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How To Grow Mushrooms At Home

How To Grow

Mushrooms At Home

Oyster Mushrooms  

Oyster Mushrooms in coffee can

Oyster Mushrooms In A Jar

I created this page to share a new hobby of mine...GROWING MUSHROOMS!  I love mushrooms but they are so expensive at the store that I only bought them on rare occasion.  I grow my own vegetables so I thought why not grow my own mushrooms?  I looked into buying mushroom growing kits online and found out that by the time you pay for the kit plus shipping it costs way more than buying mushrooms at the store.  It is a good way to start out by trying a kit first to find out if it's something you'd like to do on your own.  I haven't come across anybody that doesn't continue to grow their own once they try it.


After lots of research I found a simple way to grow my own mushrooms from oyster mushrooms that I bought at the store.  Less than a dollar investment will keep you growing mushrooms forever.  I found the easiest way way to start them on used coffee grounds.  Now if you don't drink coffee you can go to a Starbucks shop and they will be more than happy to supply you with used grounds.  They have a special bag they give to people who ask.

I created a 3 part video series that goes over in detail of exactly how I do this.  The first video goes over buying and starting the mushrooms in coffee.  The second video goes over problems with contamination and a few things I changed in the method.  The third video shows mixing what we grew in the coffee (mycelium) with straw into a bag and takes you all the way to the final harvest.  All the videos are posted below in order.





After thoughts and tips after making the video series:

The whole process from start to finish will take 50 to 60 days.  You can cut the whole process down to 20 days if you skip the mycelium production and buy grain spawn from Ebay but it will cost you. A little grain spawn does go a long way.  In the first video I mention putting the jar with the coffee/mycelium onto a windowsill with indirect light.  It works but it's much better to put the jar into darkness.  Never the coffee dry out.  That makes it easy for contamination to start.  As I mentioned in the second video, use tyvek and not a coffee filter for the top of the jar.  The tyvek works great.  You can get a tyvek painters suit on Amazon for about $5-$6 that will work well and last a while. In the third video the mushrooms should have come out the holes that I cut in the bag but I didn't have really high humidity and should have sprayed the holes at least 3 times per day.  That's why the pins started at the top of the bag and I had to cut it open.  My humidifier isn't the best and turns off once the humidity is 85%.  The best thing you can use is an ultrasonic humidifier or a pond fogger that doesn't turn off or can be turned off with a timer.  Once your mushrooms stop producing after 2 or 3 harvests, you can add the spent straw substrate to a new batch of straw and it will spread and you'll have a new harvest in 20 days.  Can't beat that!

I created a follow up video showing more mushroom production in different containers.  I used coffee cans with holes cut in the sides.  This worked great!  I also just added straw and the mycelium in a jar and left the top off to see what would happen.  The mushrooms grew straight up and had thicker stems.  That video is posted below.  Check it out!

Please ask questions below.  I will be adding more mushroom growing photos and videos soon!





Do you think you could do this with shitake's

SleestaksRule's picture

Shiitake needs a wood substrate to grow.  I think you can start them the same way and then add the mycelium to sawdust.  I know a few people that use sawdust fuel pellets broken down in water as the substrate.  I'd like to give it a try but I haven't been able to find a store that has the fuel pellets locally. 

SleestaksRule's picture

Here are some of my biggest to date:

Grow Grey Oyster Mushrooms

awesome looking flush.

Are these clones or spore prints from your original project in the video's?

SleestaksRule's picture

These are from the spent mycelium from the original videos added to new straw and it took off.  It was from my son's science fair project.  We added them to straw in 1 bag and aspen wood chips in another bag.  The straw produced bigger mushrooms and faster.  The wood chips took longer to colonize but did produce some nice ones.  We tried to time it so that they  would be big for the fair but they were small the day of the fair.  The day after they were huge.  I'll do a photo heavy post on that when I get a few minutes.

I'm interested in trying my hand at growing Oyster mushrooms; however, am unable to find straw here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Can you suggest some other medium that would work for the substrate?


SleestaksRule's picture

Sorry I didn't respond earlier, I didn't see your post until now.  You can go to the pet store and get aspen wood shavings.  Make sure they are really packed tight.  We noticed it took an extra 4 days to produce as compared to a bag of straw started on the same day.  Same great results though.

What do you think about growing it in full coffee grounds, instead of straw.


i have a few test bags of mycelium growing on coffee grounds, seems to be growing a bit slow it's been a week at 79degrees. 

Wondered if it was possible to have a full bag of coffee grounds covered with mycelium and then have it fruit directly from the coffee?

SleestaksRule's picture

I have had jars of coffee only that produced mushrooms.  I didn't do it on purpose, I just waited too long to put into the straw.  So it does work but the straw really gives it a kick.

I started with your method and so far it´s working out good. I´m still in the process  of spawn making. At the moment it´s too hot to fruit them anyway.

In your video "Growing Mushrooms in a Coffee Can" at 0.37 I noticed little yellowish spots at the bottom of the jar. The same kind of spots appear in my spawn jars. I know it´s not a contamination, but what is it? These spots get more. Can they cause problems in the long run?

SleestaksRule's picture

It's just discolored water from the coffee/straw.  The bottom will sometimes be too wet for the mycelium to spread. I turn the jar upside down if I notice too much water and leave it that way for a day to get the top wet.  If it dries out too much the green mold will start.  So the yellow is nothing to worry about.

Thanks for your answer. I guess it´s okay. It starts to look like the right bag in this picture:

I intended to fruit them in jars. Bags or buckets look a little messy to me and seem to be out of place in my apartement. Jars look clean and with a few jars next to each other I could have a nice amount of oysters on a small surface. I thought of using coffee only. I consume 250 g per week. Does straw produce more mushrooms of are they just growing faster? A jar of coffee grounds is heavier than the same jar filled with straw. So one could expect the coffee grounds to produce a higher yield.


SleestaksRule's picture

You want it to spread as fast as possible to beat contamination.  The coffee/straw combo is excellent.  We tried coffee/aspen chips from the pet shop and compared time till mushrooms and the straw coffee won by 4 days.  I think the aspen chips were a little too big making it more difficult to spread.  I'm testing coffee/sawdust (from wood fuel pellets that you get at a hardware, cheap too and less messy) and will update soon.  I should have a new video later this week.  Someone stole my tripod and need a new one :(

Thanks again. I live in the Netherlands, so I cannot find any Aspen Chips here. I could use some barbecue wood/pellets. But the package doesn´t say what kind of wood is used. Straw however is no problem. I can find it in the supermarket and it´s already small sized. (1 kg=89 Cents)

I believe you that coffee/straw works great. But I´m actually not a mushroom grower and am looking at this from another angle. I thought it would be nice to reuse my coffee waste and, on top of it, get some free mushrooms. Pasteurizing straw therefore is not on my wish list. But I bought a bag this morning and will try to use small amounts without pasteurization. Just pouring some boiling water over it, let it cool off and use it immediately. Small amounts that are colonized within a week.

But whatever, I´m looking forward to your new video. All new information is welcome.


LOVE your blog,
because of you I wanted to try out growing mushrooms for my family,

but have you tried out Portobello Mushrooms?
will they grow with the same setup? 

and when in the incubution process do you need all those T5 bulbs?
can we use LED bulbs? hmmmmmm.... or natural sunlight?

Nice to know!


SleestaksRule's picture

They need manure.  3-4 weeks old in the sun.  It's not the same and is difficult.

Mhohmann's picture

You mentioned that your better off starting the jars in the dark. Why didn't you do that as you stated you put them on the window sill with indirect light. You mention, I believe, you don't want the coffee grounds to dry out is that right? Did you use those coffee grounds right after you just brewed the coffee. If my memory serves me right I thought you mentioned as you were squeezing the excess liquid from the filter that you want the grounds to be warm or does that matter? Also the tyvek paper. That stuff is expensive any way to get that on the cheap or are there any other alternatives.


SleestaksRule's picture

I had it wrong with starting in light.  Light is for when they are pinning and not for mycelium.  I'd add the coffee while slightly still warm.  Foreign mold spores are more likely the longer it sits so I'd put it in as fast as I could.  As for tyvek I have lots of it from an old printing order that we didn't use it all on but you can use a tyvek painters suite.  They are about $4 on Amazon.

Starbucks will give you a huge bag of grounds if you ask.  Then just put it in 160 degree water for 90 minutes or so and your good to go.

If the grounds start to dry on top I just flip the jar upside down for a day and moisture will go to the bottom.

SleestaksRule's picture

Michael - The site erase this comment but I got it in email and reposted....


I found the tyvek suit a little more than $4 but reasonable. I guess you can
get quite a few cuts off it. Also, when you boiled the straw was there ever a
time during that you had to empty the water to make room for the new hot
water or did that 5 gal bucket hold all the pours you did? Also after
watching many other videos and reading lots of articles I wonder how much
stuff one really needs to be successful at this. I mean some people are using
laminar hood flow benches which are incredibly expensive and other pieces of
equipment. Yours however was pretty inexpensive yet you still
produced results. I am wanting to take this to a commercial level though and
create a business selling to local chefs and farmers markets. Your experiment
in the 3 part video seemed to not produce that much other than a meal for the
evening which is fine as your goal was to show how it could be done via your
method. My question is what would I need to do or what would be the best and
right way to do it if I wanted to produce hundreds of pounds of different
spawns and be able to be consistent in being able to have a revolving stock
to be profitable. Money is not an issue but I also want to be cost effective
as well. Thanks in advance for addressing this comment.

SleestaksRule's picture

The water in the bucket stays really hot a long time.  I add just one more small pot and it went the full time needed.  That bucket on top holds the heat in.  If you've watch the videos by mushfarmer, he used a 55 gallon drum with an electric water heater element to do massive amounts of straw.  He grows like you say you want to do. 

I made the video starting from just a few mushrooms but you can buy the spawn ready to go.  I know somebody who sells 1lb. bags of grain spawn and it's high quality.  I think it's about $14 shipping included.  I suggest going that route to give it a try.  You'll have mushrooms in 20 days after mixing the spawn with straw.  That 1 lb bag of spawn will give you many pounds of mushrooms and you can keep it going by adding the spent spawn into new straw.

Here's the guy on ebay:

Also there is a mushroom growing group on Facebook where lots of home growers share photos and help.  It's invite only but I can email you an invitation.  My buddy (Sumi) who started growing after watching my videos is heavy into that group and I swear he's a mushroom addict now growing many varieties and harvesting many pounds per week.  I have your email so let me know.



Mhohmann's picture

Thanks for the link to ebay. Yes I would like to be invited via the facebook group. The more resources the better. What do you need from me?




SleestaksRule's picture

I sent an invite to your cox email.  I think it still needs admin approval but that should be fast.  The fella who runs the group teaches people to grow mushrooms and is very nice.

Mhohmann's picture

It got approved quick. Excellent resource...


SleestaksRule's picture

Here's another great resource:

Many people in that forum who grow mushrooms full time.  The site is pretty old and has more than 15 years of posts.

Thank you for this step-by-step guide.
I've started to follow it and the beginning is promising so far.
Now I'm planning to go to substrate. I will use aspen wood chips. I have some questions:
- The process for preparing wood chips is the same as for straw?
- Will it work if don't add coffee to chips?
- I would like to try my first experiment with coffee cans. I have different sizes. Will chips stay inside and not fall out of the holes?
- What is the proportion of mycelium per substrate should I use?
- When is it necessary to keep humidity and add light?

Thank you in advance for your help.

SleestaksRule's picture

Just prepare the wood chips the same way.  You don't need coffee but it does help them come out better.  If you're using the same size coffee can, I'd say half a jar like the one pictured above will do 1 can.  Just layer it as you add the spawn to the can and pack it.  It may come out the holes a little bit but hardly much at all.  You can just mist the holes with water to keep them moist and then when they start to pop out keep them humid.  They'll start coming out in about 2 weeks depending on what variety your growing.  Grey oysters are fast.  Give them light at that point.

Thank you.

I mixed chips with coffee and kept it in the oven in about 180F for 1h 15m. To avoid chips falling out of the can I put a plastic bag in the can.

Now I need to wait for the first appearances of the mushrooms, right? Under what conditions should I keep the can (light, temperature, humidity, air)? 

What other mushrooms could be grown the same way?

Could you recommend any good book with guidlines for growing edible mushrooms indoor?

Again, thank you very much for your comments!


SleestaksRule's picture

It'll be about 14-20 days before the mushrooms start to show up out of the sides.  Just keep the holes misted and everything humid with temps below 70.  The only other mushrooms I've grown besides oysters are shiitake but that was from a kit supplied to me.

I can't recommend a book but there is a video series that covers all different mushrooms that is pretty good.  It's called Let's Grow Mushrooms!

You can probably find all the episodes on YouTube instead of purchasing.

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