Growing oyster mushrooms is rewarding and fun, but it can be intimidating for beginners. That’s why we’re here to help! We’ll guide you on how to grow oyster mushrooms from start to finish so that you can get started on your own oyster mushroom farm.
What are oyster mushrooms?
First things first.
What are oyster mushrooms, and why should you learn how to grow oyster mushrooms?
They’re an edible fungus that looks like the shell of an oyster. Because they’re so easy to grow, they’ve become something of a staple in the herbal medicine industry and home gardens.
Oysters are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors because they don’t require much sunlight at all. Just some indirect sunlight will do! They also don’t need much water. A little misting once a week should suffice, and they only need minimal care throughout their growing cycle.
Oysters are versatile enough that even if you have limited space or resources, you can still grow them very successfully in containers indoors! If you’re ready to learn how to grow oyster mushrooms, keep reading below!
Before you grow oyster mushrooms, what types are there?
Here are the different types of oysters you can grow.
- Pearl oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)
- Blue oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus var. columbinus)
- Phoenix oyster mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius)
- Golden oyster mushroom (Pleurotus citrinopileatus)
- Pik oyster mushroom (Pleurotus djamor)
- King oyster mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii)
You need to choose one that you want to grow.
Steps in how to grow oyster mushroom
1. Prepare the substrate of your oyster mushroom.
The first step on how to grow oyster mushrooms is to get your hands on some spawn or the mushroom’s mycelium.
Mycelium is the fungus’ actual root-like vegetative growth and plays a critical role in the mushroom’s cultivation.
You can get it at a gardening store near you or online. Once you have some spawn, you’ll need to prepare your substrate, which is basically the material that will grow into fruiting bodies for the mushrooms.
The substrate can be made from
- Cottonseed hulls
- Or even coffee grounds!
You’ll want to use 1/3 cup of substrate per 1 gallon of water and keep it moist but not wet.
2. Get growing containers.
To grow mushroom oysters, you’ll need a container or bags.
The right growing containers are the mushroom cultivation bags. It promotes air circulation and gets your mushroom away from bacteria and molds.
If you don’t have these cultivation bags, you can start growing mushroom oysters using a bucket or ziplock bags with holes of 0.5mm poked in every 10 cm.
Inoculation is the actual adding of mushroom spawn to your substrate.
Note: You must wash your hands with soap and wipe all the surfaces you’ll work on using a cleaning spray. You should do it before mixing the mushroom spawn into the substrate.
You must ensure that the substrate isn’t too dry or too wet. Take a look at this hydration level you need to meet, depending on your substrate type.
- Sawdust and coffee grounds (55% hydration level)
- Straw (74%)
Perform a squeeze test to check its hydration level.
The Squeeze Test
- Get a substrate and bind it like a ball in your hand.
- Squeeze it. There should be only a couple of water drops.
- If there are no water drops, your substrate is dry, and you need to moisten it more.
- If there are too many water drops, then you might want to dry it a bit.
The Inoculation Process
- Mix your substrate and mushroom spawn in containers such as a barrel or plastic box.
- Put the substrate in your growing containers.
- Close the top part using tape or a rubber band.
Incubation is the most exciting part.
This is where your mushroom spawns will grow across your substrate, which leads to fruiting. However, you need to provide conditions for your mushroom to grow.
For example, you need to store it in a warm space, like 20-24 degrees Celcius. You can use a boiler room or cupboard.
When the bag is fully white, there comes the fruiting.
Fruiting is the process by which oyster mushrooms produce their fruiting bodies or mushrooms.
Growing oyster mushrooms comes in a series of stages called “flushes.” Each flush produces a new crop of mushrooms. The first flush occurs about five to seven days after you place your oyster mushroom spawn on the growing medium.
Subsequent flushes occur every two weeks or so, depending on the temperature and humidity of your environment.
It’s also the time when you can reap some of your oyster mushrooms!
What optimal conditions do you need to grow oyster mushrooms?
When learning how to grow oyster mushrooms, you also need to learn about their needs. Growing oyster mushrooms will demand some optimal conditions, such as the following.
a. Fresh air
Fresh air is important for growing oyster mushrooms because it allows the fungus to breathe and grow. The oyster mushroom needs oxygen to survive, so you must provide it with plenty of fresh air to cultivate a healthy crop of mushrooms.
You can grow oyster mushrooms in bags or trays with perforated sides so they can breathe easily without drying out. If you’re using a bag or tray, make sure to aerate your growing medium regularly by poking holes in the side of the bag or tray with a knife or fork.
Light is also important in growing oyster mushrooms. However, these mushrooms aren’t demanding in light, so you don’t need to put them directly under the sun. A shade or even just on your window will do.
Oyster mushrooms are also not demanding when it comes to temperature. To grow oyster mushrooms, you just need to ensure they are around 10 to 30 degrees Celsius. With that, they can still arrive at the fruiting stage.
Humidity is also one of the vital elements you must ensure while growing oyster mushrooms. But how can you achieve it?
You can do this by spraying the substrate with water twice a day. This is enough to prevent them from drying out.
Grow your oyster mushrooms today!
Oyster mushrooms are a great way to grow your own food, and they’re easy to do. If you’ve got a little bit of space on your countertop or in your kitchen, you can follow these steps on how to grow oyster mushrooms today!
Just be sure to keep your mushrooms fed and watered, and they’ll keep producing more. You can expect to start seeing mushrooms within six weeks, and you’ll get about three flushes or growth spurts before the season ends.
Don’t forget that these mushrooms are delicious! They have that earthy flavor that complements well with many foods, like chicken dishes, sausages, eggs, and more!
Now that you know how to grow oyster mushrooms, you’re ready to start.
We can’t wait to see the delicious meals you create with these little guys!