Oyster Mushroom Kits
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 2:03:44 PM Australia/Sydney by Gina Beattie
For a limited time, you can purchase your own Oyster Mushroom Kit via our website - Click here
Mr Fothergill's Oyster Mushroom kits are available at selected Bunnings Warehouse stores, nationwide.
- 1. Open the top of the box and fold down the flaps. Open the bag inside the box, cutting just below where the bag is sealed. Pour enough water in the bag to completely submerge the substrate block and leave to soak for 24 hours.
- 2. Pour the water out and leave your kit in a well-lit location but out of direct sunlight. Ensure the contents remain moist and humid by spraying water on the surface daily. Drying of the surface will inhibit mushroom formation and growth.
- 3. Mushrooms will start appearing within 7-10 days and double in size every day. Do not spray any more water when the mushrooms start to appear. When the growth has slowed down it’s time to pick them. You can store the mushrooms for a few days in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Re-soak the kit to grow a bonus crop of mushrooms. When your kit has finished producing you can use the compost in your garden
Mr Fothergill's Oyster Mushroom Kit FAQ's
What's in the mushroom block (substrate)?
The primary substrate ingredient is milled corn cobs, providing carbon and nitrogen for the mushrooms when they are growing.
What is the white stuff?
It is called mycelium and is similar to the root system of a plant. It provides the pathway for water and nutrition to travel to the mushroom. This mycelium should grow through the substrate to access the nutrition prior to the bag being opened.
Do I have to plant the mushroom block (substrate) into soil?
The substrate is ready to grow in the kit provided. No planting is necessary.
Is there any odour from the kit?
You might experience a faint smell as the mycelium colonizes the substrate. There are enzymes at work helping the mycelium absorb the nutrients and this living process does give off a natural odour.
How do we get the kit to form mushrooms?
Once the mycelium has grown over the substrate (once the mushroom block is predominantly white) it is time to cut open the bag just below and along the seal to expose the substrate to air. Fill the bag with cold water until the substrate is submerged and leave to set for 24 hours. After 24 hours pour out all the water from the bag. (This rehydration and cold shock assist to shock the organism into fruiting- forming mushrooms)
What do I do after I have tipped the water out?
If there appears to be a “skin” on the top surface, scratch this skin with a fork to break the surface exposing the mycelium underneath.
Is there anything else needed to make the mushrooms grow?
A secondary requirement of forming Pleurotus mushrooms is light. After the rehydration and cold shock process, the kit should be exposed to room lighting for at least 6 hours per day (there is no maximum exposure). Do not expose the kit to direct sunlight as this will dry out the surface and impede mushroom formation.
What can I do whilst I wait for the mushrooms to appear?
Low humidity is detrimental to the formation of the mushrooms, so humidity should be kept relatively high. A misting bottle can be used to spray the surface of the kit and the inside of the bag 1 – 2 times per day to ensure humidity is maintained in the area that the mushrooms are going to form.
Do I keep misting once the mushrooms form?
It is unnecessary to continue misting the kit once mushrooms start growing on the surface of the substrate.
How long should we have to wait for mushrooms to grow?
Within 7 to 10 days after the rehydration and cold shock process, mushrooms should form and start growing. They will continue to grow in a cluster with the mushrooms achieving a size approximately 7 – 10 cm in diameter. At this stage, the mushrooms can be broken off and used as desired in a variety of cuisines.
What is the fine powdery substance I can see forming around the kit?
All mushrooms give off spores and Pleurotus mushrooms are no different. The plastic bag that houses the substrate will help contain the spores, but you may see a powdery coating around the kit. If you see this powdery substance it is mushroom spores. These can be cleaned down with a moist sponge.
Is it possible to get more than one crop out of the kit?
Yes, you can get a second crop out of the kit. Follow the rehydration and cold shock steps as explained before. Once the bag has been emptied after the 24-hour rehydration process, the substrate can be removed from the bag and placed on a plate. Follow the growing instructions as per the first crop and you will have a second crop of mushrooms appear after approximately 2 weeks, forming at different points around the substrate.
What do I do when I finish with the substrate?
The used substrate can be broken up and put into a compost bin or mixed into garden soil as a soil conditioner.
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