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Growing mushrooms in a laundry basket

August 12, 2012 | Growing, Mushroom Cultivation, Mushrooms | 47 comments | Author:

Thought you might like to see a great way to grow mushrooms outdoors if you have a shady place that gets watered regularly…

This technique also works indoors, but the laundry basket is usually bagged or boxed until the straw is completely colonised with mycelium. This technique has both upsides and downsides, but most importantly, it’s easy, and gets people growing mushrooms! Huzzah…

Zodd’s oyster mushrooms

VelaCreations’ colonised straw

Fungifield’s golden oysters

VelaCreations’ basket, bagged and ready to fruit

VelaCreations’ fruiting oyster mushrooms

Grow your own’s oyster mushrooms – delish!

At Milkwood Farm, we’ve opted to grow our oyster mushrooms in double buckets. We chose this technique to alleviate the need to bag or box the inner bucket to maintain humidity and isolate the substrate (because that’s the outer bucket’s job), and also to ensure that the plastic that the mycelium is in is food grade.

However, many home mushroom propagators use the laundry basket technique, and it illustrates yet another way oyster mushrooms can be grown inside, outside and upside down, once you have the basic knowledge, skills, tools and of course mycelium… mmm mushrooms.

Join Will Borowski at a Milkwood mushroom cultivation course and leave with all the knowledge and skills you’ll need to get growing mushrooms inside and outside, in all sorts of ways.

We also supply students with multiple strains of mycelium in petri dishes, inoculated shiitake logs, fruiting bags of mushrooms and heaps of other resources. Yummo.

>> More posts about mushrooms at Milkwood Farm

– Lead image via Mushroom Patch

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  • Dobba August 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply

    I grew oyster mushrooms at home. I found them easy to grow but missing the tasty nuttiness of wild mushrooms. Have you tried growing any other types?

  • stanleycottagegarden August 13, 2012 at 6:02 am | Reply

    This is brilliant… I will try this next year.

  • Bruce Miller August 13, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply

    Thanks! Great method!

  • Greg August 13, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply

    Reblogged this on 2bMNML and commented:
    check out this great post on growing mushrooms in hay in a laundry basket. We just so happen to have a derelict laundry basket, some hay and a shady spot so we’re going to give it a go.

  • compostcorner August 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    One day Dookie, one day… (maybe next winter??)


  • Mush Zombie August 14, 2012 at 2:32 am | Reply

    Hello! I love this thread! We have many grows of different species of oysters at shroomology, using this exact method! I am posting a link to this thread on my website, we have quite a few VERY experienced cultivators that would love to look around here.

    Check out our blue oyster in a basket grow!

    Also sorry if I am not supposed to share links to other websites here. I promise this is not about spam, but about being friends, and sharing :)

    1. milkwoodkirsten August 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply


  • […] to go a step further?  Grow your own darned mushrooms in a laundry basket like the eco-geniuses at Milkwood did.  Yes, I said a laundry basket.  Check it out.  These […]

  • Shawna Wensky September 4, 2012 at 3:44 am | Reply

    Where do you get the mycelium?

  • Cyrallath September 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply

    Could this be done with similarly-perforated ceramic jars, perhaps?

  • Lori September 18, 2012 at 5:01 am | Reply

    This looks very cool! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Karen September 19, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply

    If you come up with a way to grow Chanterelles in a basket, let me know!!

  • Eduardo L. Timonera November 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply

    How can i know the complete mush room technology for free more power

  • paul December 4, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply

    how can i get mushroom seeds

    1. milkwoodkirsten December 4, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply

      Paul you can get mushroom mycelium from any decent supplier in your country – just look up ‘mycelium supplier’ or similar

  • Alice Huff January 28, 2013 at 5:36 am | Reply

    I tried batter fried home grown oyster mushrooms last summer. Heavenly! I’m interested in trying this but it’s so hot and dry in Okla.

  • […] mushrooms, and the coolest part for me was that this works both outdoors and indoors. The folks at Milkwood, a group who teaches permaculture workshops, shared this idea on their […]

  • Lee Hulcher February 5, 2013 at 4:59 am | Reply

    If have a large partly shaded green house, can I grow mushrooms in it?

    1. milkwoodkirsten February 5, 2013 at 5:14 am | Reply

      if you keep the moisture temps right, yes!

  • jazzyboi72 February 9, 2013 at 8:50 am | Reply

    Reblogged this on Crystallinity and commented:
    What a great idea… love mushrooms and love growing them

  • Adhara Diseño Web Zona Sur March 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Reply

    Very Nice!

  • Cindel March 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply

    If I wanted to grow button mushrooms, would it be possible to purchase close-gilled ones from the grocery store, slice them open, and place them in the growing medium?

    1. milkwoodkirsten March 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply

      Probably not, Cindel… look up’cloning mushrooms’ – there’s lots of online resources for the process…

  • Growing mushrooms March 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Reply

    […] […]

  • Mushrooms in a bucket? - Homesteading Today April 15, 2013 at 11:58 am | Reply

    […] Check this out:…aundry-basket/ […]

  • […] a great space-saving strategy for homestead mushroom production… oh and you can grow them in laundry baskets […]

  • […] basket. The basket gives the mushrooms the proper room to aerate and thrive.  Check out this article over at for more […]

  • […] 2. Growing mushrooms in a laundry basket […]

  • […] Source […]

  • Kitchen-Counter-Culture January 20, 2014 at 8:19 am | Reply

    Thank you for this inspiration!

  • greenavestruz January 30, 2014 at 3:06 am | Reply

    i left a comment on your “holey bucket” tech… and i have just a quick question on this post as well…

    how do you water the basket?

  • […] If springtime inspires you to go outside and get your hands dirty, just sift through the site — you’ll find DIY projects galore, from making a worm tower to growing mushrooms in a laundry basket. […]

  • Mat April 27, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Reply

    Hi, will this method work for turkey tail spores? Thanks

  • […] This technique also works indoors, but the laundry basket is usually bagged or boxed until the straw is completely colonised with mycelium. This technique has both upsides and downsides, but most importantly, it’s easy, and gets people growing mushrooms! Huzzah…” source: […]

  • Wayne from Maine December 9, 2014 at 8:27 am | Reply

    This might be a dumb question but there was mention of food grade plastic buckets for safety. How do we know if the types of plastic used to make the different kinds of laundry baskets is not going to be a health concern?

    1. Kirsten December 9, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply

      well, to be blunt, you don’t. But the theory is working off the fact that mycelium are incredible selective about what they ingest – and in the case of edible fungi like oysters or whatever, plastic is not on that list. the other aspect is that unless you’re talking log-grown shiitake, all commercially cultivated mushrooms are either grown in plastic of one type or another, OR in the case of compost-grown button mushrooms, they’re doused with selective fungicides to ensure nothing competes with the chosen fungi… so… hmm.

  • martha December 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Reply

    does this method work on shiitake mushrooms

    1. Kirsten December 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Reply

      Shiitakes eat wood or sawdust, so you could technically do it on sawdust i suppose…

  • […] I am a little worried they might be dead. Suffocated. I gave them a sniff, they smelled alright  They were not surrounded by a brown liquid (as described on the help site) and some of them even had some little mushroom looking things on them. So I decided, the worst thing that could happen is that they won’t grow and I will have to find a new log and then order new plugs. I think I will try something a little easier, like growing mushrooms in a laundry basket. […]

  • Garden Goddess January 27, 2015 at 8:11 am | Reply

    Are these food-safe approved plastic laundry baskets? If not, you may be letting some unsafe petro-chemicals leech into your food. Just saying…

    Take care and best wishes,
    Garden Goddess

  • Dustin February 11, 2015 at 10:25 am | Reply

    Could I do this with woodchips or does it only work with straw?

    1. Kirsten February 11, 2015 at 10:48 am | Reply

      You could do it with woodchips, depending on the species, but it will take a lot longer

      1. Dustin February 12, 2015 at 8:11 am | Reply

        I am just worried about using straw at all the straw available has been previously sprayed with pesticides/herbicides

  • Antico February 18, 2015 at 9:37 am | Reply

    Question: can you grow more than one variety in the same basket

    1. Kirsten February 18, 2015 at 9:40 am | Reply

      Well, it’s a competition for resources in there – so yes, in theory, but one species mycelium will likely out-compete the other, which would make it not very worth it…

  • Rico March 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Reply

    considering mushrooms decompose organic as well as inorganic material very quickly do you feel it is wise to be growing mushrooms for consumption in petrochemical based containers?

    1. Kirsten Bradley March 3, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Reply

      well, it’s not something we personally do – we stick to food-grade buckets, glass jars, logs + woodchips – but it is an interesting proposition, and I know many shroom growers that would say it doesnt matter at all…


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