Growing Mushrooms On Hardwood Fuel Pellets (HWFP)

Hardwood pellets for mushroom growing

Wood pellets are made from compressed sawdust and wood shavings. They are made by specialized pellet making machines which process the wood products with high heat and pressure which dehydrate and, in some cases, naturally pasteurize the wood.

hardwood pellets for mushroom growing

Is Growing Mushrooms ON Hardwood pellets safe?

Wood pellets are generally considered safe for mushroom cultivation but may not always be guaranteed safe. It is best to consult with the producers of wood pellets to ensure they are not made with contaminated wood products. It’s likely safe to grow mushrooms on hardwood pellets when the pellets come from an all natural source.

What does the term hwfp stand for in mushroom growing?

HWFP stands for Hardwood Fuel Pellets and is the term used for pellets made from specific types of wood, most notably Oak. These pellets are generally used for fuel in specialized stoves but are also the most valued for growing mushrooms.

How much do hardwood pellets cost?

The cost of wood pellets can greatly vary depending on your location. In many places, they can cost as low as $10 for a 40 lb bag… sometimes as low as $5. If they are imported, wood pellets can cost as much as $50 for a 40lb bag.

If you are looking for a cheaper source of wood pellets you may want to consider not using them at all. Instead, you might consider just using hardwood sawdust. You could find this at a local lumber mill or woodworking shop and it will likely have a price tag of $0. Most shops are happy for you to take away their waste for free.

The only downside to this is that you might not know what is in the sawdust exactly. So speak with the business owner or employees and see if you can determine the purity of the sawdust.

Where can I buy pellets?

When purchasing hardwood fuel pellets you will want to look locally to avoid paying for shipping. Due to the weight of the product that will have a drastic affect on your costs. A good place to start looking for hardwood pellets for growing mushrooms is local Animal Feed Stores, Garden Centres, Pet Stores, and Hardware Stores.

Can You Use Softwood or Pine Pellets?

Contrary to popular belief many growers actually have success with Pine pellets. The results can vary and may not be as effective as hardwood fuel pellets. In some cases, growers report having greater results with pine pellets over hardwood fuel pellets! This can be a good option where HWFP is inaccessible or economically unsustainable.

How Do You Grow Mushrooms On Hardwood Pellets?

There are many different ways to grow mushrooms on hardwood pellets and it is often considered the easiest way to grow mushrooms. Since pellets are often pasteurized in the pellet-making process they may not require excessive processing. The fact that they also contain very little moisture makes it possible to hydrate them to the perfect moisture level without draining. Below are three strategies for growing mushrooms on wood pellets.

  • Rehydration With Boiling Water – Simply rehydrate the pellets in a 5-gallon bucket or closable container with a 1:1 ratio of boiling water to pellets. After cooled and hydrated you can inoculate the resulting sawdust with the mushroom spawn of your choice.


  • Vinegar Method – Hydrate 20lbs of pellets with 20lbs of water + 150ml of vinegar. After hydrating for 4-5 hours the substrate is ready for inoculation!


  • Hydrating With Lime Water – Simply add 2g of hydrated lime to every liter of water and hydrate pellets with a 1:1 ratio. Wear gloves when handling the substrate and inoculate with mushroom spawn! Easy peasy!
hardwood for growing mushrooms

What Mushrooms Can You Grow On Wood Pellets?

Oysters, Enoki, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and all the wood loving mushrooms can be grown on hardwood pellets. This makes it an excellent option in regions where woody substrates are hard to get. Mushrooms that cannot be grown on wood pellets are compost-loving species like White Button Mushrooms, Portobello, and Cordyceps.

What About Paper-Based Pellets?

It would be best to ask producers about the quality and possible contamination associated with paper pellets. Since they are often made with byproducts or recycled materials they may not be the best for mushroom cultivation.

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