Growing mushrooms in a laundry basket

| Growing, Mushroom Cultivation, Mushrooms | 45 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 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.

– Lead image via Mushroom Patch

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  • Dobba

    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

    This is brilliant… I will try this next year.

  • Thanks! Great method!

  • 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.

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


  • 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 🙂

  • Where do you get the mycelium?

  • Cyrallath

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

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

  • Karen

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

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

  • paul

    how can i get mushroom seeds

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

  • Alice Huff

    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.

  • Lee Hulcher

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

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

  • Very Nice!

  • Cindel

    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?

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

  • Thank you for this inspiration!

  • 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?

  • Mat

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

  • Wayne from Maine

    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?

    • Kirsten

      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.

    • myrab51

      If you are worried about the plastics, you could easily make a cage out of chicken wire. It’s pretty inexpensive at your local feed supply. It wouldn’t be as portable, but if you don’t need to move it, you should be set.

  • martha

    does this method work on shiitake mushrooms

    • Kirsten

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

  • Garden Goddess

    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

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

    • Kirsten

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

      • Dustin

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

  • Antico

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

    • Kirsten

      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

    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?

    • 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…

    • Garrett Wyr

      Oysters metabolize hydrocarbons into edible mushrooms, for this reason they are used on deisel spills and other sites.

  • Tammy Wallace

    Can you grow Chanterelle Mushrooms with the laundry basket method as well? How about Morels?

    • Benedict Noel

      Cultivating morels and chanterelles is extremely difficult because they rely on a mycorrhizal relationship with an appropriate tree species – the laundry basket method wouldn’t work. Oyster mushrooms and straw shiitake are your best bet

    • Thanks for your up vote on my recent comment on the NY Court: Farmers to be re-educated; it led me here. I’ve been looking for a ‘great idea’ I could effectively manage and learn. We have an ideal spot and it’s along shaded fencing area that get some run off from the carport decking. Shade and moisture is a constant and we live in the Philippines. You will be hearing more from me about this shortly.

  • Jacob Sixbery

    Awesome! So you can provide a plastic bag lid until the end of fruiting without the very top of the substrate drying out? I’m wondering, if using 10 liter buckets, do you think you could use lids so that you can stack them (so you wouldn’t have to use shelves?)

  • barb

    could you grow hen (or chicken) of the woods using this method?

  • Joy Lahman

    I thought that mushrooms have to be in a cool dark place?