We are often asked; can we use sawdust as a substrate to grow mushrooms – yes you can , BUT we don’t recommend pine sawdust.

Another one is ” Wheat straw or sorghum seeds?” Our answer is wheat straw. :) If you are going to use a lime soak method to sterilize your substrate then there is no need to add anything to wheat straw. If you are using a heat method, then add a supplement of bran/maize.

13 replies
  1. Frank Nilson
    Frank Nilson says:

    Hi there
    I am a resident in East London right next to the coast. I have a space under the house that I can use for growing mushrooms. I would like to cultivate the button mushrooms. Could I use the space and what would I need to ensure that I can produce good quality mushrooms. Do you also have statistics on the space needed to produce xkg mushrooms. You refer to wheat straw but where is this obtainable and what other product could be used instead of wheat straw ie. garden compost? Does it need a special temperature and humidity control? Could you send me the whole procedure from a-z what needs to be done to grow them succesfully. Your assistance in this matter is appreciated.

    • Sandra
      Sandra says:

      It is difficult to say without seeing the space. I’m curious as to why you want to grow buttons as they are a very slow and technical mushroom to grow in comparison to oyster mushrooms.

  2. Philippa
    Philippa says:

    Dear Sandra, I have a low light area overgrown with trees and under it a big heap of damp composted wood. There grows the little pink umbrella like mushrooms. Is there a edible cultivar
    that I can plant there? I live on my smallholding in Mpumalanga.Thank you.

  3. Maxine
    Maxine says:

    Hi Sandra . I live in Pinetown, unemployed, 58 years old, am interested in planting oyster mushrooms for own consumption and grow to farming commercially. How much is the smallest starter pack?

  4. Isabel van Tonder
    Isabel van Tonder says:

    I want to grow mushrooms on a small scale for myself. I have read that button mushrooms thrive in composted manure. My question is if I can use the compost bags that you buy at nurseries – is that suitable?

  5. Linda Nxusani
    Linda Nxusani says:


    We are based in the Eastern Cape, Port St Johns and we are starting a co-op. We would like to cultivate mushrooms however are clueless.

    What would you suggest our fist step be?

    Training? Buy starter kits?

    Looking forward to your favorable response.

    Linda Nxusani

  6. pheshy
    pheshy says:

    I would like to start growing mushrooms for profit .how do I structure the inside of the shipping container to do that?as that’s what I’m planning to use to grow my mushrooms.

  7. John Hanger
    John Hanger says:

    We have some Oak trees in the garden planted 5 or 6 years ago. They are now approx 4 metres tall.
    Each year we find brown dessicated mushroom like growths approximately 50mm in diameter under the tree canopy and nowhere else in the garden.

    The growths break into a fine brown powder when opened.

    Any idea what these are?

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