Growing Mushrooms Oyster | Lionsmane

Oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest varieties of mushrooms to grow, they’re delicious to eat & really healthy for you too.

The problem is finding a reliable step by step guide to show you how…

…so we created one for you!

That way you can avoid all the mistakes and hassles of beginning oyster mushroom cultivation and get to the good stuff; harvesting & eating your own fresh Oyster mushrooms grown at home.

 You can also download this article as a free ebook

Why Grow Oyster Mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms are plentiful in the wild, growing on dead standing trees or fallen logs and were first cultivated by the Germans in World War 2.

In more recent years commercial production has skyrocketed.

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Total commercial oyster mushroom cultivation worldwide increased over 18-fold between 1965 – 1997 (from 350,000 metric tons in 1965 to 6,160,800 metric tons in 1997; source).

So why the huge jump in popularity?

The answer: fast production methods + an increased interest in the health and culinary benefits of Oyster mushrooms.

A crop of winter oyster mushrooms at GroCycle Mushroom Farm

A crop of winter oyster mushrooms ready for harvest at GroCycle Mushroom Farm

Quick & Easy To Grow…

Do you want to learn how to grow mushrooms?

If so, I’d recommend starting with Oyster mushrooms as they are possibly the easiest variety of mushroom to grow.

They are super quick, relatively resistant to competitor organisms and they can grow on a wide range of substrate materials.

We’ll cover how to grow Oyster mushrooms & what equipment you’ll need below, but the basic process is quite simple and can be broken up into 3 main phases:

1) Inoculation:

Oyster mushroom spawn is mixed with the substrate material (often straw or sawdust, but a range of other materials can also be used; see below).

This growing medium is then usually placed into bags with small holes or air filters in them for air exchange.

2) Incubation

The bags are then placed in a warm (20-24C/68F-75F) dark room to incubate and begin the first phase of growth.

Only 10-14 days are needed for the spawn to grow a full web of root-like threads of mycelium and colonise the growing substrate.

Oyster mushroom mycelium colonising straw & coffee ground substrate

3) Fruiting

Once the growing medium is fully colonised by the spawn, it is time for the mushrooms to start fruiting.

The bags are exposed to autumn-like conditions with fresh oxygen, high humidity, low level light & often cooler temperatures.

This signals to the mycelium that it’s time to start producing mushrooms and small pins begin to emerge.

Oyster mushroom pins begin to emerge from holes in the bag….

Fed by water and nutrients from the mycelium, these tiny pins then rapidly grow and develop into full size mushrooms in just 5-7 days.

Oysters mushrooms, ready to harvest just 7 days after starting to grow out of the bag

A crop of mushrooms can be harvested three times before the mycelium becomes exhausted, with a new crop of mushrooms manifesting every 7-14 days during this time.

In other words, it takes about just 5-8 weeks to grow 3 crops of Oyster mushrooms…and all this can be done with minimal equipment or expertise.

That’s why they’re so popular commercially and also for people first venturing into growing mushrooms at home too.

To see this process in action, check out this short video tour of our low tech mushroom farm:

Health Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms

The ease of growing Oyster Mushrooms isn’t the only perk. Here are just some of the medicinal and nutritional benefits of Oyster mushrooms well:

  • Boosts immune system

  • Improves strength and regulation

  • Antimicrobial (Helps fight off E. coli, Staph, Candida overgrown, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus infection)

  • Anticancer (polysaccharide in Oyster mushrooms is anti-tumor in animal studies and in-vitro)

  • Antiviral (protects against direct and indirect viral activity)

  • Protein rich

  • Cholesterol Free

  • Contains high levels of Vitamins D, D3, D5 and A

If you’re really interested in the health benefits of mushrooms, check out our guide to medicinal mushrooms for more info.