Last Updated on December 17, 2022 by Griselda M.
We have created a step-by-step guide to show you when to harvest oyster mushrooms at the right time and avoid keeping them past their harvest date.
Oyster mushrooms are one of the favorite varieties of mushrooms grown by most gardeners. They are delicious to eat and very healthy for you and your family.
Growing your own mushrooms at home is easy if you purchase a complete kit or spawn and then inoculate it in your own substrate. Most people think mushroom farming is tough if you are making your own mushroom cultures and spawning. It is tough to make your own as it needs a sterile environment that involves a pressure cooker.
Now that you know you can buy spawn it makes it easy to grow your mushrooms. So once you have planted your spawns and they are at the point they begin to fruit, most gardeners wonder when is the right time to begin harvesting. Some do it too early while some are late and harvest oyster mushrooms when they are already darkening due to overgrowing.
Once your mushroom fruit, things will move very quickly as long as you are keeping your fungus nicely hydrated. Every hour you will see your mushrooms grow bigger. At this point, begin to prepare for harvesting before your mushrooms grow too large and dry.
When To Harvest Oyster Mushrooms
When you notice your oyster mushrooms beginning to flatten out or turn upwards, it’s time to harvest before they begin dropping lots of spores.
At first, this can be difficult to judge if it’s your first time growing them, but you soon get a feel of it.
If you notice your mushrooms are growing any bigger or starting to dry out or dropping lots of white dust, then it’s time to harvest. Harvest when the edge of the mushroom caps begins to flatten out. You can twist them with your hands or cut the cluster off with a knife.
Once you have harvested, cook yourself and your loved one a sumptuous oyster mushroom dish.
Read more about Growing Asparagus from Seedlings
Quick Facts To Help You Know When To Harvest Oyster Mushrooms
- You can buy a complete mushroom kit with instructions that will give you an exact time frame for picking your mushrooms
- Or you can choose to estimate depending on the conditions the mushrooms grow under
- The mushrooms may be ready a couple of days earlier or later than the instructed date, so watch out for that.
- Size is not an indicator of when to harvest
- Bigger mushrooms are not always better – most times it means they are overgrown
- The best time to pick mushrooms is when the caps turn to form convex to concave- this means turning down to turning up.
- After the first mushroom begin to form, harvest 3 to 5 days later
- Keep an eye on the largest mushroom in the group as it goes from turning down to turning up at the edges.
Signs Of Overgrown Mushrooms
If you don’t harvest your mushrooms on time, they will overgrow and spoil. Here are a few signs to check for overgrown mushrooms:
Darkening At The Edges Of The Gills And Caps – avoid getting the edges too dark by harvesting at the right time.
Drying Out Or Hardening – This oyster mushroom has been left to grow for a longer time than the others. It should have been harvested sooner before it gets this dry.
Find out the Early Signs of White Powdery Mildew – What to Expect
How To Harvest The Oyster Mushrooms
Now that you know when to harvest oyster mushrooms the next thing to know is how to harvest them. You can either pinch the base of your mushroom and twist the family or cut them with a sharp knife or scissors.
How Many Times Can You Harvest Oyster Mushrooms?
So, you’re a mushroom lover and want to know how many times can you harvest oyster mushrooms. Seeing that the majority of mushrooms including the oyster variety are considered perennial plants in climates that are temperate, you can expect to harvest them year after year. You can also look forward to using mushroom grow kits between one to four flushes. However, this will depend on various factors as care and maintenance are important aspects when growing oyster mushrooms.
When growing your plant, you should ensure that they are in a suitable environment. To improve the quality and yield of this delicious vegetable, it is also recommended that you make use of legume waste that should be incorporated in the growing medium rather than only using rice straw. To do this, you should supplement about half of the rice straw with the legume. In turn, you will be awarded w great tasting abundant harvest even if your area is prone to snowfall.
How Do You Harvest and Cook Oyster Mushrooms?
Knowing how to harvest and cook oyster mushrooms will make the task much easier, also allowing for a delicious meal. Seeing that there are a couple of ways that you can opt for when harvesting oyster mushrooms, the technique that is preferred by most growers depends on what is most convenient and beneficial to the plant. So, should you pull or cut the oyster mushrooms growing in your garden?
Harvesting Oyster Mushrooms:
While some people prefer the cutting method because it reduces the chances of damaging the plant, others prefer to pull the mushroom in its entirety. Both methods are fine to use when harvesting but if your one who does not like cleaning blobs of dirt from your harvest, then I suggest opting for a clean cut that doesn’t have soil stuck on it because you’re slicing it above ground. But, this method also exposes the cut to bacterial infection and fungus so careful care is advised. Harvesting the oyster mushroom with care will also afford you a longer-lasting crop.
Cooking Oyster Mushrooms
To cook oyster mushrooms, you must first clean them by cutting around the stem. You can use these stems to make vegetable stock or discard them. However, keep in mind that all parts of these delicious plants are edible.
You can add the mushrooms to your soups, braise them, saute them in garlic butter, pan-fry your oyster mushrooms with olive oil, use them to make vegan fried chicken, and so much more. These mushrooms can also be eaten uncooked but to enjoy the depth of their flavor, adding them to your favorite dishes will enhance your meal substantially.
How Do You Get Oyster Mushroom Grain to Spawn?
Have you ever given any thought to how to get oyster mushroom grain to spawn? If so, then here’s a great method. To begin with, you would have to first rinse the grains and clean them.
Thereafter, you should soak them in water for a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 24. After that, to allow them to absorb enough water, you should cook them for about 15-20 minutes. Then, drain the excess liquid and dry its surface. The last step would be to put the grain into a jar and sterilize them at 15 PSI for about 90 minutes. This easy process will get your oyster mushroom grain to spawn.
What Temperature Do Oyster Mushrooms Grow at?
When growing mushrooms, knowing what temperature oyster mushrooms grow at, is an important factor in aiding them in thriving. Temperatures between 30 and 80 F are ideal for colonizing and fruiting. However, this excludes cold blue oyster mushrooms as they are inclined to colder climates and fruit after they go through a frost shock.
Additionally, warm-weathered species include the flamingo and pink oyster. However, the majority of these delicious mushrooms grow quite well in stable temperatures that range from 55 to 60 F.
Mushrooms Harvest Conclusion
Once you finish harvesting your mushrooms, you can turn the straw and have a few more mushrooms appear from the other side. If it doesn’t work for you, it’s still fine.
Once you have finished growing your oyster mushrooms, dispose of the straw in the rubbish bin or compost it. If you compost your straw, do not eat any mushrooms that may appear while in the compost. These may not be edible.
Now that you know how to grow oyster mushrooms at home and you have a guide on harvesting, you can come back time and time again until you are sure you are doing the right thing.
You can grow mushrooms as a business, as a side business, or just to feed your family and friends.
It’s that time to order some spawn and roll up your sleeves and grow your own oyster mushrooms!
Caroline is a gardener who loves to get down to the nitty–gritty of gardening. She proudly proclaims herself as a ‘dirt worshipper‘ and can often be found deep in the garden, covered in soil and singing to her plants. As a self–proclaimed ‘plant whisperer‘, Caroline believes that plants need love and attention just like any other living thing, and she loves to give them both. When she‘s not tending to her garden, you can often find her researching the latest gardening trends, or teaching others how to make their gardens thrive