Build Your Own Mini Monotub: A Step-by-Step Guide Using Shoeboxes

Build Your Own Mini Monotub: A Step-by-Step Guide Using Shoeboxes

A Comprehensive Guide to Crafting Your Own Shoebox Monotub for Mushroom Cultivation

shoebox mini monotub

Homegrown mushrooms can bring a fresh touch to your kitchen, but what if you're tight on space or simply looking to start small? Enter the shoebox monotub, a compact solution for your mushroom cultivation needs. 

Key Takeaways 

  • The shoebox monotub is a cost-effective and compact solution for mushroom cultivation, making it suitable for small spaces and beginners.
  • To create a mini monotub, you'll need two 6qt plastic bins, a drill with a 1/4in drill bit, micro-pore tape or self-adhesive thin felt, and a liner such as a plastic bag or sheet.
  • Maintaining ideal temperature and humidity levels is crucial for successful mushroom growth, with recommended ranges of 70-75°F (21-24°C) and 90-95% humidity. Regular monitoring and proper substrate inoculation can maximize yield, reaching up to 1oz per flush.Using two 6qt plastic bins from Walmart priced at only $1.28 per bin, we'll walk you through the creation of a cost-effective mini monotub suitable for your laundry room, closet, or bathroom. Although it requires a bit more manual care compared to a full-size monotub, this mini version is an excellent starting point for mushroom enthusiasts. Let's dive in!

What You'll Need

Before we start, let's gather our materials. Here's what you'll need:

    • 📦 Two 6qt plastic bins (these will serve as your shoebox monotubs)
    • 🔩 A drill with a 1/4in drill bit
    • 🎞️ A roll of micro-pore tape or self adhesive thin felt
      Item Cost
      Two 6qt Clear Plastic Bins (Shoeboxes) $2.56
      Drill with 1/4 inch drill bit Borrowed/Owned
      Polyethylene Bag (Trash Bag) $0.05
      Micro-pore Tape or self adhesive thin felt $1.00
      Spray Bottle $1.00
      Total $4.61

      Step 1: Drill Your Ventilation Holes

      holes for mini monotub for airt exchange

      Start by using your drill and bit to make several 1/4in holes around the upper part of one of your bins. We recommend 2-4 holes per side. This will serve as your main growing bin. These holes will allow for gas exchange, crucial for the healthy development of your mushroom colony.

      Step 2: Set Up Your Bins

      mini monotub shoebox bottom part

      Now, let's turn our attention to the second bin, acting as the foundation of our setup. As illustrated, this base bin is to be outfitted with a plastic liner, creating a comfortable bed for your substrate. Fitting the liner is straightforward: lay a plastic bag sheet inside the bin, then trim any excess material so it hangs about an inch over the bin's upper edge. This handy liner shields against pesky mushrooms sprouting on the sides.

      Once that's sorted, neatly place the bin adorned with holes over the top. Simple as that! Your setup is starting to take shape!

      Step 3: Preparing for Mushroom Growth

      mini monotub shoebox  top view

      To start, thoroughly clean your bins using alcohol - this is an essential step to ensure your mini monotub is as sterile as possible.

      Next, make sure the liner is in the bottom bin. Now, introduce your inoculated substrate into the lined bin. Gently press it down to create an even layer; remember not to pack it too tightly though, as your mycelium needs some breathing space!

      Nestle the top bin onto the substrate-laden bottom bin, ensuring a snug fit. Keep them together using some tape.

      Finally, time to cover those up with some micropore tape or self-adhesive thin felt. This will regulate airflow, while keeping unwanted contaminants at bay.


      Step 4: Monitor and Adjust

      Finally, keep a close watch on your mini monotub. With the right love and attention, you can expect yields of up to 1oz per flush, given the mushroom variety and the level of care provided.

      It's important to stay mindful of temperature fluctuations and maintain vigilance over humidity levels. Ideal conditions for growing mushrooms at home typically include a temperature range of about 70-75°F (21-24°C) and a humidity range of 90-95%.

      Voila! You're now the proud owner of your very own mini monotub for cultivating mushrooms even in the coziest of spaces.

      Mini Monotub vs. $10 Monotub: A Comprehensive Comparison for At-Home Mushroom Cultivation

      Comparison Aspect Mini Monotub with Shoeboxes $10 Monotub
      Cost About $2.56 for two bins Around $10
      Size 6qt, 14x8x4in 66qt, 24x17x14in
      Care Requires more manual care Lower maintenance
      Environment Sensitivity More susceptible to temperature changes Less affected by external temperature
      Placement Can fit in small spaces such as laundry room, bathroom, closet Requires some planning
      Humidity Control More manual control needed Can maintain humidity better
      Yield Up to 1oz per flush, typically 0.3oz per flush Potentially higher yields due to larger size
      Ideal For Beginners, small space mushroom cultivation Beginners, ready for larger scale home cultivation
      Skill Level Beginner-friendly Beginner-friendly

      Our top recommended tools:

      📦 Mushroom supplies and bin organization:

      💨 Clean mushroom environment:

      🌡️ Control temperature:

      📊 Monitoring for Healthy Mushrooms: Wifi NDIR CO2,


      * these are affiliate links.

      FAQ - Building and Cultivating Your Own Mini Monotub

      Q1: What is a mini monotub, and why use it for mushroom cultivation?

      A mini monotub, typically fashioned from plastic shoebox bins, is an affordable and compact method for cultivating mushrooms at home. It allows for a controlled environment that optimizes mushroom growth, making it perfect for small-scale growers or hobbyists.

      Q2: What materials are needed to create a mini monotub?

      To build a mini monotub, you'll need two 6qt plastic bins, a 1/4in drill bit, a roll of micro-pore tape or self adhesive thin felt, and a liner such as a plastic bag or sheet.

      Q3: What is the purpose of the liner in the mini monotub?

      The liner, typically a plastic bag or sheet, is used to prevent the growth of mushrooms on the sides of the substrate. It also aids in retaining the required moisture level within the monotub.

      Q4: What is the ideal temperature and humidity for growing mushrooms in a mini monotub?

      The ideal temperature for mushroom cultivation is generally between 70-75°F (21-24°C), while the optimal humidity level ranges from 90-95%. Consistency in these conditions is key to a successful yield.

      Q5: How can I increase the yield from my mini monotub?

      Maximizing yield from a mini monotub involves maintaining ideal growing conditions and ensuring proper substrate inoculation. Regularly monitor temperature and humidity levels, and make sure your substrate is evenly inoculated. With care and attention, a mini monotub can yield up to 1oz per flush, depending on the type of mushroom.

      With your very own mini monotub, you're now set to start your home mushroom cultivation journey! 🍄🌱 If you're interested in taking your mushroom growing to the next level, explore our article on Innovative Features to Look for in an Automated Monotub for Mushroom Growing. Discover how advanced technology can enhance your cultivation experience and maximize your yields. Read more now and unlock the full potential of your mushroom growing endeavors! Happy growing!

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