Growing Mushroom Project

I place it here because the Mushroom is the Fruiting Body of the fungus.

I have been off and on trying to grow gourmet mushrooms with little success. mostly due to my follow though. This time I am going to document as I go here for everyone to follow along.

The mushroom is the fruiting body. The fungus mostly lives out its life as a mass of often white filament root looking mass called mycelium. If you ever dumped out a bag of wood chips and seen white fuzz that’s a mushroom not mold. Before mycelium comes spores. Spores are more analogous to egg and sperm then they are to seeds. I am skipping that set buy using mycelium in a liquid culture ready to grow.

Step 1. Wild Bird Seed. Fungus grows on lots of medium. But quite often a nutritionally dense food source is used to expand 1ml of Liquid Culture to 2lb of Starter

Wild Bird Seed from PetSmart

I pressure cooked about 4 quarts of seed by volume with 10 quarts of water. I got a little scorched at the bottom but the seed looked good will try 12 quarts of water next time. I will admit I broke a rule by not removing the sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are often removed because there hollow can protect unwanted spores from water so they do not germinate. A spore that does not germinate can not be killed by boiling. I am not too worried about this because I did not boil my seed I pressure cooked it @ 15PSI in a pressure canner, PSA regular pressure cookers only get to 11psi

Step 2. Bag the seed.

I transfer the seed into mushroom spawn bags. They are about .50c each on ebay Spawn Bag These bags where unnessisarilty big for this project but they can be reused if handled properly.

I used my food saver vacuum sealer to stich it close. the food saver seals the bags a little to long so I hit cancle at 10 seconds. The patch on the bag allow co2 to escape air to enter and prevents outside spores from getting into bag.

Step 3. sterilize
If I did everything correctly in a relatively clean environment my medium should be sterile already. But I don’t trust that. Any spores hiding in any sunflower seeds will have had moisture penetration and time to germinate. The bags are autoclave safe and 12 hours later they go back into the pressure cooker for second treatment @ 15psi.

Step 4. Inoculation.

I got my cultures on Ebay this time but there several popular web vendors. Fungi Perfecti, Everything Mushrooms, Out-Grow

I bought
Stropharia rugosoannulata (Wine Cap)
Morchella rufobrunnea (blushing Morel)
Morchella Importuna (Black Morel)
Pleurotus citrinopileatus (golden oyster)
Pleurotus pulmonarius (Phoenix Oyster)

Step 5. Spawn.

After the bags cool and the Liquid Culture LC warms up to room tempature I will inject 1-2cc depending on my ability to control the pressure and wait for the culture to colonize the bag.

Step 6. Home outside.

My goal for this spawn run it to establish a colony in my flower beds and under the apple and pear trees. The previous home owners had colored mulch over top weed fabric I removed the fabric and saved the mulch. I intend to add untreated uncolored hardwood chips and bury the spawn in it.

The Wine Caps should take to this easily. The morels are less reliable outdoor trans plants however I will try and try again.


What species of spore will you inoculate with? I love mushrooms.

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I clicked post before I was finished. I’m still typing.

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Ive finally got oysters down. Here are some pics I took recently.


That is an awesome straw spawn. We recycle so much cardboard every two weeks its painful knowing what I could be growing.

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Its in the post now. Wine Caps are my primary focus this round.


i have wine caps growing under all my trees and bushes. started with 1 bag of spawn from mushroom mountain. inoculated into a 4’ by 4’ bed of fresh hardwood sawdust. when fully colonized i put spawn under all my trees and bushes which are also mulched with coarse hardwood sawdust. I’m on the third year of them coming up everywhere as i top dress every spring with fresh sawdust so I’m keeping the mycelium going. I’ve gotten so many i don’t bother picking them anymore. gave a lot away to neighbors and friends. found one under my raspberries last summer was 14in. across and stem was 4in.! very easy to grow.


last fall i threw some spawn in a pile of paper towel and toilet paper rolls.topped with straw and watered well. just started to get mushrooms out of it last week! wine caps and oysters love cardboard!

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Wow, just wow. I think I will add some sawdust to my plans.

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they prefer hardwood sawdust or chips but will grow on softwood as well. no cedar though. make sure the spawn has soil contact or it won’t grow.

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I have tried the dowels…didn’t work so great.

Anyone here try growing Reishi?

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I identified a couple of wild Reishi, But I never collected any or grew them. One was outside my mothers church so I am hoping for a reemergence.

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I grow a couple strains of shiitake on oak logs. Easy. Had less luck with Pioppino and Lion’s Mane. I’ve been meaning to try winecaps on straw or woodchip mulch.


tried shiitake and oysters on logs and totems. only the oysters took. i don’t know why. our winters are pretty cold. maybe to cold for the shiitake mycelium to survive. wine caps grow like crazy here. I’ve given up picking them as i still have 40lbs. dried from last year! they love the mulch around my trees and bushes.


another way to make bulk wine cap spawn, take the spawn you buy and mix into wet wood chips in a large cardboard box place box directly on the ground in a shaded windless spot . cover with a burlap sack or shade cloth. water when you water the garden. by mid summer, when the sawdust is all white with mycelium crumble it into your raised beds of fresh sawdust or in your mulch around the trees. 4- 6mo. latter you will have more shrooms than you know what to do with! a ring of DE will keep the slugs out of you shrooms. to keep them going just top dress with more chips/ sawdust. once your beds are exhausted, which happens in 3 -4 seasons , remove the compost out of the beds and start fresh spawn in new sawdust or do the box thing and spread from there. the compost is great in the garden! also blewit spawn works great to help break down your compost piles and gives you shrooms to boot!


4 days later, the white mycelium is starting to spread. Each fungus is different, in the case of Wine caps it likes its mycelium broken up occasionally, which I did after taking this picture.

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Hardwood pellets for heating or grilling work well also. Pellet process makes them sterile which helps.

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before i got my hardwood sawdust source i used to use pellets. they work very well!

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Do you cook these mushrooms or eat them raw?

I’m boring in that most the time i eat button type mushrooms.

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i always cook my mushrooms.

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