DIY Mushroom Substrate at Home (Suitable Compost, Recipes)

The process of growing mushrooms at home has several stages. But the basis of agricultural technology is the creation of a nutrient subtract for the development of mycelium. In simple terms, compost is required. Its preparation is a multi-level process with an accurate dosage of natural ingredients. In this article, we will tell you DIY mushroom substrate at home from different compost.

diy mushroom substrate at home

Why do mushrooms need Substrate?

This living organism lacks chlorophyll. Without chlorophyll, plants cannot synthesize nutrients. For this reason, it is impossible to grow mushrooms in ordinary garden soil (even if fertilizers are added). They need a special substrate mixture for the reproduction of beneficial microorganisms.

Compost provides the mushrooms with the right level of moisture, saturates with useful substances, and creates a loose environment for the root system. All this contributes to the acceleration of plant development, obtaining larger fruiting bodies and a rich harvest.

Organic mushroom growing mix is ​​sold in specialized stores, but farmers prefer to make the substrate at home. Benefits of making your own compost:

  • saving money – the cost of the product in the store is high;
  • confidence in quality indicators, the absence of chemical additives;
  • knowledge about expiration dates (when stored in heat for more than 30 days, compost loses its usefulness).

Types of Substrate for growing mushrooms

When growing mushrooms, a variety of nutrient mixtures are used, so it is difficult for an ordinary gardener to make a choice. There are 3 common types of compost.

With natural ingredients

Compost must contain natural ingredients. They are rich in chemical elements:

  • nitrogen – found in livestock waste;
  • carbohydrates – are found in dry stems of plants;
  • carbons – found in gypsum and chalk, soy, pea and bone meal, malt.

In the wild, mushrooms grow well where horses graze. Horse manure is considered the most acceptable source of nitrogen for composting. It contains a striking amount of trace elements.

Replace the ingredient (often diluted) with manure from cows, sheep, rabbits, pigs, bird droppings.

Straw, corncobs, and hay act as a carbon component – they provide aeration. Poor air intake into the compost contributes to a significant decrease in the effectiveness of the mixture.

Gypsum materials are laid in the smallest quantity. They improve the structure of the substrate, saturating it with natural minerals.

The basic composition of natural compost for mushrooms:

  • 100 kg of horse manure;
  • 15 kg of dry bird droppings;
  • 50 kg of straw;
  • 3 kg of loose alabaster;
  • 100 liters of warm water.

The approximate holding time is 23 days. The consistency of the finished product is loose and uniform, the color is dark brown. Feature: when squeezed in the palm of your hand, the mass should not stick together and release liquid.

semi-synthetic mushroom substrate

Breeding horses is not large scale. Therefore, it is impossible to find horse manure in the required amount. The way out of the situation was the production of semi-synthetic composts for growing mushrooms.

An alternative technique includes several composition options (part of the waste product of horses is replaced by another material):

  • horse manure – 50 kg, chicken manure – 15 kg, straw – 50 kg, gypsum – 3 kg, water – 200 l;
  • horse waste – 50 kg, droppings – 75 kg, cereal stalks – 250 kg, building gypsum – 15 kg, water – 250 l;
  • straw type manure – 250 kg, dry chicken excrement – 75 kg, straw – 250 kg, gypsum – 15 kg, water – 1000 l.

synthetic mushroom substrate

This type of compost does not contain horse manure, which reduces material costs. The synthetic substrate contains straw, chicken manure and minerals (urea, ammonium sulfate, superphosphate and the like).

Standard step by step synthetic mushroom substrate recipe:

  • Pour 500 kg of straw with any slurry so that a slurry is obtained;
  • after 3 days, add 250 kg of bird droppings and another 500 kg of straw;
  • pour urea (25 kg);
  • enter Superphosphate (3.17 kg);
  • add chalk (8kg) and gypsum (12kg) on ​​the first and third breaks.

After 4 breaks, the compost is ready. This takes 25-27 days.

DIY Mushroom Substrate at Home Step By Step Guide

The technological process of preparing a nutrient mixture includes many stages. It is equally important to take into account the rules for the preparation of equipment, materials, tools and components. The result depends on it.

Necessary materials and equipment need for Mushroom Substrate

To create optimal conditions, the compost should not come into contact with the soil. 

Choose the right surfaces:

  • concreted area;
  • barrel;
  • container, polyethylene bag;
  • only

Important equipment:

  • watering can or hose;
  • polyethylene film;
  • forks.

Required conditions for making Mushroom Substrate.

  • a lot of free space – at least 2 x 2 m (in the absence of a square platform, try to keep the width 2 m, make the length arbitrary, but more than 2 m.
  • a canopy over the composting site, which will protect from direct sunlight and rain;
  • free flow of air from all sides – wooden or alabaster sides are created with a height of 40-50 cm;
  • the minimum air temperature is 10–12°С.
  • container for soaking dry vegetation – cobs, hay, straw.

Preparing compost material for mushroom substrate

Compost materials must be of high quality. 

This means the following:

  • straw, hay – without signs of rot, mold;
  • manure is exceptionally fresh.

Dry material is initially soaked with water in a separate container. Withstand 3 days. Then it is crushed using a feed mill.

Then the straw goes through the process of disinfection, as it contains fungi and other pathogens. Pasteurization process:

  1. After grinding the material, direct steam at a temperature of 65-70 ° C (using a steam generator).
  2. Steam for 60-70 minutes.

making mushroom substract process

The maturation period of the compost mass depends on the rate of fermentation (the hotter it is outside, the faster the process). Averages 22–24 days. Organic fertilizer is formed in 3 stages:

  1. Decomposition. Exposure to heat leads to the breakdown of substances, which contributes to the formation of nutrient compounds, which are a favorable environment for the reproduction of necessary bacteria. Earthworms are also bred here (they speed up the fermentation process). This takes 5 days.
  2. Gumming. The period of humus formation requires powerful aeration. Without access to oxygen, the necessary bacteria die. It is necessary to mix the mass, and monitor the flow of fresh air under the canopy.
  3. Mineralization. The final phase, when all the substances of the compost are decomposed. After this stage, the mycelium can be planted.

The process of standard cooking technology:

  1. Lay the straw in a layer up to 30–35 cm.
  2. Scatter horse manure.
  3. Add bird droppings (exclusively in a dry state).
  4. Moisten the pile with a watering can or a hose with a spray nozzle.
  5. Tamp down.
  6. Repeat the procedure 4-6 times.

When preparing compost, the materials are stacked in layers. Divide each component into 4-6 piles ahead of time.

After laying the raw materials, ensure the heating of the shoulder to + 45 ° C, covering with polyethylene. When the temperature inside reaches + 65 … + 70 ° С, open the shelter, but make sure that the air is not cooler than + 10 ° С.

Then proceed as follows:

  1. After a week, use a pitchfork to kill the substrate, add gypsum / alabaster.
  2. On the 14th day, pour water (again with a sprayer), but so that the water does not stagnate. Stir.
  3. After 20 days, moisten again, and kill with a pitchfork.
  4. On the last day, mix the mass, and transfer to the place where the mushrooms will be grown.

Fermentation accelerators

During composting, chemical processes occur in which steam, ammonia compounds, and carbon dioxide are released. Weather conditions affect the rate of fermentation. If they are unfavorable, mushroom growers accelerate the processing of organic matter with the help of biological products.

When using accelerators, compost materials must be crushed as much as possible. Otherwise, the action slows down.

If there is no opportunity or desire to buy a biological product, gardeners recommend using folk remedies:

  1. Herbal tincture. Take 5 parts of any grass (weeds will work too), 2 parts of chicken manure and 20 parts of water. Insist 6-8 days.
  2. Urine. Mix human or animal urine with water at a ratio of 1 part biological waste to 4 parts water.
  3. Yeast. In 3 liters of warm water, add 3 tbsp. l. dry yeast, 600 g sugar. Leave in a warm place to ferment for several hours.

Recipes for making mushroom substrate

In the world, there are a large number of options for creating mushroom substrate. There are basic recipes that are used most often, including in temperate latitudes.

mushroom substrate with horse manure

Classic composition without the use of waste from other animals.


  • straw – 50 kg;
  • horse manure – 50 kg;
  • gypsum – 4 kg;
  • chalk – 5 kg.

Some mushroom growers add 125 g of urea and 200 g of ammonium sulfate to this mixture.

mushroom substrate with chicken manure

In the presence of waste only from birds. For compost, take the following ingredients:

  • straw – 100 kg;
  • litter – 100 kg;
  • alabaster – 12 kg.

mushroom substrate with corn on cob

The recipe is relevant for regions where corn is grown to a greater extent. 

Composition of components:

  • 50 kg of straw and corn cobs;
  • 60 kg of any manure or bird droppings;
  • 3 kg of plaster or chalk.

It is allowed to replace straw with alfalfa grass. Then take 4-5 kg ​​of gypsum.

mushroom substrate with sheep manure

This component is usually mixed with bird waste. 


  • sheep manure – 40 kg;
  • chicken manure – 60 kg;
  • alabaster – 6 kg;
  • straw – 100 kg.

Sheep excrement is quite dry. Pour enough water so that when laying the mixture was a liquid consistency.

mushroom substrate with sawdust

The composition does not include animal waste products. 


  • 100 kg of sawdust and straw;
  • 10 kg of calcium carbonate;
  • 5 kg of urea;
  • 15 kg of malt.

This is the fastest compost – ready in 15-17 days.

mushroom substrate with on blood meal

Expensive and highly effective recipe. A blood meal is extracted from the dry blood of birds and livestock. 

Compost ingredients:

  • straw – 50 kg;
  • blood meal – 8 kg;
  • Superphosphate – 315 g;
  • potassium sulfate – 315 g;
  • alabaster – 8 kg;
  • chalk – 1.1 kg.

The completion time is one month.

mushroom substrate with with peat

The recipe contains many chemical ingredients. 

Cooking has 2 stages:

  1. Prepare a saline solution from 7 kg of ammonium sulfate, 1.5 kg of sodium nitrate and 1.5 kg of potassium phosphate.
  2. Combine the mixture with 800 kg of peat flour, 200 kg of straw.

Asian recipe mushroom substrate

The recipe of oriental mushroom growers. 

For mushroom compost use:

  • rice straw in the amount of 200 kg;
  • chalk – 25–30 kg);
  • urea – 5 kg;
  • 20 kg of Superphosphate and the same amount of ammonium sulfate.

How to use mushroom substrate and compost?

Experienced mushroom growers build special piles – compartments for compost. For manufacturing, it is enough to dig a recess (any depth – from 10 cm), pour concrete, setting the sides of wooden boards. The height of the fence depends on the number of materials – the more of them, the higher the structure.

Compost is transferred to this structure, but the substrate can be made directly in piles. Their size depends on the volume of products grown.

After harvesting, gardeners do not throw away compost, even with three applications. From the waste material, mushroom blocks are obtained, which are rich in nitrogen and other minerals. They are used:

  • as top dressing for different crops;
  • for mulching plants – saturate with useful substances, retain moisture, protect against diseases and pests;
  • as a way to insulate the soil when planting young trees.

Useful Tricks for Mushroom Growers

Mushrooms are not considered too capricious crops. But the yield and taste of the original product depend on the quality of the compost. For this reason, you must strictly adhere to the rules for creating a mixture for growing mushrooms.

Experienced mushroom growers recommend adhering to the following tricks:

  • do not exceed the norm of the content of minerals and other microelements in the compost – this exceeds the temperature of the substrate, which leads to the death of Mushroom;
  • the humidity of the compost should not exceed 70%;
  • a good product does not have an ammonia smell;
  • normal structure – loose;
  • do not plant mushrooms in fertilizer if water flows from it;
  • keep an eye on the temperature in the piles.

Mushrooms have become affordable products in stores. But mushrooms grown in mass production do not have a pronounced taste and smell. “Homemade” Mushroom grow on compost made from natural ingredients. Rich nutrition allows you to get a good harvest of real mushrooms.