Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is even more popular these days than the common mushroom (champignon mushroom)! In relation to common mushroom, Oyster mushroom has one huge advantage – it cannot be confused with the toxic „death cap“ (Amanita phalloides).
Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is rich in vitamins, amino acids and minerals, which protects the body against the impact of toxic substances. It also supports the lowering value of cholesterol in the blood and is very useful to use in diets as it has a very low calorie count. It is also believed that it has substances with protective effect against cancer.
Instructions for growing Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Growing Oyster mushroom could be done in two manners – growing it on straw in plastic bags, or on wooden logs.
Growing on straw in plastic bags
Straw must be prepared first. It has to be sterilized to destroy bacteria, moulds and other fungi. Sterilizing is possible in two manners:
- Put straw in a large pot (kettle or old pan) and pour water over it to cover straw. Cook it for one your at a temperature of 100 °C. Now let straw cool down to a temperature of 20–25 °C.
- The second (and much easier) way is the following: Put straw in a large pot and pour boiling water over it. Straw is ready to be used when cooled down to a temperature of 20–25 °C.
Now lay straw and mushroom mycelium in a large plastic bag – a layer of straw, a layer of mycelium, a layer of straw, a layer of mycelium – etc. One bag of mycelium is enough for 15–20kg wet straw (this fits precisely in a bag of 50×100 cm). When the bag is full, tie it up and cut ten openings of approximately 3–5 cm each in the bag.
If you grow Oyster mushroom in the environment with lower air humidity, you can make fewer openings (later you can make more openings if needed) to avoid drying out the straw. After sowing, the bags must be put in semi shadow so that the sun does not shine directly on it.
The ideal temperature for growing Oyster mushroom is 15–25 °C. The higher the temperature, the faster Oyster mushroom grows. (Although higher temperatures drying out the straw from water faster.)
For this reason it is better adapt the temperature to the need of Oyster mushroom. If Oyster mushroom forms more fungi than needed at a given moment, put it in a cooler spot. When you need more fungi, put it in a hotter spot! After 3 to 4 months Oyster mushroom forms mushrooms, whereupon the nutritive substances in the bag gets exhausted and you need to produce a new culture (this you can do by grafting the old straw again) One bag will give you around 2–4 kg of Oyster mushrooms.
Growing on wooden logs
In nature, Oyster mushroom grows on leafy trees. For this reason, you can also grow them on logs of 30–80 cm. You can use wood of several species of leafy trees (no conifers!). The wood must not be older than 6 months. There are many ways of growing Oyster mushrooms on wood. It is very important that Oyster mushroom have direct contact with the wood so that the fungi in the wood can grow. Put the mycelium-stems in a 1/3 of the soil in your garden in a shady area. In case of dryness, moisten with water. The stems will bring mushrooms during next 2–5 years period (depending on the nutritional value of the stems).
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