Oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest mushrooms to grow and do not require specialized knowledge. New beginner beginners therefore find this type of mushroom the most suitable type to grow.
In Kenya, Oyster mushrooms are the second most common mushrooms after white button mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms like other mushrooms are a healthy addition to any diet as they are high in calories and low in fat. They are high in fiber and contain high amounts of potassium and selenium.
Mushrooms are best grown indoors where light, humidity and temperatures can be closely monitored so the farmer must set aside an indoor space where they are going to incubate and fruit the mushrooms.
The requirements you need to grow your oyster mushrooms
- Oyster Mushrooms Spawn (Seeds)
- Wheat straw
- Polyethylene bags (other alternatives like buckets can be used).
- Spray bottle
- Steaming drums
- Cotton wool
- Methylated spirit
- Zip ties / Rubber bands
How to plant the mushrooms
- Cut the wheat straw into smaller pieces of around 1-3 inches in length (Approximately 3-8 cm in length).
- Steam the straw in a drum of water to temperatures of between 70-75 degrees celcius for 40-45 minutes. Steaming is a form of sterilization /sterilization that helps to kill the bacteria and other fungi. (Note: Steaming means there is a gap between the substrate and the boiling water, else you will be boiling the substrate.)
- Once you have pasteurized the straw, take it out of the heating pot and let it sit in a clean area while it cools down.
- Once the straw has cooled down, ensure that the straw should not be dripping wet but should still be dump from the pasteurization then pack the straw in your plastic bags tightly and then distribute some of the mushroom seeds throughout the straw.
- Close the mouth of the bags with a zip tie or rubber band then sterilized cotton wool to allow in air and the bag to breathe.
- Now take your bags to incubation in your grow house. They grow best between 15-20 degrees celcius.
- Now you wait for the mushroom spawn to develop into mycelium (white furry cobwebs) and start taking over the entire bag. This takes a number of weeks 2-3 weeks.
- Your bags should stay moist but not dripping wet. Spray some water if required.
- About 4 weeks later, the mycelium should have spread across the entire bag of straw and your mushrooms should start forming.
- Cut some holes in the bags to allow the mushrooms to come out in clusters.
- Mist them with water 2 or 3 times a day. Ensure its not dripping wet, just moist.
- Once the mushrooms are ready to harvest, give them a twist at the base. This ensures that you leave the mushrooms on the bottom still on the bag as its needed for subsequent flushes of mushrooms.
- If you keep the mushrooms moist and in suitable conditions, you should get 3-4 flushes of mushrooms.
- When your bags stop producing the straw can be used as mulch in the garden.
You have to be hygienic while growing mushrooms as you do not want to grow other types of fungi.
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