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 spawn. 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 become spoilt. 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.
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!