Homegrown mushrooms are next-level gardening, but before diving into this challenge, check if you have proper oyster mushroom growing conditions. Oyster mushrooms grow in shady parts of the woods, often on logs or fallen timber. They’re packed with health benefits and one of the easiest fungi to grow at home. So even if you’re a beginner, there’s a foolproof way to get fresh oyster mushrooms.
How Challenging Is Growing Oyster Mushrooms At Home
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Growing any mushroom variety at home is more challenging than regular vegetables or herbs. Fungi require some specific conditions that you need to put some effort into providing. But once you get all the points right, you’re rewarded with heaps of mushroom production.
First of all, you need to look for a dark, sheltered space for your oyster mushrooms. It can be a shed in your garden, garage, or basement. When exposed to the sun, the mushrooms will die out before growing. Then you have to decide whether you’ll buy a mushroom growing kit or DIY.
Growing oyster mushrooms at home are relatively simple if you dedicate time and put thought into it. However, you can end up with heaps of mushrooms that are impossible to use up or big musty chaos.
Do You Have Proper Oyster Mushroom Growing Conditions
Temperature and light are the necessary growing conditions for oyster mushrooms. They need a stable temperature of around 55 to 65°F.
They die out in direct, intense light. While some fungi thrive in complete dark, oyster mushrooms can’t develop normally. So it would be best if you aimed for dim, reading-level light. However, they don’t need constant light, so you don’t need to keep a light on during the night.
Another essential condition is air circulation. Oyster mushrooms produce large amounts of CO2 as they grow. Thus, you need to ensure a consistent source of fresh air. Lack of fresh air leads to the development of small thin mushrooms.
Humidity is crucial as the mushrooms begin fruiting. Aim for 80 to 90% humidity but be careful not to overwater. It helps if you place a plastic liner to trap some of the moisture.
Steps To Grow Oyster Mushrooms
The simplest way to start growing oyster mushrooms is by buying a kit. But starting from scratch is more exciting and sometimes cheaper.
Oyster mushrooms grow on different types of substrate material, often a combo of sawdust and coffee grounds. When starting from scratch, it’s important to sterilize your medium.
Soak your medium of choice with enough water to form a spongy consistency. Place the mixture into your microwave or oven. Heat it in 3-minute intervals until it boils. Beware that heating the mixture will let out a specific smell in your kitchen.
After the base is chilled, it’s time to inoculate it with the mushroom spores. You can purchase ready mushroom spawn or grow it on your own. The spores take between 10 and 14 days to expand all over the medium. After that, they begin fruiting.
Proper oyster mushroom growing conditions will trigger faster growth. So make sure to provide fresh air, a humid environment with soft light, and a temperature no higher than 60°F.
How Long Is The Oyster Mushroom Season?
Oyster mushroom fruit 3 times, with each crop taking between 7 and 14 days to mature. After that, the medium is exhausted of nutrients and might stop producing mushrooms. So the entire season lasts about 8 weeks and produces 3 harvests.
What Are The Best Mushrooms To Grow For Beginners?
Mushrooms are relatively easy to grow, even for beginners. They don’t take up much space, aren’t high maintenance, and can bring your profit. Here are the easiest varieties to grow, ranked from least to more difficult.
- Oyster Mushrooms – A hardy mushroom ideal for beginners. It can be grown at home and is very tolerant.
- Shiitake – A delicacy popular in Asian cuisine and medicine. It can be grown on logs and conventional mushroom mediums.
- Lion’s Mane – A newly popular mushroom that thrives at room temperature with high humidity.
Tips On Oyster Mushrooms Growing
Sterilize everything – and this includes using gloves when handling the mushroom medium and during inoculation. Sanitize the space where you’ll be placing the mushrooms.
If there’s a chance of insects entering the site, put plastic wrap around the containers and spray with oil. The insects will get trapped and won’t reach the mushrooms.
Mist regularly until fruits appear. Avoid misting the growing mushrooms as they’ll turn brown and moldy.
The best time to harvest the mushrooms is when the top is slightly curved and not fully opened.
Do Oyster Mushroom Growing Conditions Vary By Region?
Naturally, oyster mushrooms grow best in cooler climates. The states located in the Northern hemisphere, including the US, have the appropriate oyster mushroom growing conditions.
Health Benefits Of Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are packed with health benefits that provide immune support and promote heart health. A large number of antioxidants affect bad cholesterol and reduce the inflammation processes in the body.
Oyster mushrooms have a small number of carbs and help with blood sugar regulation. The newest study conducted in 2021 proved the gut-healing effect of mushrooms.
How To Cook Oyster Mushrooms
After harvesting, oyster mushrooms keep up for 5 to 7 days in the fridge. However, they don’t freeze well. So aim to prepare them soon after harvesting.
They’re a versatile and great addition to any meal. Sauté the oyster mushrooms and use as a side dish or add to pasta. Put them on the grill and use them as a meat substitute. They work great in sauces, soups, and stews.
Bottom Line: Ideal Oyster Mushroom Growing Conditions
Oyster mushrooms are the perfect choice for beginners as they’re low maintenance and grow fast. All you have to do is ensure proper conditions. They need a temperature from 55 to 65°F, high humidity from over 80%, and dim light. They’re best grown from ready kits, but you can make one on your own if you’re up for the challenge. Oyster mushrooms provide three yields, each growing for 7 to 14 days.
Did you know growing mushrooms is so easy? Share this article and challenge a friend to grow their own mushrooms this season!