Edible mushrooms can be grown indoors or outdoors. Most varieties of mushrooms are grown by inoculating a log with the spores, but there are a couple of varieties that can be grown on wood chips and are suitable for outdoor gardening. The large composter mushroom is similar to portabella mushrooms in size and can be grown easily by beginners. Morels, a popular delicacy among mushroom enthusiasts, can also be grown outdoors.
Choose a partially shaded or shady area to grow your mushrooms in early May. Morels do especially well under maple, oak, ash, elm, beach or apple trees.
Use your shovel to loosen the top 2 inches of soil in your garden area. Go over the garden area with a rake so that the soil is even.
Mix your fresh hardwood chips with the composter mushroom spores. Use about 1 lb. of wood chips per 8 square feet. Spread the hardwood chips over the area in the yard where you'd like your composter mushrooms to grow. Place 1/2 to 1 inch of straw over your patch.
Water the soil in the area where you want to grow your morel mushrooms so that it is slightly moist.
Soak 1 lb. of wood chips per 8 square feet of garden area in a bucket of water for 2 days.
Drain and spread your wood chips evenly over the area you want to grow your morel mushrooms. Spread 1 pound of morel spores over each 8 square feet of garden area. Morel spores usually come mixed with sawdust. Be sure to mix the spawn with the wood chips and soil.
Moisten your mushroom garden during hot and dry weather. Your garden should produce mushrooms throughout the summer. Add leaves, branches and grass clippings to your garden twice a year to feed the soil. Your mushrooms will compost the debris.