What material should I use to make a mushroom bed?
Making a mushroom bed is a great way to enjoy the benefits of growing your own mushrooms. Growing mushrooms in beds also allows you to take advantage of space you may already be using for a garden by companion planting your crops with fungi! Like with all mushrooms, make sure to find a place where the mushrooms will be shaded and protected from the wind. We like to recommend 4 different mediums for the base of your bed.
Wine Cap mushrooms thrive in wood chip beds. Hardwood chips (especially the soft hardwoods) work the best. We recommend avoiding pine, conifer, or other softwood unless they are very aged or only represent a small portion of the total Wine Cap bed. Construct beds easily by layering spawn between wood chips in a shady area directly on the ground. Specific tree species will create suitable wood chips for oysters, though oysters perform better on logs. If you opt for trying to make an oyster mushroom bed with wood chips we suggest using either Summer White Oyster or Grey Dove Oyster.
Straw is a wonderful substrate to grow Wine Cap mushrooms on. To plant, soak straw 2-3 days in water, drain, and layer with spawn in a shady area directly on the ground. Heavily mulch over top to slow moisture loss. Straw can also be used a substrate for oyster mushroom beds, but production of oysters on straw is much higher yielding in containerized units. If you do choose to make an oyster bed we recommend using PoHu Oyster, Grey Dove Oyster, or Pink Oyster.
There are several varieties of mushrooms that grow on fully finished compost. The Almond Agaricus is a heat loving Portobello mushroom variety that grows quickly and can fruit as soon as one month after planting. Compost can also be incorporated along with other organic material to create Wood Blewit bed. See "Organic Material" below for more information on growing these two mushroom varieties.
Wood Blewit grows well in beds constructed in a shady area outdoors. These mushrooms prefer a bed built with a mixture of organic materials - some fresh, partially or even fully composted. We recommend a mix of compost, bark, leaves, and/or grass clippings.
When should I plant a mushroom bed?
Refer to our PLANTING AND HARVESTING tab to learn more about the best planting times and when you can roughly expect your first harvest!
Wine Cap mushrooms growing on wood chips.
Wine Cap growing on straw.
Almond Agaricus growing on finished compost.
Wood Blewit growing on leaves.