When is the right time to harvest my mushrooms?

November 3, 2021

You’ve been watching your mushrooms grow rapidly for the last few days and start to wonder, when should I actually harvest them?

You’re tempted to leave them to see if they keep growing – after all, it is possible to grow really massive mushrooms with our Kitchen Gardens – but you want to eat them at their prime. And you and the kids have got a bit attached to having them in your kitchen so want them to stick around!

It’s not as simple as saying ‘harvest on Day 14 – sometimes the mushrooms are ready to harvest in 10 days, other times it can take more than 15. The instructions on the pack say “They’re ready to harvest when the caps start to turn up” but what does that mean?

Here are a few examples of various Kitchen Gardens – all at their prime: you’ll see the mushrooms are of different sizes, but on all of them, the mushroom cap shape is perfect.

Perfect example of harvest mushrooms
Small but perfectly formed – these mushrooms are ready to harvest – see how the cap is still slightly down-turned.

More text book oyster mushrooms from satisfied customers – ready to harvest!

These two kits are more unusually shaped – kit on left won’t get bigger than this so harvest small but tender, rather than leaving it. Mushrooms on right is pretty spectacular!

Top tips for the perfect harvest

Make sure you water the mushrooms frequently when they’re growing out of the box, especially if it’s hot in your house – you don’t want them to dry out.
If you’re going away for the weekend, and are not sure if you should harvest the mushrooms, we recommend you do! Otherwise they’ll be passed their best when you get back.
If they’re dropping white ‘dust’ onto the surface below, harvest them – it means they’re dropping spores
Keep them fresh in the fridge – they’ll last for a few days without losing quality. Give them a final spray after harvesting, and store in paper bag.
Finally, if they do dry out, all is not lost. Use them in a risotto where the water will rehydrate them and their flavour will infuse the rest of the meal
If you leave the mushrooms for slightly too long them may go past their best – these two should have been harvested a day earlier.

Kitchen Gardens that should have been harvested the day before
Kitchen Gardens that should have been harvested the day before

Have a look at some other customer photos and see how your mushrooms compare.

Let us know how you get on, happy growing – and eating!

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