If you want to feast on tasty and healthy mushrooms all year round, you should think about their home-grown. You can get the best result if you choose your oyster mushrooms. This variety of mushrooms does not require special care and is completely unpretentious. Today we will try to understand all the intricacies of growing oyster mushrooms at home.
There are two ways of growing oyster mushroom: extractive (close to the natural growing conditions of mushrooms) and intensive (under artificially created conditions). In the future, we will consider each of the methods in more detail, and as a result, you will be able to choose the most suitable for yourself.
Some types of mushrooms grow well on tree trunks and stumps. It is this property of the mycelium and should be used when growing oyster mushrooms at home.
Instruction of growing oyster mushrooms on stumps
- Since oyster mushrooms prefer the wood of deciduous trees such as poplar, willow, linden, it is preferable to prepare hemp from these tree species. A good harvest can also be obtained from the aspen stump. Ready hemp or logs with a diameter of at least 25 cm cut into pieces up to half a meter and soak in water for a week.
- Make several not too deep cuts on the surface of the logs with a sharp knife or a small hatchet.
- Place the previously acquired mycelium (mycelium) in the resulting grooves, and sprinkle it with sawdust or moss on top.
- Place the stumps on top of each other and cover with foil – this will help to keep the humidity for a longer time.
- Place the logs in the garden in a shady place. It is not recommended to leave hemp under direct sunlight, otherwise, the mycelium may die.
- In dry weather, water the hemp every day with cold (but not ice!) Water.
- Within a month or two, you will be able to harvest the first harvest.
Considering all the recommendations and following the instructions exactly, you can harvest oyster mushrooms several times in one season. When the onset of cold weather, do not rush to remove hemp with mycelium – the mycelium retains its fertility for 3-5 years.
The main advantages of this method of cultivation include the minimum cost, both financial and physical. But among the shortcomings are the following:
- The yield of mushrooms depends on weather conditions: the greatest fruiting is a warm and not dry summer.
- It is unlikely that you can grow oyster mushrooms in large quantities (for the purpose of sale), but it is possible to provide the family with fresh mushrooms.
If you want to get a bountiful harvest of mushrooms and have some funds for the initial investment, you need an intensive way to grow oyster mushrooms. The main task of the mushroom grower, in this case, is to provide a microclimate that will be most favorable for the growth of the mycelium.
Phased description of the intensive cultivation of oyster mushrooms
- Purchase ready-made mycelium in specialized stores. For the first experience of growing mushrooms at home, it is enough to buy 1 kg of mycelium.
Note! A good mycelium should be white with minimal patches of yellow or orange. The presence of dark green and brown spots is not allowed. The optimal storage temperature for packages with mycelium should be within 20 degrees. The presence of a strong ammonia smell indicates the spoilage of planting material.
- A few days before the planned landing, put the bags with mycelium in the refrigerator. Before planting, remove the mycelium from the refrigerator and leave it in a warm room to warm to room temperature. Then chop it gently with clean hands.
- Prepare the planting substrate. It can be prepared from virtually any waste of plant origin. Suitable:
- sawdust and bark;
- straw (from barley or wheat);
- crushed corn waste (last year’s stalks, leaves, and even cobs);
- Husks from seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) and buckwheat.
Note! Before preparing the planting substrate, check it for fitness. In no case should it be spoiled by mold and even a slight presence of rot?
- Prepare the prepared mass with boiling water or with steam. After treatment, drain the water and place the substrate under pressure.
- Chop the wet mass into small pieces (if using bark or cobs with corn stalks).
- Prepare the room and bags for growing oyster mushrooms. Treat the room (basement) with chlorine. And disinfect the packages in which the planting substrate will fit, for a few minutes with bleach solution.
- Fill the bags with the substrate with mycelium. There are two ways to add weight:
- Pre-mix in a large container 10 kilograms of planting material with a kilogram of mycelium and put the mixture in 2 bags;
- Place the mass in layers, alternating 5 cm of the substrate and 0.5 cm of the mycelium; top layer lay the landing mass.
- On the surface of the filled bags, make holes through which mushrooms can sprout. Using a knife or any other sharp object around the bag, make small cuts (up to 2 cm) in a checkerboard pattern.
- Suspend or place bags on pallets so that air can penetrate to them from all sides.
- During the incubation period, which lasts for one and a half to two weeks, provide favorable conditions for the planted mycelium:
- the temperature in the room should not exceed 25 degrees, and inside the bag -30 degrees;
- basement humidity should be around 80%;
- provide daily wet cleaning of the room;
- Eliminate the possibility of even the slightest drafts, and if necessary, reduce the temperature of the air, use a fan or humidifier.
When creating optimal conditions in a few days the mycelium will begin to germinate, and you will be able to notice the appearance of thin whitish filaments with a characteristic mushroom odor. After 2 weeks, the mycelium will grow throughout the package and will move to the fruiting stage.
- After the end of the incubation period, transfer the bags to a non-residential area where a certain microclimate will be created:
- humidity 90%;
- constant temperature not exceeding 15 degrees;
- lighting for 12 hours;
- The possibility of airing 2-3 times a day.
Note! Since mushrooms during active growth emit a huge number of spores, which are a powerful allergen, finding bags with germinated mycelium in a residential area is unacceptable.
- When the first mushroom caps appear, irrigate them several times a day. Water should be sprayed in such a way that the drops flow down over the caps and do not linger in the openings of the bag. With excessive humidity increases the likelihood of rotting mycelium. To prevent the development of this process, you should ventilate the room several times a day.
- In less than 2 months you will be able to harvest the first crop of oyster mushrooms, and after another 2-3 weeks, new mushrooms will appear. With proper care and favorable conditions, the mycelium can bear fruit up to 4 times. But the greatest number of mushrooms can be collected precisely in the first two harvests.
Note! When harvesting the first and subsequent yields of oyster mushroom, each mushroom should be twisted together with the leg out of the bag with the planting substrate; otherwise, the likelihood of rot appears.
- After harvesting the first crop, pour out planting material and reassemble it – remove all rotted particles and remnants of mushrooms. Then put it in the bags again and wait for the new crop.
With good care, high-quality mycelium is able to bear fruit for six months. You can place planting material not only in bags but also in wooden boxes and even in plastic buckets. And after harvesting the last harvest, planting substrate can be used as a fertilizer in the garden and in the garden.
When growing oyster mushrooms in an intensive way, costs increase (buying bags, preparing a substrate, as well as providing daylight and increased humidity), but also the yield of mushrooms, not dependent on weather conditions and the season, increases several times.
Having adopted the proposed methods, you can not only diversify the menu but also earn money, because a small “plantation” of oyster mushrooms at the dacha is more than real!