What substrates and nutrients are great for growing mushrooms?

First let’s talk about the most common substrates to grow your mushrooms on. Then we will talk about the nutrient options.

Sawdust as a Substrate: Sawdust is the most popular substrate because it grows mushrooms that are healthy, grow larger, and faster than others. Sawdust and Soy Hulls make up what is commonly refereed to as the Masters Mix in the industry. At MushroomMediaOnline.com we call ours the Fast Fruiting Mix. It is the ideal 50-50% mix that so many growers love.

Straw as a Substrate: Straw is used often in the largest grow operations for the most common simple mushroom varieties. These grow operations are often large scale and deal with basic button kinds of mushrooms not the specialty varieties that most successful smaller farms grow.

The straw is Pasteurized Straw is commonly used to grow oyster mushrooms, or button mushrooms.

Manure as a Substrate: Manure is often added to straw during the pasteurization process. It ads nutrients to the mix and helps grow the button mushrooms faster than just the basic straw preparation.

Coco Coir and Vermiculite as a Substrate: Coir is a commercially available mix of ground up coconut husk and shells which can be mixed with vermiculite to create an effective substrate. This is used again like the pasteurized straw, and manure for larger scale operations that are comfortable with lower yields than the masters mix and sawdust can provide.

Coffee Grounds as a Substrate: Some growers like to use coffee grounds because they are a waste byproduct they can acquire from local coffee shops and chains cheaply. It is hard to source enough for a real growth operation of any size, but may be fine for experimenting.



What grow best on Sawdust?

Shiitake (Lentinus)

Oyster (Pleurotus)

Lion’s Mane or Pom Pom (Hericium)

Ear (Auricularis)

Ganoderma (Reishi)

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

Winter (Flammulina)

What grow best on Sawdust -Rice Bran?

Nameko (Pholiota)

Ear (Auricularis)

Shaggy Mane (Coprinus)

Winter (Flammulina)

Shiitake (Lentinus)

What grow best on Sawdust-straw ?

Oyster (Pleurotus)

Roundhead (Stropharia)

What grow best on Coffee grounds?

Oyster (Pleurotus)

Shiitake (Lentinus)

What grow best on Cotton seed hulls ?

Oyster (Pleurotus)

Shiitake (Lentinus)

What grow best on Logs ?

Nameko (Pholiota)

Shiitake (Lentinus)

White jelly (Tremella)

What grow best on Horse manure (fresh or composted) ?

Common (Agaricus)

What grow best on Distillers grain waste?

Lion’s Mane or Pom Pom (Hericium)

It is important to use this as soon as possible or you must fully sterilize the mix to prevent issues.

What grow best on wheat straw?

Oyster (Pleurotus)

Common (Agaricus)

Straw (Volvariella)

Roundhead (Stropharia)

Supplementation for nutrients and increased growth and gains in your mushroom operation.


Mushrooms synthesize the nutrients they need from organic material. The particular nutrients they need to grow are sugar, starch, lignin, fats, protein and nitrogen. So when you supplement your growth substrate with the proper nutrients you get larger yields and a more profitable growing operation.

Soy Hulls 50% this is the masters mix or our Fast Fruiting Mix. This works for many varieties and is know to out produce many other supplement combinations for Oyster Mushrooms.

Oat Bran 10-15% like the brans many supplements are added just for nutrient sake.

Wheat Bran 10-15% like the brans many supplements are added just for nutrient sake.

At this time we carry Soy Hulls and can provide them by the bag or the pallet to meet your growing needs. Visit our shop for individual bags or request a bulk quote if you need a ton or more.

You can also call us for information about any other major substrate or feed you are looking for for large orders of a ton or more we will do the research and get you a price.

References for further online research:

Kansas StateAvailability of waste materials to use as a growth medium.

Penn State




Be prepared to grow keep these things in mind before you set up a new growth option.

Availability of waste materials to use as a growth medium.

Not all mushrooms can be grown in the same substrate. We love helping mushroom farmers get their hands on what they need. If you have a local source you love great, but if not we can source the best growth ingredients and get them shipped to your farm.

Environmental conditions.

Different species have different requirements for temperature
and other environmental variables.

Available resources.

It is necessary to dentify what necessary ingredients you need to have on hand. That is where MushroomMediaOnline.com in we can source the best ingredients for your grow operation and get them shipped to you for less.

Taking the time to do the research first helped us start the ideal micro farm for our area, and choose the variety that was best for our family to grow.

Jamie F

Which mushroom varieties should I grow?

There are many factors to consider before you decide which mushrooms you should grow in your mushroom farm. If you are just getting started out take some time to learn about your local market. What is your market asking for fresh that it does not have at this time.

Speak with local chefs, and other culanary professionals. Find out what their needs are.

See what is selling well a few towns over but is not yet available in your area.

Then do your homework on the potential profit and loss of growing various varieties.

Here are some things to consider during your search.

  • Ease of growing 80% 80%
  • Availability in your market 80% 80%
  • Profit Potential 100% 100%

How to prepare your sawdust grow bags

These three videos provide some sound information on preparing your own mushroom grow bags using sawdust as your substrate.

These and many more videos can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/user/jdjuergensen

Sterilization is one of the steps that make you successful as a grower do not skip this step, and make sure you allow the time needed for proper sterilization.

Spawning with your sawdust blocks.