How to Grow Mushrooms in a Spackle Bucket

Calling all vegetable lovers! Grow mushrooms easily in a plastic tote or 5-gallon bucket, even if you don't have a vegetable garden.

June 11, 2021

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Tools + Materials

  • medium capacity plastic storage tote
  • 5-gallon bucket with lid
  • power drill
  • large drill bit
  • aspen wood chips
  • coffee grounds
  • mushroom spawn mix
  • spray bottle with water
  • 1 large trash bag
  • plenty of boiling water
  • bleach

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Sterilize Bucket

For best results, start by sterilizing the bucket. You can either run it through the sterilization cycle of your dishwasher or add 1/4 cup of bleach and water and let stand for two minutes then rinse thoroughly.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Drill That Bucket

Drill holes! Lots of them — all over the bucket randomly, artistically and/or methodically.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Fill the Tote

Open the bag of wood chips. Dump them in the plastic tote.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Add Water

Add enough boiling water to cover the wood chips.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Let It Seep

Put the lid on the tote and go do something else while you let that wet, woody mixture cool down. Once it’s cool to the touch, drain the water and squeeze the excess moisture from the chips using your clean hands. Squishy! Fun!

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

The Spawning

There’s no way to make it NOT sound creepy, but it’s time for the spawning. Start by layering about 2 inches or so of the slightly damp wood chips into your beautiful hole-filled bucket.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

The Spawning II

Add mushroom spawn. Mushroom spawn can be purchased online or from a local, reputable source — avoid shady dealers at all costs.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Layer

Repeat the layering over and over until your bucket is full and has a final layer of spawn.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Put a Lid on It

Tightly place the lid on your layered spore cake creation.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Store & Keep Cool

Stash the ‘shroom farm somewhere cool and dry (closet, attic, that unused extra bedroom).

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Cover It

Wrap the bucket with a trash bag, but don’t tie it. Give it some air, so it, you know, spawns.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Cultivate and Harvest

Pins = teeny, tiny baby mushrooms, and they should form in 7-10 days. Moisten them with the spray bottle as needed to keep them from drying out.

Once the caps start to curl, it’s time to harvest. Make sure to pick entire clusters as opposed to individual mushrooms. Make sure to offer them to friends who hate mushrooms so you can feel generous, but secretly be greedy.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

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