How Do I Start Growing Mushrooms at Home? (Answered)

Mushrooms grow from microscopic spores, and they can thrive on different types of substrates such as compost, wood sawdust, straw and mulch. Store-bought spray-and-grow kits make the hobby a quick and easy one to pick up.

All you need to start growing mushrooms is the right substrate material, spawn (mushroom mycelium) and a cool, dark place. From there, it’s just a matter of patience.

Choose Your Mushrooms

Many people are interested in growing mushrooms because they have a wide variety of nutritional and medicinal benefits. They boost the immune system, aid digestion and help fight infections. Mushrooms also have antioxidant properties that protect the brain and reduce inflammation. Although there are many different types of mushrooms, shiitake, oyster and portobellos are considered the easiest for beginners to grow at home.

The first step is determining the type of mushroom you want to cultivate. Then, you need to get the supplies necessary for your desired species. Depending on the mushroom you’re growing, these supplies could include bags, logs, regular garden beds or even jars.

Most people choose to grow their mushrooms in bags because it’s a simple process and the results are quick. However, the best results are usually achieved by using logs. Then, you need to obtain the spores and/or substrate.

Spores are available from mushroom cultivation suppliers and are typically sold in powder or liquid form. You will also need a wooden dowel impregnated with the mushroom mycelium (mushroom spawn) to be inserted into the hardwood log that’s used for spawning. It’s best to cut the logs in the fall and early spring when they are dormant.

While it is possible to grow mushrooms outdoors, the climate-controlled environment of a garage or basement is often better for this purpose. It’s also easier to monitor and maintain the temperatures and humidity that mushrooms need. Once the mushroom spawn has colonized the substrate, it will need to be placed in an area with consistent temperature and humidity, which is often more difficult to achieve outdoors. The next step is to watch for the fruiting of the mushrooms, which occurs in three to four weeks.

For those seeking a convenient and reliable solution to embark on their mushroom-growing journey, consider utilizing Gro Magik Mushroom kits. These kits streamline the process by providing all the necessary components, from spores to substrate, ensuring a successful cultivation experience. With Gro Magik Mushroom kits, beginners can confidently dive into the fascinating world of mushroom cultivation, backed by expert guidance and premium quality supplies.


Mushrooms need a substrate—similar to soil for plants—to grow. This is where the mushrooms get all of their nutrients as they produce. The specific mushroom substrate depends on the type of mushroom you are growing, but there are many common recipes. For example, straw and hardwood sawdust are often used as mushroom substrates, but different mushrooms require a mix of substrates. Other options include a mix of coco coir and vermiculite, or a more natural compost such as manure or spent coffee grounds. Mushroom growers can even make their own homemade mushroom substrates by mixing a variety of organic materials.

Ideally, the substrate should contain a blend of all the essential elements for optimum growth. Typically, the substrate will need to be organic—as opposed to chemically-treated—and will also need to have a small amount of minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sulfur and phosphorus.

The best mushroom substrates are also sterile or pasteurized, which helps ensure that the mycelium is not competing with contaminants such as bacteria and other fungi that can interfere with the mushroom growth. These contaminants tend to grow faster than the mushroom mycelium, and compete for space and resources, so they must be eliminated before the inoculated substrate is introduced to the spores.

A popular method for growing mushrooms on logs is to use wooden dowels that are impregnated with mushroom spawn and then inserted into the log. It is important that the dowels are cut from a tree during the dormant season and then stored in a cool, dark place until they are ready to be inoculated with the spawn. In this case, it is usually good to select a substrate that corresponds with the species of wood from which the dowels are being cut.


Mushrooms require very specific temperature conditions to grow well, and even small changes can make a big difference in their growth rate. The temperature of the growing medium varies by species, but most prefer a range of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to keep the temperature of the substrate consistent, especially as it colonizes and begins to fruit.

Mushroom growing is a great way to bring nature into your home, and it’s not too hard once you get the hang of it. Many people grow mushrooms in their garages, sheds or old containers, and some species even thrive on logs or hay bales.

Once you’ve selected your mushroom species and prepared the preferred substrate, it’s time to inoculate the growing medium. Most beginners use a sterilized compost mix, but you can also inoculate wood logs and hay bales with mushroom spawn. Inoculation methods vary by species, but most incubate the spawn for three weeks or until the spores begin to root (known as pinning).

To sterilize the growing medium, soak it in water that has been boiled for one to two hours. This will kill any contaminants living in or dormant on the surface of the substrate, and it will also increase the pH of the water to a level that is more compatible with fungi.

Alternatively, you can pasteurize the substrate by heating it to temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit for 1.5 to two hours. This won’t kill all contaminants, but it will reduce the population to a level that is still high enough for your chosen mushroom species to thrive. Pasteurization is less effective than sterilization, but it’s an acceptable alternative for most beginner growers.


If you want to grow mushrooms from scratch, you’ll need to prepare a growing medium. It can be made from coffee grounds, straw, sawdust, wood chips or even shredded cornstalks—anything with cellulose will do the trick. You can also buy mushroom spawn (mushroom mycelium) and inoculate it into a log to create a fruiting substrate, but this method is best left to experienced cultivators who follow strict, sterile procedures to prevent contamination.

You can either purchase a kit that has everything you need for successful colonization or inoculate your own logs from fresh, hardwood cut during the dormant season. Wooden dowels impregnated with mushroom mycelium (mushroom spawn) are inserted into the logs to create a fruiting substrate that can produce multiple crops for several years. For this reason, it’s important to find a reputable seller that offers a high-quality product and has a track record of producing reliable spawn or spores.

Once the spawn has been spread across your substrate, it needs to be misted regularly to ensure that it stays moist. “The goal is to keep it warm and humid, but not soaking wet,” says Carter. It can take up to a week before you see tiny pinheads appear on the surface of your substrate, which are called primordia. Once they’re mature, you’ll be able to harvest them. Then it’s time to start the cycle all over again. Most species of mushrooms will produce multiple waves of sporulation, and each one is known as a flush. The best part is that you can repeat the process as many times as you like until the mushrooms run out of nutrients or it becomes too hot to sustain a fruiting environment.


Mushrooms are an increasingly popular food, and growing them at home is a fun and low-cost pursuit. But mushroom growers need to be familiar with the unique nuances of the mushrooms they are cultivating. Each species has its own ideal temperature range and growing substrate, and it is important to mimic those conditions at home. That can be challenging for novice growers, but many people find success with the use of simple methods and inexpensive equipment.

The first step in mushroom cultivation is inoculating the growing medium. This typically involves placing the mushroom substrate in a warm dark place for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to allow the mycelium to fully colonize it. During this time, you must keep the substrate at temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees. A heating pad can help with this, but it is critical that the temperature never exceed 86 degrees or the mushrooms will die.

After the mycelium is established, it’s time to lower the temperature and move the substrate into fruiting conditions. This process is called “pinning.” Once the temperature drops to between 55 and 60 degrees, tiny mushrooms known as primordia will begin to appear on the surface of the substrate. At this point, the substrate should be moved to a cool, dark area such as a basement or a closet.

While most vegetables and fruits need a lot of sunlight to flourish, most mushrooms will thrive in the dark. This makes them an excellent hobby for indoor gardeners or those who do not have a large amount of outdoor space to grow their own food. You can purchase kits that include the necessary ingredients to get started with this fun pastime. These kits often contain a block of oat bran, sawdust or another growing substrate that has been inoculated with the mushroom spores. Follow the directions that come with the kit, which usually call for misting the mushroom substrate three or four times a day with spring water or rainwater (not tap water because it contains chlorine).

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