Oyster Mushrooms - Growing on Aspen Shavings

Grey oyster mushrooms growing out of holes in a green plastic bucket
Two green plastic five gallon buckets, one bag of oysters mushroom grain spawn, and a bag of aspen shavings
Two green five gallon buckets one with grey oysters growing and another with pink oysters growing

Growing oyster mushrooms on aspen shavings in a bucket is a great way to kickstart your mushroom growing hobby. Aspen shavings, or small pet bedding, is an easily accessible resource that can be found in most local pet or hardware stores. Other than that, all you need is a bucket with a lid and spawn.


1. Drill holes into a 5-gallon bucket or other container with a 5/16ths inch drill bit in a diamond shape pattern around the entire bucket, keeping holes approximately 8 inches apart. You can use larger holes as well, but we would suggest going no larger than a 7/16ths inch hole.

2. In a pot, begin heating 5-6 gallons of water to boiling point (212°F)

3. While water is boiling measure out aspen shavings into a 5-gallon bucket. Aspen shavings should not increase in volume over the process so measure out the volume equal to your container. A 5-gallon bucket will fit approximately 1600 cubic inches.

4. Remove water from heat and carefully pour shavings into the heated water. Use a kitchen spoon to push shavings into the water until fully submerged. Place lid over pot.

5. Soak the aspen shavings in the water overnight or until completely cooled.

6. Once cooled, drain the excess liquid and prepare to inoculate.

7. Layer 2 inches of drained aspen shavings in the bucket. Sprinkle approximately ½ c of grain spawn onto aspen shavings. Continue to layer 2 inches of shavings and spawn alternately until you reach the top of your bucket.

8. Lid your bucket.


Temperature Range:
Time to fruiting:
11-21 days after inoculation.
Recommended Strains:
Materials Needed:
5-6 gallons of boiling water
2 lb of Oyster mushroom grain spawn
1600 cubic inches aspen shavings
1 5-gallon bucket with lid
Large pot with lid to boil water


Place filled container into undisturbed incubation. Ideally, the room used for this should be somewhere between 75-77°F with approximately 50% humidity or greater. To achieve humidity in dry environments, loosely tent the container with a plastic bag. The container should stay in incubation until pinning occurs, usually within 11-21 days. You will see pinhead formation clustered at the holes.


Once pinning is visible, the container is ready to move into a fruiting room. This room should be cooler in temperature, 60-70°F is optimal, with humidity around 80%. Remove the plastic bag at this time if you were using it. A secondary flush will begin to pin one to two weeks after the first fruiting has been harvested. This bucket will produce multiple flushes with the duration between flushes becoming longer.