Growing oyster mushroom in boxes or plastic bags, preparing the substrate, the stages of maturation and fruiting of the mycelium, harvesting.

Oyster mushrooms are grown in the open air and indoors, on hardwood, on sawdust and straw, on grain, on vegetable waste from canning and industrial production. These fungi grow quickly and are resistant to various diseases; they are not particularly demanding on the substrate and growing conditions. Collected oyster mushrooms have good keeping quality and are suitable for transportation.

Growing oyster mushroom in boxes or plastic bags, preparing the substrate, the stages of maturation and fruiting of the mycelium, harvesting.

Intensive oyster mushroom cultivation is based on the use of substrates on which oyster mushroom does not grow in nature. Most commonly used:

Wheat straw.
Corn stalks.
Sunflower husk.
Paper waste.
Rice straw.
Other waste containing cellulose.

On them oyster mushrooms grow much faster and give a higher yield. The technological cycle of cultivation is reduced from 3-5 years to 8-10 weeks, and the mushroom crop is harvested throughout the year. It is believed that 1 kg of dry wheat straw gives 1 kg of fresh mushrooms..

Straw or other substrate:

Sterilized with hot steam.
Cool to room temperature.
Mix with seed mycelium.
Packed in plastic bags or special shapes.

One of the simplest methods for sterilizing oyster mushroom substrates.

Submerge the substrate in water for 12-24 hours, and then warm in the feed tank for an hour at a temperature of 95 degrees. For better sterilization, it is recommended to repeat warming up in a day.

Preparation of substrate for oyster mushroom cultivation.

After the sterilized substrate for growing oyster mushrooms has cooled to 25–28 degrees and excess water has drained from it, it is mixed with seed mycelium, which is taken in the ratio of 2–5% of the substrate weight. The substrate mixed with mycelium is placed in rectangular collapsible metal boxes or plastic bags with a thickness of not more than 30 cm. Otherwise, the substrate will overheat when overgrown.

Oyster mushroom mycelium dies when heated to a temperature of 40 degrees and above. Lowering the temperature to 20 degrees is also undesirable, because in this case, the growth of oyster mushroom stops and foreign microorganisms quickly develop in the substrate. The optimum temperature for the development of mycelium is 20-30 degrees, at this time ventilation and lighting are not required.

The substrate is completely overgrown with mycelium in about 10 days. The completion of germination is indicated by the appearance of aerial mycelium on the surface of the substrate. The formation of the mycelial peel, or stroma, on the surface of the substrate is undesirable. It appears if too much seed mycelium has been added to the substrate..

Growing oyster mushroom in boxes or plastic bags, preparing the substrate, the stages of maturation and fruiting of the mycelium, harvesting.

The stage of maturation of the mycelium when growing oyster mushrooms.

After overgrowing, the stage of maturation of the mycelium begins, when the mycelium grows thicker into the substrate. At the time of maturation, blocks with mycelium are left under the same conditions as during overgrowing for another three weeks. After ripening, the blocks are transferred to another room or provide the mycelium with fruiting conditions in the same room.

Fruiting mycelium when growing oyster mushrooms.

To stimulate fruiting for mycelium, air must be provided. The blocks are removed from the boxes, and if plastic bags were used, numerous holes were cut into them in an amount sufficient to form fruiting bodies. Oyster mushrooms can grow on both horizontal and vertical surfaces, but to save space they are usually placed vertically or even on top of each other.

The optimum temperature for bearing oyster mushrooms is –12–15 degrees. In summer, the mycelium, ready for fruiting, is kept for 4–5 days at a temperature of 4–5 degrees, and then the temperature is raised to 15 degrees. 15-20 days after this, you can start harvesting.

In addition to air, light is necessary for the development of oyster mushroom fruit bodies. With a lack of light, the legs of the oyster mushroom become longer, the hats grow small. If the mushroom legs are longer than the double width of their caps, you need to increase the lighting.

With a lack of ventilation, bushy growths of mycelium appear on the blocks instead of mushrooms. To avoid this, you need to ventilate the room with fruit-bearing mycelium well. Enhanced ventilation leads to a decrease in humidity in the room, so the blocks need watering.

For this, it is necessary to water not the blocks themselves, but the floor and walls, especially in the first 4–5 days of fruiting stimulation. The blocks themselves should not be watered, but sprayed, doing this quite often – 1-2 times, and if necessary, 4-5 times a day. If the air humidity is below normal, the mushrooms grow with dry and cracked hats, the yield decreases.

Oyster mushroom harvest.

Mushroom buds appear about 10 days after the temperature drops. During growth, the hats of the fruit bodies darken, and then sharply increase in size and lighten – a sign that it is time to harvest. Ripe oyster mushrooms are cut with a knife and placed in the packaging container. Oyster mushrooms remaining after harvesting are cut from blocks.

Based on materials from the book “Mushrooms. We collect, grow, harvest ”.
Zvonarev N. M.

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