White Button Mushroom Update

I would love to report that the white button mushrooms were growing thick and fast, but I can’t.

They simply didn’t grow after the whiskers appeared.

I am going to report this experiment as a failure.  It has been seven weeks since I prepared the Marvellous Mushroom kit from Mr Fothergills seeds.  Something should have happened by now.  The instructions suggest that growth will start at around the 21 day mark.

White Button Mushroom update


As you can see, the mushroom box is bare.  Not a single button, and all the whiskers of mycelium have vanished from the surface.

I am not sure what I did wrong, as I followed the instructions to the letter.  You can read how I prepared the kit in this post titled Growing Mushrooms – Preparation.

I had a dig around and found that the upper layer was moist, however the lower layer that the inoculated grains were mixed into was only just moist.  This may have had something to do with it, but then again I am only clutching at straws here.  I really don’t know what went wrong.

So instead of composting the lot, I am going to buy a couple of large field mushrooms from the green grocer that are getting a little bit old, and lay them gill side down on top of the dirt.  I am hoping that this will allow enough spores to grow and maybe we will get some mushrooms.  If anything happens, I will provide an update.

I am a little disappointed but not to worry.  At least I know that this is not an easy way to grow mushrooms.

So much for a white button mushroom update.  I would have loved to be frying up some of these beauties for breakfast by now, or cooking up a mushroom risotto for dinner.  Alas, it was not to be.

If any of you or anyone you know has had success with this product I would love to hear from you via comment.  It would help our little community learn a bit more about mushrooms.

Now I will begin to attempt to grow the shiitake mushrooms, as I still have that kit ready to go.  I will document this experiment as well to share with you all.

Better luck with this kit I hope!


  1. says

    There’s not mush room for my bad jokes here Gav. 😉 I know nothing abourt growing mushies but I have read somewhere (probably Milkwood) that some mushies need a shock to get them fruiting. If it was a solid box I’d say give it a good old kick and see if that wakes them up perhaps. Bugger it didn’t work though. I know there’s a mushie farm out at Parwan (south of Bacchus Marsh) I’m keen to visit sometime for some spent mushroom compost if they have it available. :)

    • Gavin Webber says

      Hi Jessie, can you send me the address via email? Keen to grow some come hell or high water.

  2. Lynda says

    Sorry Gav, no advice, i failed with mushy kits as well. Building up my beds with mushroom compost next weekend but its never given me mushys before.

  3. says

    Inspired by your post I started a box with the same spores, for once reading the directions (and following them!). They get thoroughly watered daily with a fine sprinkler, but no muchies for me either. When I started it was started to cool down to perfect temperatures. Only to go back to a summery 27 degrees the weeks after that, they don’t get sun and wouldn’t gotten that warm under the deck, but I thought my fault lay there. I’ve grown them before from a box kit in much rougher circumstances and had beautiful mushrooms with that. Might be the spores…

    • Gavin Webber says

      Sorry to hear that it didn’t work for you either Marijke. I will be sending an email to Mr Fothergills is in order to let them know of our collective mishap.

  4. pam says

    I am with the others. We have had no luck in the mushroom growing and had had to accept that they are one of the few things that we have to buy

    • Alex says

      I bought a kit and followed the instructions to no avail. After a month I got frustrated and gave it heaps of water and put in a dark, cold area under the house. Now I have 2 mushies!

      • Gavin Webber says

        Thanks Alex. I did exactly that as well. I gave the medium a good soaking and covered it back up. Maybe something will happen eventually.


  5. Paul Andrew says

    it’s sad to hear the same fate with your mushies, seems to be the norm with these kits! we’ve tried them and followed the directions but no mushrooms either :(
    interested to see how your query goes with mr fothergills and if you can rectify the non-result!

  6. Mary says

    Hi Gavin, I haven’t used Mr Fothergills, but my Mum used to use the mushroom kits available in the 1990’s – always kept them in a corner of the bathroom and I can’t remember a failure. Maybe the humidity from hot showers helped?

  7. Tara says

    Hi Gavin, I was really interested to read about your attempts with Mr Fothergills mushrooms! My partner and I are mycologists and are experimenting with growing mushrooms. Knowing the complexity of the process we were very interested to see Mr Fothergills for sale and we bought a few varieties out of interest. I think I may know why they seem to not produce mycelium or fruit. I tried to take a culture from the spawn that was provided in the golden oyster and pink oysters and found that they were contaminated with what seemed to be Rhizopus mold. This is a very fast growing variety of mold so I attempted to inhibit its growth to see if that allowed the oyster culture to get going (oyster mushrooms are also fast growers). After multiple attempts in the lab to find the oyster cultures in the spawn I have given up. In order for this mushroom growing process to work the culture on the spawn must be very abundant in order to out grow any contaminants or other molds in the soil.
    I hope you have some luck with growing mushrooms! Home grown gourmet mushrooms are delicious!

    • Gavin Webber says

      Thanks Tara. That certainly explains a lot. I do still have a packet of Shitaki spores that I am yet to use, so might still give it a go by using the instructions they gave me. If that doesn’t work, I will send a letter to Mr F and let them know that their product is not as expected, and see what they do about it.

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