Growing oyster mushrooms: where to start

Growing oyster mushrooms: where to start

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Mushrooms are of great nutritional value. They are rich in proteins, carbohydrates and minerals, and for vegetarians they are one of the meat substitutes. But "quiet hunting" can be done only in ecologically clean places - mushrooms tend to accumulate radiation and salts of heavy metals. This makes picking them in industrial regions deadly.

In order not to deprive ourselves of a valuable and tasty food product, we buy artificially grown mushrooms or oyster mushrooms on the market. They are not cheap, but still less than pork or beef. Many residents of private houses are thinking about how to grow oyster mushrooms on their own. Let's say right away that cultivation of even a small amount of mushrooms will not be cheap, and the lion's share of the costs will be spent on purchasing high-quality mycelium. There are two methods of growing mushrooms - extensive and intensive, we will briefly cover both.

Growing mushrooms intensively

Growing oyster mushrooms in large quantities all year round is possible only by an intensive method, which implies the presence of special premises and equipment.

Premises preparation

Before you build a new mushroom growing room, look around; it may be cheaper to refurbish an existing shed or cellar. In the absence of heating, obtaining marketable products is possible only in spring or autumn.

The technology of growing oyster mushrooms requires separate keeping of germinated and fruiting mushroom blocks. The easiest way to achieve this is using two rooms, using the so-called multi-zone technology. Single-zone, however, implies the passage of the entire cycle in one space divided by a partition, if there is special equipment for growing oyster mushrooms.

First, make sure that growing oyster mushrooms is the kind of business that your family is going to do for a long time.

When starting to equip a room for mushroom growing, free it by starting with cleaning. Remove mold, plaster, lime the walls and ceiling with special means. The floor should be concrete or brick, in extreme cases, cover it with a thick layer of rubble or sand. For year-round cultivation of oyster mushrooms, you will need electrical outlets to connect heating and humidifying devices, artificial ventilation and lighting systems.

Blocks for growing mushrooms during fruiting should be raised above the floor level by at least 15-20 cm and fixed so as to exclude the possibility of collapse. You can install them in one row or in tiers.

This is a simplified description of the preparation of a production facility, making it possible to grow oyster mushrooms for beginners. Arrangement of areas allowing mushroom cultivation on a large scale may require the installation of:

  • artificial fog devices, consisting of a compressor, to which water is supplied, and an aerosol generator;
  • fresh air supply system capable of operating in automatic mode;
  • controlled heating;
  • automated lighting system;
  • special multi-level racks.

Mushroom growing substrate

Starting to deal with oyster mushrooms, think in advance on what substrate they will be grown. Wheat straw is best suited in our conditions. It is possible to grow oyster mushrooms on other substrates containing cellulose, lignin, proteins and fats:

  • straw of barley, oats, soybeans, rice;
  • hay from clover, alfalfa;
  • sunflower husk;
  • crushed corn cobs;
  • cotton wool;
  • flax fire (lignified part of the stem, which is a waste of production);
  • sawdust.

The most accessible materials for growing oyster mushrooms are straw, sawdust and husk. Immediately, we note that it is not so easy to prepare a substrate from the waste of the woodworking industry yourself.

Comment! The harvest of oyster mushrooms grown on wheat straw will be the largest. The record holder is cotton wool.

Treatment of the substrate for growing oyster mushrooms

You can't just fill the blocks with a substrate, sow with mycelium and grow oyster mushrooms. Of course, they rarely get sick, but it is not worthwhile to specially create conditions for the development of mold and other pathogenic microorganisms. We will assume that we use straw as a substrate for growing oyster mushrooms, and we will describe processing methods using it as an example.

  1. Chop the stems into 5-10 cm pieces using any method. The purpose of this operation is to increase the specific surface of the substrate, which allows the oyster mushroom mycelium to master it faster and eliminate voids.
  2. Pack the crushed material into bags of sugar or flour and place in metal containers. Pour boiling water so that it covers the bales of straw by 5 centimeters, press down on top with bricks or other load. Leave to cool completely.

By doing so, you get rid of many pathogens, soften the mushroom growing medium and convert the nutrients it contains into a form more suitable for oyster mushrooms.

There are many other ways to handle straw:

  • thermal;
  • hydrothermal;
  • xerothermic;
  • fermentation;
  • radiation;
  • chemical;
  • Microwave radiation.

But they all require the availability of appropriate equipment, and bags and large metal containers can be found in any private household.

Sowing oyster mushroom mycelium

When the substrate for growing mushrooms cools down to 20-30 degrees, it is squeezed out, leaving the moisture content of about 60-75%. You can simply squeeze a handful of straw in your fist - if the water is no longer flowing, and the palm remains wet, you can start sowing the mycelium (inoculation).

Important! At temperatures in excess of 30 degrees, fungal spores may die.

The technology of growing oyster mushrooms for beginners involves the use of high-quality mycelium. It is expensive, stored at a temperature:

  • from 15 to 25 degrees - 5 days;
  • from 5 to 10 degrees - 1 month;
  • from 0 to 5 degrees - 2 months;
  • below 0 degrees - 6 months.

To create blocks, you need from 180 to 200 g of mycelium, since mushrooms are easiest to grow in plastic bags measuring 350x750 mm or 350x900 mm. You can use new garbage bags for this.

Before using the oyster mushroom mycelium, you need to get it out of the cold and let it warm up at room temperature to 20-24 degrees. The table on which you will sow the substrate for growing mushrooms and your hands must be clean, it is even better to use sterile medical gloves.

  1. Gently mash the mycelium of the oyster mushroom to individual grains in a pre-scalded or alcohol-treated dish.
  2. Put a bunch of steamed straw into a new plastic bag and spread the mycelium (about 1 tablespoon) so that most of it is on the outer edge. It is often advised to thoroughly mix the mycelium with the substrate. This is the correct approach to growing mushrooms, but not rational. Oyster mushrooms will grow from straw adjoining the sides of the bag.
  3. Add a new batch of substrate, inoculate with mushroom mycelium and firmly seal with a fist. Be careful not to leave voids in the bottom of the bag, especially in the corners.
  4. Fill the bag completely, leaving space on top to tie it.
  5. Bind with twine. Oyster mushroom inoculation is difficult for beginners, and the first mushroom blocks are often crooked, oblique, with swollen sides. What to do? Take regular wide tape and use it to fix all the flaws by pulling up the bag where necessary. Just don't get carried away and turn it into a cocoon of duct tape.
  6. Leave the oyster mushroom growing block in a clean, warm room for a day or more. Then make in a checkerboard pattern up to 16 straight cuts 5-7 cm long, or cruciform cuts - 3.5x3.5 cm in size. The approximate dimensions are given, you do not need to measure them with a centimeter.
  7. Make a few punctures in the bottom corners of the mushroom bag to allow excess moisture to drain out.

Oyster mushroom mycelium germination

Place the mushroom blocks vertically, at least 10 cm apart. The most important requirement of the incubation period when growing oyster mushrooms is strict adherence to the temperature regime. The room should be 16-22 degrees, inside the bag - 4-6 units higher. If inside the block for growing mushrooms it crosses the mark 29, it will be necessary to urgently save the oyster mushrooms - to ventilate, arrange a draft, and turn on powerful fans.

After 1-2 days after inoculation, white spots will appear on the surface of the straw - this is the growth of the mycelium. After about a week, the mushroom growing medium will turn beige, the temperature inside the bag will only be 1-2 degrees higher than the ambient temperature. After 10-12 days, the straw will turn into a dense, white, homogeneous block permeated with oyster mushroom mycelium.

In the places of the incisions, a drop in temperature, humidity, air exchange and illumination will naturally form. This significantly accelerates the rate of maturation of the mycelium and the formation of centers of fruiting (primordia).

Important! When buying mycelium, be sure to ask the manufacturer for instructions on how to properly grow oyster mushrooms from it. Perhaps you will purchase mushroom hybrids with a different inoculation and fruiting temperature than those indicated in this article. Some types of oyster mushrooms die if the temperature inside the mushroom growing block reaches 26 degrees.

Air humidity during mycelium germination should be 75-90%. At normal temperatures, special ventilation is not needed and lighting is minimized. You may need to water the floor, use a sprayer, or install a humidifier, as it is not possible to grow oyster mushrooms in a dry room.

Oyster mushroom fruiting

Fruiting begins 14-20 days after sowing oyster mushroom mycelium. The appearance of primordia is a signal for a change in the content of blocks for growing mushrooms. They need to be transferred to another room, slowly lower the temperature to 15 degrees, begin to illuminate and ventilate. Optimal conditions for growing oyster mushrooms:

  • Water must evaporate from the mushroom caps, despite the high humidity, for this a ventilation system must be established.
  • The required illumination of the room is 100-150 lux. These are 2-3 bulbs with a power of 100 W per 15 square meters. m, working from 5 to 10 hours a day. If oyster mushrooms stretch out their legs and stretch towards the light source, then there is not enough of it.
  • The humidity in the mushroom growing room should be kept at 80-85%. If it falls below 70%, this will lead to a decrease in yield.
  • The permissible temperature for growing oyster mushrooms is 10-22 degrees, the optimal temperature is 14-18.

Primordia turn into a full-fledged mushroom druze in about a week. It needs to be cut off or unscrewed completely, leaving small oyster mushrooms to "grow" is unacceptable. After the main harvest, the block is able to bear fruit for another 2-3 months, however, there will be less and less mushrooms.

If you put oyster mushroom cultivation on a stream, it makes sense to replace the spent mycelium after the second harvest.

Important! The used block is a valuable fertilizer for the vegetable garden or a bioadditive to livestock feed.

We suggest watching a video that tells about the first steps in growing mushrooms:

Growing oyster mushrooms extensively

The easiest way to grow mushrooms is extensive. If you not only do not know where to start breeding oyster mushrooms, but also doubt whether it is worth doing it at all, start with it.

There are no blocks here, mushrooms are grown on logs, thick (at least 15 cm in diameter) branches, deciduous tree stumps. The logs are cut into pieces of 30-40 cm and soaked in water for a week, then infected with oyster mushroom mycelium in one of the following ways:

  • wet bars are installed in rows, 100-150 g of mycelium are poured onto each end and wrapped in cellophane;
  • holes are drilled in the upper part of the log, oyster mushrooms are poured into them and covered with moss;
  • a disc is sawed off from a bar, mycelium is poured onto the end, the stump is nailed into place.

Logs infected with oyster mushroom mycelium are installed in a shaded room with a temperature of 15-20 degrees, wrapped in cellophane and watered from time to time. If you regularly moisten the bars and do not let them dry out, after 2-2.5 months a white fluff will appear on the surface - the overgrowth was successful.

Place the mushroom logs in a permanent location, digging 2/3 into the ground, choosing a damp, sun-protected location. Maintain moisture by watering soil around them.

With such a simple growing method, you can harvest oyster mushrooms for 5-6 years until the wood falls apart, and you will get the maximum mushroom yield in the third year.

Growing errors

Oyster mushrooms rarely get sick and generally pose fewer problems than other mushrooms. If something went wrong, most often we are to blame ourselves or poor-quality mycelium. Let's look at the most common mistakes when growing oyster mushrooms:

  • Poor mycelium germination and the appearance of green or dark spots on the block surface are caused by poor mycelium quality or non-compliance with hygiene standards during inoculation. Oyster mushrooms will appear later, there will be fewer of them, but the quality will not suffer.
  • Weak and late overgrowth of mycelium - errors in the preparation of the block for growing mushrooms, overheating, hypothermia or other violations of the content of oyster mushrooms. Correct the bugs.
  • Unpleasant smell and color of the mushroom block content - overheating or waterlogging. You may have forgotten to make drainage holes at the bottom of the bag with mycelium inoculum for growing oyster mushrooms.
  • Delayed development - errors in temperature or water conditions, lack of ventilation.
  • The appearance of midges - storage of vegetables in the immediate vicinity of mushroom blocks or non-observance of hygiene rules when growing oyster mushrooms. Disinfect the area and eliminate the source of insects.
  • Decreased yield - violation of the rules for growing oyster mushrooms or poor-quality mycelium.

Mushrooms can be unmarketable for the following reasons:

  • a small hat with a long stem - lack of light;
  • oyster mushroom cap in the shape of a funnel, the leg is bent - lack of fresh air or overripening of mushrooms;
  • a small hat with a thick stem - the substrate is too loose and wet;
  • oyster mushroom druse is similar to coral - lack of oxygen.


You can cultivate at home champignons, shiitake, reishi, honey agarics, tinder fungi and other mushrooms, but it is easier and faster to grow oyster mushrooms. This exciting activity will allow not only to diversify the diet, but with certain material and labor costs, it can turn into additional (and considerable) earnings.

Watch the video: Grow Mushrooms at Home In A 5 Gallon Bucket Easy - No Sterilization! (August 2022).

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