Neglect Tek: Growing Mushrooms with as little effort as possible!

Neglect Tek isn’t exactly a tek. It’s more like a philosophy—or an accident.

Neglect Tek means growing mushrooms successfully despite not really doing anything to take care of them. In some cases, it’s just another way of saying “aren’t I lucky?” A grower might start a project, get called away in the middle of it somehow, and then return sometime later to find lots of beautiful mushrooms. The grower takes a picture, posts it to some online forum, and somewhat sheepishly comments “Neglect Tek!”[i]

The funny thing is that sometimes neglected grows do better than the ones where everything goes right, suggesting that maybe all that misting and fanning and special equipment isn’t necessary after all. This is where the philosophy part comes in; Neglect Tek is any way of growing mushrooms that minimizes active management and intervention.

Advantages of Neglect Tek

There are many different forms of neglect, and not all of them grow mushrooms well, but the ones that do offer some definite advantages:

  • Less work. Not surprisingly, the most reliable advantage of doing less is that there is less to do.
  • Better stealth. If security is a concern, then the less often you need to go interact with the grow, the better.
  • Lower cost. Some forms of Neglect Tek require less in the way of specialized equipment than other teks do. That’s less you need to buy.
  • Faster fruiting. Doing less can result in getting more.
  • Lowered stakes. If you’re in a long-shot situation, perhaps with material that has already flushed a few times, Neglect Tek could give you another harvest—but if it doesn’t, you really haven’t lost anything yet.

Points to Remember

It may sound as if the premise of Neglect Tek is if you do everything wrong and sloppy, your mushrooms will turn out just fine. That’s not quite it. Remember that the original Neglect Tek is just a grower making a mistake and getting lucky enough not to pay the price. It’s exciting because it’s a surprise—most of the time if you just forget to take care of your mycelium, it won’t do well. Intentional Neglect Tek can work reliably, but only if you set yourself up for success carefully.

First, you need a strain that tolerates neglect[ii]. Not all strains do. Most cubensis strains will do just fine.

Second, make sure to prepare, sterilize, and inoculate your jars properly so as to keep your risk of contamination very low. Your grow won’t likely do well when neglected if it got off to a marginal start.

Finally, make sure that whatever version of Neglect Tek you use, your mycelium has enough oxygen, moisture, and light, somehow. While Neglect Tek entails paying less attention to getting humidity levels and so forth exactly right, if you don’t cover the basics, you won’t get mushrooms.

Also bear in mind that some forms of Neglect Tek have drawbacks, such as less reliability or weirdly-shaped fruits. There is a reason why most teks are more hands-on. But if you decide you don’t care about these drawbacks, and if you set yourself up for success properly, you can go ahead and get yourself a decent harvest with very little effort.

Types of Neglect Tek

As mentioned before, Neglect Tek isn’t one single growing method. It’s a philosophy that can be applied many different ways—some of which work quite well. Here are a few.

Outdoor Neglect

If you have some bulk substrate that’s already been pretty well used up by multiple flushes, put it in a plastic-lined bucket, water it, loosely close the bag to give it some protection while still allowing air exchange, and stick it outside in a shady area where it can get fresh air[iii]. Do keep an eye on its progress, as fruiting may speed up—you don’t want to neglect to harvest.

Indoor Neglect

Use a standard monotub set-up, but with extra moisture and plenty of air-holes[iv].  Then do nothing else until harvest.

Neglect in a Jar

Set up grain jars but with a little more empty space inside each jar. Inoculate and incubate as normal, but once the jars are fully colonized, dunk the cakes then return them to the jars. Then turn them upside-down, open, on a screen of some kind under adequate light, and wait until harvest[v]. The upside-down part is important—carbon dioxide is heavier than regular air, so it naturally falls out the open bottom, allowing fresh air to flow in. The resulting mushrooms will be super weird-looking, having grown squished-up in a jar, but do you really care?

We didn’t think so.


[i]Mellowmoshpit2 (2021). What Is Neglect Tek? Reddit

[ii]Quicksilver3453 (2023). Neglect Tech. Reddit

[iii]Fungusmaximus (n.d.). Outdoor Neglect TEK. Angelfire 

[iv](n.d.). Make Monotub for Mushrooms by Your Own. Shroomok

[v]Theta (2002). Neglect Tek and…? Shroomery

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