Oyster mushrooms are edible mushrooms that have been consumed as food since long ago.
Recently, they have gained wide popularity as a vegan substitute for meat. When cooked, these mushrooms are fleshy and thick and give a mild sweet taste.
If you want to learn how to grow King oyster mushrooms at home, we’ve got you all covered.
King oyster mushrooms are one of the most eaten mushrooms after button and shitake mushrooms. There are various varieties of oyster mushrooms though King oyster mushrooms take the crown due to their meaty consistency.
They are packed with nutty, earthy flavors, and the texture is often compared with calamari and scallops.
Follow our guide and learn how to grow King oyster mushrooms like a pro!
How to Grow King Oyster Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are not plants; their growing method is also different compared to plants.
To obtain a healthy harvest and good yield of mushrooms, you must learn the basics of growing mushrooms.
Our gardening experts have compiled an excellent step-by-step guide on growing King oyster mushrooms.
Keep reading to find out!
Step 1: Preparing the Growing Medium
Different mushrooms grow on different mediums.
The King oyster mushrooms grow best on woody materials.
To prepare the growing area for the King oyster mushrooms, follow these steps:
- Take some sturdy cardboard and cut it into 4×4 pieces—make sure you have enough cardboard to obtain at least ten pieces. (Use a box cutter to cut it, and wear gloves to protect yourself.)
- Now, take a large bucket and sterilize it. Place the cardboard pieces in the bucket and pour boiling water over them—ensure they are saturated thoroughly.
- Close the lid and let them soak overnight. The boiling water will kill any microorganisms present. Allow the pieces to soak overnight and cool them down entirely before they are ready to be used.
- After the cardboard has been soaked thoroughly, drain the excess water out from the bucket.
- Sterilize your hands before touching the cardboard. Hold the sheets between your palms and squeeze them gently to eliminate excess water. The goal is to remove all the dripping water and leave the damp pieces behind.
- Take your King oyster mushrooms starting kit and sprinkle the spores or spawns of the mushrooms around the edges of the cardboard. (The oyster mushrooms grow best around the edges rather than the center of the cardboard piece.)
- After the spawns have been placed, take all the pieces of cardboard, and stack them over each other.
Now that the growing area has been prepared for the mushrooms, it is time for them to start fruiting.
Step 2: Mushrooms Fruiting
Keep following these steps on fruiting mushrooms to grow a healthy harvest:
- Take a good-quality garbage bag and make sure it is clean and unused. (Using a bag with a cinch is recommended as it is much easier to close.) A closed bag will simulate the right conditions for the mushrooms to grow—it will increase the carbon dioxide concentration and retain high humidity within the bag, facilitating the growth of the mushrooms.
- Place the cardboard pieces in the bag, carefully stack them, close them, and put them in a cardboard box for better safekeeping.
- As the mushrooms grow, they do not require any sunlight. Store this bag in a dark place with a warm temperature. Maintain the temperature between 10 to 18 degrees Celsius. You can store this bag in any cabinet or even under the bed.
- After a couple of days, open the bag to check if the water is pooling inside the bag. A humid environment favors the mushrooms, but you must ensure that excess water does not pool inside. Drain the excess water in a sink and close the bag again.
- Let this bag sit for a few weeks, between 3 to 6 weeks, and do not disturb it during this time.
- The mushrooms will start growing mycelium which appears as white strands covering the cardboard. The whole cardboard will be covered and colonized by mushrooms in a while, and they will start fruiting.
- Keep observing the mushrooms every once in a while after the second week to note the progress. If you notice the white strands, the mycelia are growing. If you don’t see any white strands, close the bag and leave it for two more weeks.
- When the mycelia are starting to form, moving the mushrooms in the sunlight is safe. Let this bag sit in good bright sunlight. In this period, you will see the mushrooms are starting to grow.
- Mushrooms need high moisture levels, so use a water spraying bottle to spray the insides of the bag two times every day. Do not spray the water directly onto the mushrooms. If the temperature of your region is high, then it is advised to spray three times a day.
With all these steps, you have grown your King oyster mushrooms successfully.
Now, it’s time to harvest!
Step 3: Harvesting the King Oyster Mushrooms
It takes about one to two weeks for the mushrooms to grow.
The best time to harvest the mushrooms is right before their edges start getting wavy. Let the mushrooms grow and fully mature before they are ready to be harvested.
Mushrooms can take three to four days to develop into full size.
- When the mushrooms have matured, gently twist them around their base and remove them.
- Avoid pulling or tugging the mushrooms.
- You can also use a sanitized pair of scissors to cut the mushrooms from their base.
Mushrooms will keep growing every time you harvest. They will grow back two to three times, but their size decreases with every new harvest.
That’s all for today.
Mushrooms are used in various cuisines and are now widely popularized as a substitute for meat in vegan foods.
Some varieties of mushrooms are not readily available and are only available as canned food in superstores. If you want your fresh supply of great-tasting mushrooms, you can read our expert guide on how to grow King oyster mushrooms at home.
Let us know how your harvest turned out, and share your favorite way to eat the mushrooms in the comments below!