Mushrooms in a bucket

I got three oyster mushroom logs as a christmas gift (pink, white and brown). They produced two flushes of mushrooms, the first one much larger than the second.

After that, I decided to recycle them using the Home Depot bucket method:

Only instead of dealing with grain spawn and cultures (which I am still planning to do) I just used the spent logs and some aspen pet bedding I got on Amazon.

Well, after five weeks in the garage the white oyster is pushing out fruiting bodies. The brown one has some mycelium growth but no mushrooms. The pink one doesn’t seem to be doing much.


Wow that mushroom logs really produced good quantity and very nice looking mushroom for you. Did you have to put them in humility area for them to flush?

1 Like

Looking good! I grow shiitake on oak logs did a few oysters on logs this year for first time.

1 Like

Annie, I didn’t have to place them in a humid area. They produced just fine in the kitchen. The “logs” were actually made of straw and came pre-populated and wrapped in plastic. All I had to do was cut an opening and spritz with water twice a day. The first flush was ready in about a week.

For the bucket, I crumbled the spent log and layered it with aspen wood chips that I had soaked overnight in hot water.

1 Like

side note Urban: I have a lot of hobbies and tend to research them exhaustively, one of them is/was growing mushrooms.

I know of a decent number of people who fruited oysters indoors (admittedly many of them at larger scale, but it’s still worth considering) who developed allergies to oyster mushrooms and/or respiratory issues. Oysters produce absolutely absurd amounts of spores and if you’re just “kitchen-fruiting them” you will inhale a lot of them.

I’m not saying never do an indoor block, I’ve done them several times, but like I said, it’s something to consider.

also, you can attempt to re-use your spent substrates by adding them to deep chip beds in the garden or by “totem inoculation” of large logs outdoors, although I’d be reluctant to grow oysters in a chip bed I had fruit trees in as oysters are pretty aggressive.

1 Like

Thanks for the info, Mark! I am definitely not planning to grow them indoors consistently. I don’t see myself spending $75 on three mushroom logs that produced enough for 1.5 dinners (albeit delicious). That was a gift which ended up being fun, and I’m excited I was able to succesfully recycle at least one of the logs. The bucket is now outside, and will go back in the garage if the temp drops.

Just curious - do squirrels and other critters get a lot of your outdoor mushrooms?

slugs love mine!

As far as I know, mushroom is pretty hardy. It is the heat they can’t handle when grow in manmade environment.

1 Like

I had ordered spawn and bought some bags of oak wood pellets to grow some enokitake…of course i forgot because life and a year later it sits on my workbench…i’m sure the spawn is probably no good now.

John Daub (only in japan on Youtube) just did a livestream from a mushroom grower in Niigata (Japan) which is an area that gets a lot of snow. They grow them in greenhouse type structures/in bags.


mostly i’ve done shiitake and stropharia: bugs like stropharia, they get wormy fast and can also grow older and less appetizing on their own fairly quickly–that’s not a slam on them, but they are best as “buttons” or shortly after (“button” in quotes because the buttons can be almost the size of tennis balls)

shiitake doesn’t seem to appeal to anything, which is surprising, but they can sit on their logs for a week or longer with little to no damage


ive tried growing shitake on sugar maple here as we dont have oaks and not 1 of 20 logs took. i used the coldest weather vareity also. i think my winters are too cold for the mycelium. but then again they were under snow for 5 months so im not sure what went wrong. i did white and brown oysters on poplar and maple. those produced for 4 yrs. i still get some wine caps 6 yrs later from a bed i started under my spruces. they make the best stuffed mushrooms.

1 Like

Oyster mushrooms are a very aggressive colonizer but your substrate could likely use a little bit of 1-2% lime and/ or Gypsum 1-5%. Not to late to add some. open the lid poke holes 1/4 1/2 and 7/8 to the bottom and pour a little dissolved in distilled water in.

1 Like

Shiitake‘s can be very slow, especially if you Do you nap colonize with enough plugs.

If the logs are inoculated I am done they have a chance to dry out completely or if you used Grain or sawdust Spawn slugs can eat it.

And if you knock up too late they may freeze the plugs Before you had a chance for them to grow into the log itself…

It’s hard to say what happened to yours but there’s multiple possibilities. They definitely like oak better but I’ve had them fruit in maple, The problem isn’t the wood itself that’s not it likes to lose its bark—shiitake dont like barkless wood So if you have a log The loose is it spark in two or three years and you have long winters And especially if you under inoculate, you could just have a situation where the logs lost their bark before the shiitake were ready to fruit due to bark coming off before log colonization

1 Like

the bark stayed on for about 3 yrs. i used plugs instead of bulk spawn . maybe thats why they didnt take. i used 5in. logs and drilled holes in a diamond pattern every 3in. i covered the holes with soy wax. i layed them on wood pallets under my big spruces and covered them with burlap to conserve moisture. if my garden got watered they got a good soaking. they got inoculated in late may. i thought i did it right but i guess ill have to try again with bulk spawn next time.

sadly, sounds right to me…

1 Like

First harvest. There is no critter damage and they feel heavy, not like store bought mushrooms.

The back side with the stem attachments where they came out of the 1/4" hole:

Making lentil, leek and mushroom stew tonight - excited to use them!


love the smell of fresh oysters! good job!

1 Like