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Growing mushrooms is a rewarding and fascinating experience. Not only because it gives you a sneak peek into the mysterious world of fungi, but you get delicious gourmet mushrooms! For experienced and new mushroom growers alike, Oyster Mushrooms are a popular “go-to”. They are vigorous, versatile, and grow well in a variety of climates. Best of all, they’re delicious and have a growing economic value!
Before you get started with cultivation let’s get a little background into some of the materials and terminology involved in cultivation.
Spawn is one of the most important materials needed to succeed at mushroom cultivation. It may be the only specialty material you need to find. It is with Spawn that you will introduce the mushroom culture of choice into its new food source. This is why Spawn must be healthy, thriving, and extremely clean.
If you attempt to grow mushrooms from low-quality Spawn, you will be more likely to have issues.
There exist many different types of Oyster Mushrooms, each with preferential climates and conditions. Consult the table below for ideal temperature ranges. Choose a strain that is best suited for your climate.
|White Oyster||55-75 F|
|Pink Oyster||70-80 F|
|Yellow Oyster||60-75 F|
|King Oyster||45-55 F|
Oyster Mushrooms can be grown on a wide range of different materials including hay, straw, coffee grounds, wood shavings, and agricultural wastes. Usually, the best materials are those that can be acquired locally, economically, and are free of potential toxins.
Ideally, your substrate should be made of relatively small and homogenous pieces. When placed in a container they should fill the bag with only minimal airspace between them. In many cases, this means grinding or breaking down your materials.
|Types of Substrates||Preparation||Things to Consider|
|Straw||Cut into pieces around 5” in length. You can do this manually with a machete or give it a go with a weed whacker.||Avoid using Hay as it tends to have higher levels of nitrogen and thus leads to contamination.|
|Coffee Grounds||Use as-is. Make sure they are not excessively wet.||Contains high levels of nitrogen that can easily result in contamination.|
|Wood Shavings, Saw Dust, and Wood Chips||Use as-is and avoid mixing woods. Wood Shavings tend to be the best if you have options.||Only use wood materials that originate from hardwoods. This includes Oak, Ash, Maple, Fruit Trees, and other broad-leaf species.|
|Corn Cobs||Grind into small homogenous pieces. Alternatively, you can cut it by hand.||Large pieces tend to leave a lot of room between them and could cause contamination.|
Once your substrate is prepared, put it inside a mesh bag of adequate size. A large pillowcase or laundry bag will also work great. Once you’ve got the substrate in the bag, you are ready to move onto pasteurization!
There are a couple of ways to pasteurize your substrate, the easiest being the Hot Water Bath. The Hot Water Bath
Now it’s time to let the mycelium grow!
Where to Incubate Your Mycelium?
This is the best part! It’s also the most delicate. Depending on your climate you may need to manipulate your natural environmental conditions.
Best Conditions For Fruiting
Harvesting is easy! You know your mushrooms are ready once the outer margin of the cap begins to lift. Ideally harvest right before this point! Afterward, cut your mushrooms from the base as close as possible to the substrate. If you have a large cluster don’t be afraid to harvest it all at once.
After your first harvest, you can try to get a second flush. Do this by repeating step 5. You may be able to get 2-3 flushes from the same bag!
Download the ultimate guidetutorial pdf (free download)
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