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How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms at Home Fast UK (Complete Step by Step Guide and Product Links)

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

Oyster mushrooms are amazing; tasty, healthy and easy to grow are a few of this mushroom species' characteristics. This guide will run you through the growing process step by step and will allow you to learn how to grow your own oyster mushrooms at home.


Why should I read this guide?

  • Information in this guide has been gathered from our experience of many years of oyster mushroom farming and growing.

  • Links to products you can use in your mushroom farming journey are included.


Let's get started!



Ready-to-Grow Kits vs Full DIY (from scratch)

When it comes to growing your own mushrooms, there are two main approaches available.


Firstly, you have the Ready-to-Grow mushroom growing kits. These growing kits are already inoculated with oyster mushroom spawn and have been incubated for the required amount of time to allow the mushroom to colonise the substrate. These kits usually include step by step instructions and only need to be cut and sprayed with water and mushrooms should grow in around 7-14 days given the right conditions are met. Such kits are great for beginners and presents as all of the work has been done by the kit producer and you get to enjoy the mushrooms as they grow. It is also the fastest method of growing mushrooms at home. Buy Ready-to-Grow mushroom growing kits here.


The other alternative is to grow your own mushrooms from scratch; this includes buying your own mushroom substrate and oyster mushroom spawn and using them to grow mushrooms. This approach is preferred by most mushroom enthusiasts as it allows them to understand, learn and control the whole process from start to finish. With this method, contamination is a big problem and growers need to ensure that they work using a sterile technique, however if successful, it is much more rewarding than preinoculated growing kits. One of the main downsides to this approach is that usually no instructions are included, so it may not be suitable for beginners, although some mushroom growing packs include step by step instructions, such as the ones you can find here. Another downside is that this method is usually the longest method of growing mushrooms at home and can take at least 4 weeks.


This guide will discuss how to grow your own mushrooms at home from scratch.

 



Picking The Right Oyster Mushroom Species to Grow

Oyster mushrooms grow in different conditions based on the species. It's very important to grow the species that matches your house/fruiting room's conditions in order to have the best results possible. Choose which species to grow using the information below.


Blue Oyster Mushroom

This species generates a heavy yield with many mushrooms. Large caps and short stems can be achieved with low carbon dioxide levels, creating the optimum mushroom.

Species: Pleurotus ostreatus

Fruiting duration: 4-6 weeks

Optimum fruiting room conditions: 10-17 °C @ 85% RH










 
 

Pink Oyster Mushroom

This species generates a heavy yield of bright pink mushrooms. Their eye-catching colour is only one feature of this species along with it's unique mild taste compared to other oyster mushrooms. One of the quickest growing mushrooms you can cultivate.

Species: Pleurotus djamor

Fruiting duration: 3-5 weeks

Optimum fruiting room conditions: 18-28 °C @ 85-90% RH

 
 

Yellow Oyster Mushroom

This species generates a colourful, heavy yield of bright yellow mushrooms that are of high quality. Tend to grow on stems as a large, tight cluster. Highly sought-after due to their different and unique taste compared to other oyster mushrooms.

Species: Pleurotus citrinopileatus

Fruiting duration: 3-6 weeks

Optimum fruiting room conditions: 17-22 °C @ 85% RH









 
 

Black Pearl Oyster Mushrooms

This species generates a heavy yield with many mushrooms. It is a hybrid between the Blue Oyster and the King Oyster mushroom. Large caps and short, thick stems can be achieved with low carbon dioxide levels, creating the optimum mushroom.

Species: Pleurotus ostreatus var. Black Pearl

Fruiting duration: 4-7 weeks

Optimum fruiting room conditions: 10-17 °C @ 85% RH







 
 

Summer Oyster Mushroom

This species generates a large yield of light-dark grey oyster mushrooms. This is the warm species of the Pleurotus species. Appearance can vary depending on fruiting conditions. One of the quickest growing mushrooms you can cultivate.

Species: Pleurotus pulmonarius

Fruiting duration: 3-5 weeks

Optimum fruiting room conditions: 16-22 °C @ 85-90% RH

 
 

King Oyster Mushrooms

This species generates a heavy yield with many mushrooms which are of high quality. Large caps and long, thick stems can be achieved, creating the optimum, meaty mushroom that it is known to be.

Species: Pleurotus eryngii

Fruiting duration: 4-6 weeks

Optimum fruiting room conditions:

12-15 °C @ >95% RH


 
 



Choosing The Right Oyster Mushroom Substrate

Now that you have decided which species to grow, it is important to choose the right substrate. Each mushroom species requires slightly different substrate mixtures, so we recommend buying premixed oyster mushroom substrate mixes. These mixes are specially designed with each mushroom species in mind, allowing you to grow large yields of beautiful mushrooms.


However, you may wish to make your own substrate mixes. The best substrates for Oyster mushroom cultivation are:

  • Hardwood (sawdust or pellets)

  • Straw (chopped or pellets)

  • Soya Hulls (pellets)

  • Sunflower husks (pellets)

  • Coffee grounds

Generally, we recommend working with pellets as it is less messy than working with chopped straw or sawdust.

 
 



Hydrating and Pasteurising Your Oyster Mushroom Substrate

For your Oyster mushrooms to grow on the substrate, the substrate needs to be hydrated in order to be humid. For Oyster mushrooms, a moisture content between 50% - 70% is recommended, although this does vary slightly within the range between species. Our premixed mushroom substrate bags tells you how much water to add for each species for best results.


Once hydrated, you need to pasteurise/sterilise the mixture in order to kill bacteria, fungi and other organisms to give the Oyster mushroom the highest chances of growing successfully.


We recommend using mushroom growing bags as they have a special fine filter that allows the mushroom to breathe once it has been inoculated onto the substrate. The bags are also able to sustain heats of up to 121 °C, allowing for pasteurising/sterilising.


Place your dry substrate inside the bag. Pour the required amount of boiling water inside the bag in order to achieve a moisture content of around 50% - 70% of the total weight of the bag. Try to keep the filter dry when pouring the water in. Fold the bag so that it is shut and nothing can get in and place in a well insulated spot, for example in a pot in an oven that is turned off. Let the mixture cool down to around 25 °C.


Alternatively you may decide to use a pressure cooker to sterilise the mixture once it has been hydrated.

 
 



Inoculating Your Oyster Mushroom Substrate

After the substrate has been hydrated, pasteurised/sterilised and is now at a temperature of around 25 °C, you are ready to inoculate the substrate using the Oyster mushroom grain spawn.


Prepare your worktop by using plenty of isopropyl alcohol to clean the area. Ensure you wear gloves and a mask. Pour the grain spawn inside the substrate bag and seal the bag shut in order to prevent bacteria and other fungi from entering into the bag.


Pro tip: Close off any windows and doors in your house around 30 minutes before inoculating the substrate in order to reduce airflow as much as possible and to reduce your chances of contamination.




Incubating Your Inoculated Oyster Mushroom Substrate

If you successfully followed a good sterile technique and did not contaminate the substrate, then from now onwards it should be smooth sailing. You now need to allow the mushroom mycelium to colonise the substrate.


Find a dark, warm spot with decent airflow where you can put your bag for the next few weeks. The optimum room temperature for the incubation stage is around 22 °C. Ensure that there is no light, or as little as possible if necessary, in order to ensure that the mushroom will colonise the substrate as quickly as possible.


Each species requires a different amount of time to fully colonise the substrate. The incubation duration for Oyster mushrooms are:

  • Blue Oyster Mushroom: 19-22 days

  • Pink Oyster Mushroom: 13-16 days

  • Yellow Oyster Mushroom: 12-14 days

  • Black Pearl Oyster Mushroom: 19-22 days

  • Summer Oyster Mushroom: 14-16 days

  • King Oyster Mushrooms: 10-15 days + ripening approx. 35 days

Pro tip: Once the substrate is fully white and dense when you touch it, the colonised mushroom substrate block is ready to fruit.




Fruiting Your Oyster Mushroom Blocks

Now that you have finished waiting for the incubation period to finish, you are now ready to fruit mushrooms!


Oyster mushrooms don't require hard to achieve conditions, although each Oyster mushroom species tends to want different conditions in order to fruit. Read the above section to check optimum room temperature conditions.


Take your fully colonised Oyster mushroom block and place it in your fruiting room. This can be a designated fruiting chamber if you have one, or can be somewhere preferably damp with a day/night light cycle. A great example of a suitable place is in your kitchen or the bathroom.


Once you have found a spot for your Oyster mushroom block, use a knife or a cutter to cut a small hole in the corner of the mushroom bag and push all the excess air out of the bag. Fold the bag over and turn it upside down so that the weight of the bag keeps the folded bag closed. Use your knife to cut a small 'X' shape on the side of the upside down fruiting bag. Spray this cut section with water as often as possible (every few hours is best!).


Quick note: For the King Oyster mushroom, cut the upside down bag on the bottom of the bag, so that the mushroom grows vertically upwards.


Keep spraying your cut section and mushrooms should grow in less than 14 days! Keep in mind that some mushrooms grow quicker than others, for example, the Pink Oyster mushroom fruits in around 7 days, whilst the Blue Oyster Mushroom fruits in around 14 days.




Harvesting Your Oyster Mushrooms

Congratulations! You have successfully grown your own Oyster mushrooms at home. Now it is time to enjoy them!


To know when the Oyster mushrooms are ready to harvest, look at their caps. As soon as the caps have begun to straighten and flatten, then the Oyster mushrooms are ready to harvest. Use your hands to grab the mushrooms from the bottom and simply twist or pull upwards in order to break the stems from the substrate.


Pro tip: To grow more mushrooms from the same bag, simply ensure to clean all of the leftover mushroom bits from the substrate and keep watering/spraying the cut section. More mushrooms will grow in around 2-3 weeks if you have maintained the moisture levels in the substrate! 3 harvests are very possible if done right! After you have grown many mushrooms, the spent substrate becomes a great fertiliser in your garden!




Thank you for reading this guide!


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