This article teaches blue oyster mushroom cultivation on straw, and provides you with options for spawn strains to use for great yields
If you are one of the many people interested in blue oyster mushroom cultivation, then you have come to the right place. Below we present a low tech method for growing blue oysters with minimal cost.
The method we are discussing today involves the use of straw. Cultivating oyster mushrooms on straw can be done with little up front investment. This method of cultivation on straw is much faster than cultivation of shiitake or oyster mushrooms on logs.
Three of our favorite mushroom strains for blue oyster mushroom cultivation
Before we get into the actual process for growing oysters, let’s look at some of the blue oyster mushroom strains we like the most.
1) Blue Oyster Amycel 3015: This is a high-yielding oyster mushroom strain with fast mycelial growth. Fruiting can be performed in a wide range of temperatures between 50 degrees F and 75 degrees F. The fruiting clusters are large with large caps that range in color from blue to white depending on the temperature grown in and the stage harvested.
2) Blue Oyster Lambert 123: Similar to above, this is another high-yielding strain with fast mycelial growth. The mushrooms are better and yield best when fruited at temperatures between 50 degrees F and 70 degrees F. The fruiting clusters are small and dense, which can make packaging easier.
3) Blue Oyster Pearl: This strain is perfect if you want to grow beautiful blue oyster mushrooms! This strain is best grown at lower temperatures, between 50 degrees F and 65 degrees F. The caps of these oysters tend to be large and thick when grown at low temperatures, and they contain a lovely frosty blue color.
Cultivating blue oyster mushrooms on straw
Blue oyster mushroom cultivation on straw can be broken into four parts, treatment of the straw, inoculation, incubation, and fruiting. Each step is crucial to the next and affects the overall yield. The step-by-step process of growing oyster mushrooms on straw is outlined below.
1) Chop the straw: Chopping the straw ensures that the cell walls of the straw are broken, making it easier for the oyster mycelium to access the nutrients in the straw. Furthermore, chopping the straw makes the particle size smaller, allowing for a more compact substrate. A relatively small gap of 1-2 inches between pieces of straw is like the Grand Canyon for mycelium to grow over. It takes wasted energy and time for the mycelium to try and grow over these sorts of gaps. By chopping the straw and firmly packing the bags air pockets can be minimized and yield increased.
2) Treat the straw: By treating the straw microorganisms are killed and competition for the available nutrients is limited. This helps best meet the needs of the grower.
3) Inoculate the straw: Add spawn into the treated straw. This is the material used to introduce the mushroom mycelium to the new substrate. Plastic filter bags are often used to house the inoculated straw.
4) Incubate the straw: Incubation should ideally occur at 75 degrees F for about three weeks, depending on the inoculation rate. Spawn bags should be placed with at least a palm distance between each other to limit overheating.
5) Fruit the mushrooms: There are four parameters to be aware of when fruiting. They are light, humidity, temperature, and CO2 level. For most oyster mushrooms a well-lit room at 85-90% humidity, 65 degrees F, and CO2 below 800 PPM is ideal.
6) Harvest the blue oyster mushrooms: Harvesting typically occurs about 5-10 days after the substrate is moved into fruiting conditions. Mushrooms should be harvested before the caps completely flatten out.
Using a growing kit is an easy option for blue oyster mushroom cultivation
If you want to get down to growing oyster mushrooms more quickly, then you should consider using one of our grow kits. These kits are great for professionals and hobbyists alike, as these bags have been used in commercial cultivation. These work well indoors in a home, office, or commercial grow area.
The best part about using these mushroom grow kits is that you can watch these beautiful blue oyster mushrooms grow before your eyes. This blue oyster mushroom kit is capable of fruiting up to two pounds of blue oysters over the course of three months. Once the kit is spent, you can still use it to inoculate paper waste, coffee grounds, or your compost, and it will still continue to fruit mushrooms as the block crumbles apart.
These grow kits are very easy to use, too. Simply cut several holes in the side of the bag and the blue oyster mushrooms will fruit out of the holes. Our blue oyster grow kit is great to grow indoors or outside when temperatures are between 40 degrees and 80 degrees F.