Grow Mushrooms In Your Yard, Backyard Oyster Mushroom Spore Inoculation

Growing mushrooms in my yard, instead of having to go foraging for mushrooms, is a goal of mine. Mushroom growing is not rocket science, but for mushrooms to grow, the environment must be perfect for that particular kind of mushroom. On our hike yesterday, I came across a dead oak tree full of oyster mushrooms, but the mushrooms were way past their prime, they were falling apart.

I cut off about a third of the mushrooms and put them in a paper bag. Today, I went in the back yard-woods, and all while constantly tossing two tennis balls for the Labradors, I looked for a dead or dying deciduous tree.

Oyster Mushrooms from a dead oak tree

I have a number of mature birch trees in my yard, a few of which are dying, they have large woodpecker holes in them. I leave dead trees standing, to allow cavity nesting birds to have homes. Woodpeckers peck out nests in dead trees, then other birds use those nests after the woodpeckers have left.

So today I had the paper bag of oyster mushrooms with me and I tried my hand at inoculating a dead birch tree with mushroom spore. My method was not very exacting, I didn’t drill holes in the tree and put spore in the holes, I placed pieces of oyster mushroom in between the bark and the wood of the tree where the bark had split open.

Wedged the mushrooms between the bark and dead wood

What was really cool was inside the paper bag the oyster mushrooms has released a bunch of spores, so I took apart the paper bag and rubbed the spore on the wood of the trunk.

white powdery mushroom spore in the bag i had been keeping the mushrooms in

It will take a few years to see if our mushroom spore inoculation project is a success. If you are interested in learning more about mushroom identification, I have posted photos of mushrooms I have identified in our Mushroom Identification series here on the GardenFork.TV site.

Do you have some mushroom growing or mushroom spore inoculation suggestions? Please let us know below:

Charlie Pup waits for me to throw her tennis ball again.

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  1. Julia says

    I grew oyster mushrooms on a mix of sawdust and coffee grounds, indoors. It went really well for a while, and I got a small crop of shrooms, but then I think it got too dry, and then when I tried to keep the colony in a moister place I got competing fungi growing.

    I’ve also tried seeding the thick wood chip mulch I have laid down between a big outbuilding and a line of spruce trees with wine cap mushroom spawn. They are supposed to grow nicely in mulch, such as between rows of sweet corn in your garden, and also in compost. If it works, I should see some harvestable wine caps this spring, I think. The first time I tried it a couple of years ago, my chickens discovered the mycelium and dug it up when I wasn’t looking and it dried out.

    You’ve reminded me of my desire to drive over to the mulch transfer station in Madison WI and pick up some big chunks of tree trunk. Apparently the best wood for growing mushrooms is freshly cut, because it won’t have any competing fungi in there. I’ve been to talks by the folks at and they have a “totem pole” method of inoculating trunk pieces where you just stack them with sawdust spawn in between the pieces. I’m sure my biggest issue will be with humidity control, but I think that chunks of wood are more forgiving than sawdust and coffee grounds. . .

  2. Grow your own mushrooms says

    I like growing oyster mushrooms, they are probably the easiest to grow? I like to grow them on straw. First pasteurise the straw? Poke holes in a plastic bag and then mix the straw with thespores? Keep the bag in a war moist location with little light.

  3. says

    i appreciate all ideas about growing indoor oyester mushrooms. my concern is that, iam trying to cultivate in Uganda, Acholi sub region and the challenge most growers are facing is that, after a short while o harvesting from the gardens, the stopped

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