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How to Grow Mushrooms

You can grow delicious organic mushrooms in coffee grounds and it doesn't take a lot of effort. You just need a few things including a lot of coffee grounds. In this tutorial I will show you several different ways to grow gourmet mushrooms.

A lot of different types can be grown and I will use Pearl Oyster mushrooms. They are easy to grow, delicious and great for beginners.

I have also made a video of this project and will be posting it to this page once my mushrooms start growing!


The Process for growing mushrooms is pretty easy. But it does vary depending on the type of mushroom you are growing. With this tutorial I will show you a typical and easy way to grow Pearl Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus).

You Will need:

  • Some kind of bucket or container - Typically a 5 gallon plastic pail is used. In this tutorial I use a 2 gallon plastic pail.
  • Lots of coffee grounds - about half a bucket full - whatever the size of your bucket
  • Mushroom Spore
  • Some plastic wrap (optional but good)
  • Spray bottle to mist your mushrooms daily

The picture below shows my materials. The five gallon bucket is what is typically used. I will use the smaller two gallon pails. The white bag on the left is the mushroom spawn/sawdust mix I bought. And the two containers in the front are the coffee grounds. Took me a while to collect them up! I also went to the local store that sells hot coffee and got grounds from them daily.

Project materials


Coffee in the Freezer

If it is going to take a while to collect up your coffee grounds you can store them in the freezer so they won't get moldy. If the grounds get moldy do not use them for your mushroom garden. Just take them out of the freezer 24 hours before you are going to use them so they thaw and get to room temperature.


Half full of grounds

Fill your bucket about halfway with coffee grounds.

There can be more and I will show you why in a minute.

If your coffee grounds are dry you should add some water at this point and let the water drain out.


Add the mushroom spore

Now break up the mushroom spawn and add it to your bucket. The batch I bought is good for a five gallon batch so you would add the whole thing. But I am making a two gallon batch here so I am only using half the bag in this bucket. Mix all that spore right into the coffee grounds. Then gently compress it down.


Almost full

If you have enough spore and coffee grounds fill the bucket up to within an inch of the top. If you don't have quite enough like shown here then drill a few holes around the top edge of the bucket near the surface of the mixture.

This prevents carbon dioxide from building up on the surface. The holes let it seep out.


Drill Holes in the bucket

Here I am drilling half a dozen holes around the edge of the bucket near the surface line of the soil.


Cover with Plastic

Cover your bucket with clear plastic and perforate it with a few holes. Once the mushrooms start growing you can remove this plastic.

Now Spray mist it twice a day and in between 1 -2 weeks your mushrooms will start sprouting and growing like crazy!

I will add pictures as my mushrooms sprout :)


growing mushrooms

Here is a picture of the mushrooms two weeks later.


Sprouted Mushrooms

A company called Back to the roots also makes this mess free kit for growing Oyster Mushrooms. I have a tutorial and a time lapse video of that right here: The mushroom terrarium in a box


Back To the Roots Organic Mushroom Farm

Back To the Roots Organic Mushroom Farm

  • Grow organic, edible, gourmet oyster mushrooms in just 10 days
  • Three simple steps: open box, mist with water, harvest the crop
  • First crop in as little as 10 days; grows multiple crops
  • Fun for kids, families, foodies & chefs; makes a great gift!
  • Kit contains agricultural, plant-based organic waste products, oyster mushroom spawn, spray mister, and bonus organic heriloom tomato seeds for you garden (to grow with your composted mushroom kit)


Brown Oyster Mushroom Grow Kit by Forest Origins, Beginner Mushroom Growing Kit, Top Gardening Gift, Unique Gift, Holiday Gift




Some Notes and Cautions about Mushrooms

Mushrooms are an absolutely wonderful food. They are delicious and very nutritious. But, you must never ever try to pick mushrooms from the wild and eat them! Some variations are extremely poisonous and can cause death. Really. . Only grow mushrooms from reputable spore sources like the ones I have here in this tutorial. And, when you grow your own mushrooms you should always cook them before eating. And, Be aware that a small percentage of the population cannot eat mushrooms.



The essential guide to cultivating mushrooms

From the basics of using mushroom kits to working with grain spawn, liquid cultures, and fruiting chambers, Stephen Russell covers everything you need to know to produce mouthwatering shiitakes, oysters, lion's manes, maitakes, and portobellos. Whether you're interested in growing them for your own kitchen or to sell at a local market, you'll soon be harvesting a delicious and abundant crop of mushrooms.