Learn How You Can Grow Magic Mushrooms Outdoors (2024)

If you grow magic mushrooms, it’s likely that you do so indoors. But have you ever considered growing mycelium outdoors as well? When you grow mushrooms in your backyard or a similar location outdoors, this can have a number of advantages. You could grow a whole year’s supply of shrooms and it will be less costly!

Growing magic mushrooms isn’t particularly difficult, especially if you grow your shrooms with a fully equipped grow kit. But if you want to grow shrooms from spores, there can be a learning curve and it can take a little more work. One of the biggest considerations when you grow mushrooms is to avoid contamination with mould. This is why you want to choose a good spot where you can grow your shrooms without risk. With a suitable outdoor patch in your garden or backyard for growing, you don’t need to worry about this and can look forward to good yields.

If you want to grow magic mushrooms outdoors, you don’t even need to have your own garden. You could find a nice secluded spot in the forest as well. This comes with the benefit that your mushroom spores will be freely spreading in the area, creating a “magic spot” where your shrooms will grow naturally over time!


As mentioned, growing mushrooms fortunately isn’t rocket science. But if you want to do it right so you can avoid any potential problems that would spoil your harvest, it can be helpful to know some basics about mushroom cultivation. So before we get more into detail for our outdoor mushroom grow, let’s look at some shroom facts first.

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Firstly, it is important to know that the part growing out from the substrate—the part with the stem and the cap—is not the actual “mushroom”, but the fruiting body of the organism. The real thing is what grows underneath, called the mycelium. This is the white web, which grows through the substrate. So, if you want to grow mushrooms successfully, what you are really doing is creating an optimal environment for your mycelium to grow.


Whether you’re growing your shrooms indoors or out, you are going to a need a mushroom spawn. The spawn is any type of substrate, such as rye, sawdust, or wood chips, which is colonised with the mycelium.


The easiest way to source a mushroom spawn is with a mushroom grow kit. These grow kits normally come with a substrate that’s already fully colonised. You can use the spawn from the kit to colonise any other suitable substrate, such as if you have a bag of wood chips or sawdust that you want to colonise.

Another method is to inoculate a bag of sterile grain or another substrate with a spore syringe. No matter what, when you have a spawn, either from a grow kit or a colonised a bag of substrate, you can always spread the mycelium. And this is what we will be doing for our outdoor mushroom grow. We’ll be getting to this in a moment.

Most grow kits use grain as a mushroom substrate. The reason here is that grain also contains nutrition for the fungus, which makes it an ideal medium. Great for an indoor grow, but not so much for an outdoor mushroom grow. This is because grain is more susceptible to contamination from bacteria and other unwanted pathogens. But you can transfer a grain spawn to sawdust. Sawdust has a lower risk for infection, which makes it better suited for the outdoors. Moreover, if you want to prepare a nice growing patch outdoors, you will need more colonised substrate anyway. So by transferring the grain spawn to sawdust, you are also “multiplying” it for your purposes.


This process is quite easy. In addition to your grain spawn from your grow kit, you will need a bag of sawdust. You can get sawdust in most pet shops. The sawdust will likely not be sterile, so you have to sterilise it first. For this, immerse the sawdust in a bucket of boiling water for about 10 minutes.

After you have sterilised your sawdust, drain the water. Use another bucket and start layering the sawdust with your inoculated grain: Do multiple layers and cover each layer of grain with sawdust, until you have used up the sawdust or have made the desired amount. Now, use a plastic bag or a lid to cover the bucket that contains your layered mix of sawdust and grain. Make sure to open the lid once per day so that oxygen can enter. This way, you can prevent the growth of mould. After several weeks, the sawdust in the bucket will be completely colonised and ready for the outdoors. As a rule, you will need about 1.2kg of colonised sawdust spawn per square metre for your outdoor mushroom patch.

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Magic mushrooms love spots with indirect sunlight. They do love the sun, but then they also don’t want to be exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period. A somewhat shaded area where your mushrooms can still get enough sunlight throughout the day is ideal.

Out in the wild, you can often find mushrooms growing at the border of wooded areas, where grass and shrubs meet. You can look for these types of areas to find a spot.


Natural slopes and swales are also where mushrooms often grow in the wild. These spots normally have a subsurface flow of water, which greatly benefits the growth of the mycelium.


Yet another important factor for your outdoor magic mushroom grow should be accessibility. So a spot that requires a long journey each time you want to visit won’t be of much use. The reason for this is that mushrooms can fruit very fast, sometimes literally overnight. When harvest time comes around, you may want to check on your shrooms daily. If the spot is too far out of your way, you may risk missing a harvest.


When you have finally found a good spot, you want to make it into an optimal growing patch for your magic mushrooms. For this, you will need the following things:

  • Your fully colonised sawdust spawn
  • Sterile wood chips
  • Cardboard
  • Small shovel (optional)
  • Watering can or garden sprayer (optional)
  • Straw or hay (optional)


  1. Clear the entire spot of debris. With a shovel or your hands, you should also dig as far down until there is nothing but plain earth. By removing all excess dirt and debris from the area, you reduce the risk for contamination and can make sure that your mycelium grows optimally without competition.
  2. Line the cleared spot with cardboard and place a 5cm-thick layer of sterile wood chips on the cardboard and spread it out evenly.
  3. Moisten this first layer of wood chips. Use a watering can or a sprayer for this. If you’re preparing your grow spot in your own backyard, you can just use a garden hose.
  4. Spread the first layer of sawdust spawn evenly on the moist wood chips. For each layer, use about 400g of spawn per square metre.
  5. Cover this layer of sawdust spawn with another layer of wood chips. The layer should be about 7cm thick.
  6. Use the hose or the watering can again and moisten this layer. Place another layer of spawn on the moistened wood chips.
  7. Place a 3cm layer of wood chips on top.
  8. Once again, moisten the wood chips and cover with another layer of spawn just like before.
  9. At this point, you should have done 3 layers of wood chips and 3 layers of spawn. Moisten the entire spot once more with some water.
  10. Put a cardboard layer on top to keep the moisture in.
  11. If you want an extra layer of protection for your mushroom grow spot, you can cover the bed with straw or hay. However, if you want to do this, you need to use sterilised straw—sterilised with boiling water in a bucket, just as you did before when you sterilised the sawdust. If you use unsterilised straw, there is a good chance that the straw contains all kinds of fungus that may overgrow your mushroom mycelium. This is not what you want.

Now, when you’re done with your outdoor mushroom patch, all you need is some patience. Leave the growing patch undisturbed for at least 6 months. In this time, the mycelium will colonise all the wood chips in your growing location. Sit back, relax, and look forward to an awesome outdoor harvest!

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Most types of cubensis will fruit in late fall or early winter. Since it will take about 6 months for your growing location to be fully colonised, a good time to make your outdoor patch is likely in early spring, around March in the Northern Hemisphere. But you need to also take into account the time it will take to colonise your sawdust spawn. You want to do this ahead of time before you head out into the wild in spring. A good time to inoculate your sawdust can be in January. If you do it this way, you can plan your outdoor mushroom grow for a fall harvest.


Most of the time, if you have found a good spot and have brought out your spawn as we explained in our guide, you shouldn’t be required to do anything further. Mother Nature will do the rest and will reward you with plenty of shrooms come harvest time. But there can be times when you want to take some extra care so that your shrooms are guaranteed to grow well. For example, if the season is unusually dry in summer, you may want to water your bed once in the morning and once in the evening.

When harvest time comes around, make sure that you check on your mushrooms frequently, preferably every day. This way, you won’t miss out on some sprouted magic! Likewise, if you are harvesting your magic mushrooms, look out for anything else that might be growing alongside with them. No matter how careful you planned everything, there is always a risk that invasive species may grow as well. Needless to say, you don’t want to consume those!

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Learn How You Can Grow Magic Mushrooms Outdoors (2024)


What is the easiest way to grow mushrooms for beginners? ›

Spray-and-grow kits, a block of colonized substrate inside a small box, make for the easiest way for beginners to get started. “They're inexpensive. You get a lot of mushrooms out of them. And they're super easy,” says Lynch.

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.

Is it OK for mushrooms to grow in your garden? ›

They indicate that your soil is healthy and contains lots of organic matter. In addition, they benefit your garden in many ways. Mushrooms help break down organic matter, which increases the number of nutrients in the soil. The more nutrients in the ground, the more your plants thrive.

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.

How long does it take to grow mushrooms outside? ›

Depending on inoculation rate and weather conditions, these beds may be capable of fruiting mushrooms as soon as 2-3 months after planting. Thick beds and those made with wood chips only may take up to 4 months to begin producing.

What is the best mushroom to grow for beginners? ›

If you're a beginner looking to grow mushrooms at home, oyster mushrooms are the best option for you. There are many varieties available, including pearl, king, and eye-catching pink, blue, and golden oysters.

Is it cheaper to grow mushrooms yourself? ›

Save Money: It's cheaper to grow your own mushrooms than to buy them, and you can even sell the excess. Quality & Variety: Control what goes into your food and explore exotic mushroom types you won't find in stores.

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 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.

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.

How to make a mushroom bed? ›

Take the polythene cover and tie the bottom end with a thread and turn it inwards. Shade dry steam sterilized straw to get a uniform moisture level in all areas. Fill the straw to a height of 3” in the bottom of polythene bag, take a handful of spawn and sprinkle over the straw layer , concentrating more on the edges.

Why can't you eat mushrooms that grow in your yard? ›

Many types of mushrooms can cause damage to humans and pets in many ways. Identifying them belongs to the mycologists because mushrooms are not easy to ID. And the consequences of a mistake are too threatening. Small amounts of a toxic mushroom can damage your organs irreparably or cause death.

Can you eat mushrooms that grow outside your house? ›

Hen-of-the-woods, oyster, and sulphur shelf mushrooms are safe, delicious, and nutritious wild varieties prized by mushroom hunters. While these and many other mushrooms are safe to consume, eating varieties like the death cap, false morels, and Conocybe filaris can cause serious adverse health effects and even death.

What temperature do mushrooms grow outside? ›

The ideal temperature range for mushroom growth varies depending on the species, but most mushrooms prefer a temperature range between 65-75 °F. Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial, as even small fluctuations can impact the growth rate and quality of the mushrooms.

Do mushrooms grow in wet or dry soil? ›

To avoid future mushroom growth, keep soil on the drier side, as fungus thrives in consistently moist conditions, and add a fungicide—we love Arber's Bio Fungicide—to your plant care routine.

What temperature do mushrooms start growing? ›

Temperature: Optimal growth occurs between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Light: They need very little light; too much can actually hamper their growth. Air Exchange: Sufficient air exchange is crucial to prevent mold and ensure healthy growth.


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