How to Grow Mushrooms at Home in Australia | Ultimate Backyard (2024)

Have you ever wanted to grow your own mushrooms at home? I’ve dabbled with growing mushrooms using a mushroom growing kit and the whole process was highly satisfying.

But there are other ways that you can grow your own mushrooms by creating the ideal growing environment and using plastic buckets or even timber logs.

This allows you to grow different varieties rather than just the common mushroom types but growing from scratch is a more advanced method and more time consuming.

Just one word of warning that you need to heed. Make sure that you get your kits or your mushroom spores from a reliable source and you are absolutely certain of the type of mushrooms that you’re growing.

As you’re probably aware, some mushroom varieties are highly toxic and you want to ensure that you’re only growing those that are safe to eat.

How mushrooms grow

Before you venture into growing your own mushrooms, you might be interested to learn how they grow.

Mushrooms are not plants in that they don’t have any green growth. They are regarded as fungi and there are many different species that grow in the wild.

These interesting organisms don’t grow from seeds but rather from fungal spores. They tend to thrive in dark, damp environments and feed on decaying matter.

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Most of the mushroom’s growth is under the ground. If you’ve ever emptied out a mushroom grow box, you’ll notice an intricate web of white root-like structures weaving through the soil.

These are known as mycelium. They absorb water and nutrients from the soil or decaying plant material to feed the growing organism.

The part of the mushroom that you see above the soil is actually the flower of the organism and this is the part that we harvest and consume.

Mushroom growing kits

Most first-time mushroom growers and home gardeners will usually start their journey with a mushroom growing kit. These are commonly available at certain times of the year (usually in spring and autumn) from places like Bunnings.

This is the way that I have grown mushrooms in the past and the experience is quite fascinating.

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Many years ago, it was recommended that you put these kits in a dark cupboard but this is not necessary as long as you keep them out of direct sunlight.

Recently, I had a mushroom grow kit on my verandah that is fully shaded from direct sunlight and it grew lots of delicious mushrooms.

This placing was ideal for me because I would always remember to mist them regularly which I would have forgotten about if the box had been hiding in a cupboard.

If you want to be a bit more adventurous and grow other species of mushrooms rather than the common Agaricus bisporus (white mushroom), you can also get grow kits for other species such as oyster mushrooms (image below) from specialist growers.

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What conditions do mushrooms need to grow successfully?

Mushrooms need to be kept out of direct sunlight but they don’t require complete darkness to grow successfully.

They also grow best in mild temperatures. Depending on the variety that you’re growing, the ideal temperature range is between 14 and 25 degrees Celsius.

Mushrooms prefer a fairly humid environment which is why daily misting of the soil is so important. Bear in mind, that the surface of the soil should be kept moist at all times but it should never be wet.

I’ve found the easiest way to achieve this is by keeping a spray bottle of water beside the box that the mushrooms are growing in and misting the soil on a daily basis.

Once you get the growing conditions right, the fun begins as you watch for those tiny white heads to break through the surface of the growing medium.

Don’t be surprised if they just pop up overnight or they double in size in just one day.

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What to do after you get your mushroom kit

Once you’ve purchased your mushroom kit, it’s quite easy to set it up and look after.

Make sure that you read the instructions as these will guide you in providing the correct environment. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to do:

  • Open the box and fold the plastic liner down over the sides.
  • Spread the casing (provided in a separate bag) over the surface of the growing medium with the mycelium.
  • Place the box in a sheltered spot that doesn’t receive any direct sunlight.
  • Make sure that the environment offers a fairly steady temperature.
  • Don’t place your box near any draughts or air conditioner vents.
  • Use a small spray bottle filled with water to mist the surface of the soil.
  • Continue to mist the surface on a daily basis but don’t overdo it.

If you follow these steps, you should start to see some tiny mushrooms break through the surface within 3 to 5 weeks.

You’ll get a continuous crop of fresh mushrooms for at least 12 weeks. Once the kit has finished producing, put the contents into your compost bin or add it to your garden beds. The spent mushroom compost is a great soil additive.

How to make your own sh*take mushroom log

If you want to try your hand at growing sh*take mushrooms, you can make your own growing log by gathering a few materials and purchasing some spores from a reputable source.

All you’ll need is a freshly cut hardwood log such as eucalypt, elder or oak, and some beeswax.

Using a large bore drill bit, drill some holes along the length of the log. They should be around 1 cm in diameter.

Fill these holes with the mushroom spores, commonly referred to as spawn, and cover them with beeswax. This prevents any other type of fungi from entering the prepared holes.

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Put your log in a shaded spot that doesn’t get any direct sunlight. Mist the log on a daily basis to keep it moist and increase the humidity.

The log should be in a cooler spot than what you would place your mushroom kit in because sh*take mushrooms require a temperature below 20 degrees Celsius to grow.

If you keep misting the log, it can take around 6 to 12 months before you’ll start to see some mushrooms growing. You should get around 5 to 6 harvests from this homemade mushroom log.

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What type of mushrooms can you grow at home?

Surprisingly, you can grow quite a variety of different mushrooms at home and all of these are available in kits.

Just make sure that you purchase your kits from a reputable source so that you know exactly what you’re getting.

Here are some different varieties that you can purchase in kits:

Oyster Mushrooms

You can get a variety of different types of oyster mushroom kits from a wide range of reputable suppliers. These are all very easy to set up and maintain and you can even grow these indoors on your kitchen bench.

Button Mushrooms

These are the common white varieties available at places like Bunnings.

Portobello Mushrooms

Portobellos are brown mushrooms and are similarly easy to grow from a kit.


What season do mushrooms grow in Australia?

In the wild, mushrooms will grow when the temperature is fairly moderate and there’s been plenty of rain. This is usually in autumn. In areas such as Tasmania and Victoria, mushrooms can grow all year round. Mushroom kits are usually available in spring and autumn.

How long do mushrooms take to grow?

If you’re growing white button mushrooms using a kit, you can expect to see some mushrooms within around 3 to 5 weeks. The kit should continue to produce new mushrooms for around 12 weeks. Specialist varieties such as sh*take can take longer, but you can also get oyster mushrooms in kits and they can start producing in just 7 to 14 days.

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How to Grow Mushrooms at Home in Australia | Ultimate Backyard (2024)


How to Grow Mushrooms at Home in Australia | Ultimate Backyard? ›

Inoculating beds and mulched paths are easy ways to bring mushrooms into your garden. These methods are inexpensive and don't require any special tools or technology - just spawn and substrate. The turn-around time from install to harvest is typically within a single season.

How can I get mushrooms to grow in my yard? ›

Inoculating beds and mulched paths are easy ways to bring mushrooms into your garden. These methods are inexpensive and don't require any special tools or technology - just spawn and substrate. The turn-around time from install to harvest is typically within a single season.

How profitable is mushroom farming in Australia? ›

Australian mushroom industry

70,463 tonnes of fresh mushrooms produced in 2017/2018 in Australia. 22,054 tonnes produced in NSW. $456.6 million: value of the annual national mushroom production. 89 tonnes of mushrooms were exported, valued at $6.8 million.

How do you grow mushrooms at home for beginners? ›

How to Grow Mushrooms From a Box Kit
  1. Step 1: Moisten the Block. Mist the block three or four times a day with spring or well water or collected rainwater. ...
  2. Step 2: Cover the Block. Cover the block with plastic after each misting to hold in the humidity. ...
  3. Step 3: Harvest Mushrooms. ...
  4. Step 4: Repeat.
Mar 6, 2024

What stimulates mushroom growth? ›

Therefore, light can promote fruiting body development in some species, but not really necessary. Temperature is one of the critical factors for fruiting body induction in basidiomycetes. Especially, down shift of temperature stimulates fruiting body induction in many mushroom species.

What kind of logs do mushrooms need to grow? ›

Many mushrooms will grow on a variety of hardwoods, i.e., oaks or beech, but some are more specific about what species they will grow on than others. Also, keep in mind that some mushrooms prefer to grow on substrates (sawdust, straw, or composted manure) other than intact wood logs.

Is mushroom farming difficult? ›

Is it difficult to grow mushrooms? Although it may seem tricky at first, once you understand the basics of growing mushrooms, the process is pretty simple! Take care to prevent contamination, monitor temperature and humidity, and you will be enjoying fresh, homegrown, gourmet mushrooms before you know it!

How much money can a small mushroom farm make? ›

So what kind of money can you make? Oyster mushrooms sell for about $6 to $9 a pound. A 100-square-foot growing area can produce, on average, 2500 pounds in a year. That's around $15,000, or $1250 a month.

Which type of mushroom is more profitable? ›

If you're looking for the most profitable mushroom to farm, you're likely considering Shiitake mushrooms. These sell at around $12 per pound, making them the most profitable type of mushroom to farm, especially when considering the demand. However, you might also consider growing gourmet Oyster mushrooms.

What is the cheapest way to grow mushrooms? ›

Another easy, inexpensive option for growing mushrooms at home is inoculated sawdust in a plastic bag. These come in kit versions, but you can also make them yourself. Store them in a bathroom where it is dark and moist and you'll start to see flushing pretty quickly.

What are the easiest mushrooms to grow for profit? ›

The easiest mushrooms to grow that are also the most profitable are shiitake and oyster. While you may feel tempted to grow more valuable and challenging varieties, you have to understand that these will require more time and resources.

How much money can you make growing mushrooms at home? ›

You could make over $60,000 a year growing gourmet mushrooms for profit. If you have a few hours a week to spare and a growing area where you can control the temperature, humidity, and light, then you can be a successful grower.

Where is the best place to grow mushrooms outside? ›

Generally speaking, however, the best place is in a shaded or partially shaded area that has good water drainage. Whilst some species of mushrooms can tolerate some direct sunlight, it is best to avoid areas with too much sun.

Can you use old logs to grow mushrooms? ›

Wood that has been allowed to dry below about 29% moisture is well on its way to becoming well seasoned firewood but it won't grow mushrooms. Another reason to avoid older logs is because other fungi may have already colonized them, so that the shiitake fungus simply can't compete.

Can you grow mushrooms in old logs? ›

If you have a patch of woods, or even some shady shrubs, you can grow mushrooms on logs, turning wood into food. If you already garden or shady landscaping, adding a mushroom bed not only improves soil health, but also gives you another crop to foster from spawn to plate or pantry.

Is having mushrooms in your yard bad? ›

Generally speaking, the presence of mushrooms in your grass isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's often a sign that your turf has been receiving plenty of water. Plus, mushrooms help decompose organic matter, which could help release more nutrients into your soil.

Does mowing mushrooms spread them? ›

You can eliminate the visible mushrooms by knocking them over, raking or even mowing them. But that may tend to spread the spores around and lead to more mushrooms growing.

Should you let mushrooms grow in your yard? ›

Often our first instinct is to get rid of 'shrooms, but mushrooms growing in your lawn or garden are signs of a healthy soil containing lots of organic matter. Beautiful works of nature, mushrooms are hugely beneficial to a garden.

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