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harvesting shiitake from indoor mushroom growing

Mushroom Growing 101

The Basics for Indoor Cultivation of Wood-Loving Mushrooms

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Selecting the Right Mushroom Species
  3. Inoculation Process
  4. Providing the Ideal Growing Conditions
  5. Managing Humidity and Ventilation
  6. Controlling Light and Temperature
  7. Harvesting Your Mushrooms
  8. Conclusion
  9. FAQs


Mushroom growing indoors can be a fascinating and rewarding endeavor. If you're interested in cultivating wood-loving mushrooms on sterilized supplemented sawdust, this guide will provide you with the basics to get started. Drawing inspiration from experts in the field of mushroom cultivation, we will explore the step-by-step process of indoor mushroom cultivation.

This article is intended for beginners so we are going to assume the cultivator in this scenario has either purchased grain spawn and pre-sterilized supplemented sawdust to inoculate or they have purchased a liquid culture with pre-sterilized grain and sawdust combo substrate with an inoculation port.

Harvesting shiitake from indoor mushroom growing

Selecting the Right Mushroom Species

Before embarking on your mushroom growing journey, it's crucial to choose the appropriate mushroom species. Consider popular wood-loving mushrooms such as Shiitake, Oyster, and Lion's Mane. Research the characteristics and growing requirements of each species to make an informed decision. It's recommended that beginners try their hand at Pearl Oyster (Pleurotus Ostreatus).

Inoculation Process - Grain Spawn

This inoculation process involves introducing mushroom spawn into the prepared substrate. Follow these steps for a successful inoculation:

  1. Sterilize your working area, containers, and tools to maintain cleanliness.
  2. Break up the spawn into smaller pieces and distribute them evenly throughout the substrate.
  3. Mix the spawn and substrate thoroughly, ensuring a homogeneous mixture.

Inoculation Process - Liquid Culture

This inoculation process involves using liquid culture to inject mycelium into a bag of mushroom substrate. Follow these steps for successful inoculation:

  1. Sterilize your working area, containers, and tools to maintain cleanliness.
  2. Thoroughly shake the liquid culture syringe to break up the mycelium into fragments and distribute it throughout the liquid.
  3. Flame sterilize the needle and insert it through the injection port on the filter patch bag (not through the filter) and push the desired amount of liquid culture into the bag.

Providing the Ideal Growing Conditions

To promote optimal mushroom growth, it's essential to provide the right environmental conditions. Consider the following factors:

  • Humidity: Wood-loving mushrooms thrive in high humidity. Maintain a relative humidity of 80% to 90% by misting or using an ultrasonic humidifier.
  • Ventilation: Proper air exchange is crucial to prevent the buildup of carbon dioxide.
  • Light: Wood-loving mushrooms prefer indirect light. Position them in a well-lit area away from direct sunlight.

Managing Humidity and Ventilation

Maintaining proper humidity and ventilation levels is vital throughout the mushroom growing process. Consider the following tips:

  • Monitor the humidity levels using a hygrometer and adjust as needed by misting or using a humidifier.
  • Ensure good air circulation to prevent the development of stagnant air. Use fans or create ventilation holes to facilitate fresh air exchange.

several species from indoor mushroom growing

Controlling Light and Temperature

Light and temperature play a significant role in the growth and development of wood-loving mushrooms. Here are some recommendations:

  • Light: While wood-loving mushrooms can tolerate low light conditions, providing indirect light from fluorescent or LED sources can enhance fruiting. Aim for a light intensity of around 500 to 1,000 lux.
  • Temperature: Different mushroom species have specific temperature preferences. Maintain a stable temperature within the recommended range for your chosen mushrooms. This information can be found in reputable sources dedicated to mushroom cultivation.

Harvesting Your Mushrooms

Harvesting your wood-loving mushrooms is a rewarding experience. Follow these general guidelines:

  1. Monitor the mushrooms closely for signs of maturity. Look for fully developed caps and firm, unopened veils.
  2. To harvest, gently twist or cut the mushrooms at the base using a clean, sharp knife.
  3. Harvest mushrooms before the caps start to flatten or the gills begin to darken.
  4. After harvesting, promptly refrigerate or consume the mushrooms for the best quality and flavor.


Embarking on the journey of indoor cultivation of wood-loving mushrooms can be both exciting and fulfilling. By following the guidance of experts in the field, you can lay a solid foundation for success. Remember to select the right mushroom species, prepare the substrate properly, provide optimal growing conditions, and stay vigilant against pests and diseases. With patience, care, and the knowledge shared by experienced cultivators, you'll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest of delicious, homegrown mushrooms.


Q1: Can I use regular garden soil for growing wood-loving mushrooms? No, regular garden soil is not suitable for growing wood-loving mushrooms. It lacks the necessary nutrients and may contain harmful contaminants. It's best to use sterilized supplemented sawdust or wood chips as the substrate.

Q2: How long does it take for wood-loving mushrooms to grow? The time it takes for wood-loving mushrooms to grow varies depending on the species and growing conditions. It can range from a few weeks to a couple of months. Refer to reliable sources for specific information on the growth timeline of different mushroom species.

Q3: What are some common pests and diseases that can affect wood-loving mushrooms? Wood-loving mushrooms can be susceptible to pests such as mites, flies, and slugs. They can also be affected by diseases like bacterial blotch and green mold. Implement proper sanitation practices and consult reliable sources for guidance on identifying and managing common pests and diseases in mushroom cultivation.

Q4: Where can I find more information on advanced techniques in mushroom cultivation? There are reputable sources, books, and online communities dedicated to mushroom cultivation that provide detailed information on advanced techniques. Explore these resources to further expand your knowledge and expertise in mushroom cultivation.

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