construct a full mushroom grow kit. So here are a few other ideas for growing enoki mushrooms at home.

Cultivating Enoki Mushrooms from Stem Cuttings

We mentioned earlier that it is possible to use the stems from your store-bought enoki mushrooms to cultivate your own home grown mushrooms.

We do preface this with the caveat that it will depend on the quality and age of your enoki mushrooms. It goes without saying, the sooner you can get your stems back into some prepared substrate, the better your chances are of success.

In addition, if you purchase organic sourced enoki mushrooms (versus commercially grown), you will also find your chances of producing a successful flush of mushrooms will increase.

Growing enoki mushrooms from stems is easy, place them in some prepared substrate. Then, following the instructions in the inoculation phase (step 5 above) to find a place that will stimulate the mycelium growth rate.

Growing Enoki Mushrooms from Jars

Glass jars are a very popular method of growing enoki mushrooms at home. They make for a fun experiment for budding gardeners (and the kids), while still being small enough to not feel too daunting a project.

growing enoki from jars is easy

Unlike other mushroom varieties, enoki mushrooms are perfect for growing in jars. Their long slender shape and form allows enough space for mushrooms to grow, and do not require large amounts of surface areas (like portobello mushrooms).

Growing Enoki Mushrooms in Plastic Bottles

If you are short on space or have a passion for upcycling household waste, using water bottles to grow enoki mushrooms is a great option.

Similar to glass jars, the water bottles allow you to see the mycelium growing over your substrate. This gives you a great advantage of being able to monitor your growing kit.

Check out this informative video by FreshCap showing you the steps to growing enoki mushrooms in water bottles

Trouble Shooting for Growing Enoki Mushrooms

What if I see mold growing in my mushroom growing kit?

There is nothing more disheartening for a novice beginning their mushroom growing journey, than to see mold growing in your substrate.

Unfortunately, if you already have mold present in your grow kit, you will need to discard the entire kit and start again. The mold will compete for space and nutrients from the growth medium, eventually outgrowing your mushrooms.

Sterilizing your equipment greatly reduces the occurrence of mold and improves your chances of seeing a successful crop of mushrooms.

What’s Next?

By now you should have a good idea which method you are going to use to nurture your own enoki mushrooms at home.

Whatever method you choose, you will need a form of growing medium. We highly recommend reading our guide to mushroom substrates to work out which medium you have ready supply for your next mushroom project.