Outdoor Oyster Mushroom Kit Instructions
Blue oyster is a fast growing mushroom that is fascinating to watch grow. It's well suited to a wide range of growing conditions making it perform well in colder conditions. This and the fact that its mycelium is quite vigorous makes it a good choice for outdoor growing. Grown outdoors, blue oyster mushrooms become quite dark in colour and are packed with vitamin D absorbed from the sun. It's a choice edible mushroom that is great in a wide range of dishes and our top recommendation for first time mushroom growers. This kit requires that you use extra growing medium to increase the size of your harvest.
Each species of mushroom is a different growing experience. Even if you have grown mushrooms before, please read the instructions for your kit carefully before proceeding. If you run into any problems please see our FAQ.
Step 1: Mycelium Check
Inside of this box, mycelium has has been happily breaking down organic substrates and converting it into energy. At first the mycelium is often wispy and hard to see, but as it gets ready to produce mushrooms it becomes more dense and white in colour.
Open the box and remove the bag of oyster mushroom mycelium. DO NOT OPEN THE BAG but instead inspect the block through the bag to determine what stage the mycelium is at.
What colour is it?
Brown or mostly brown =
needs more time in a warm location
Mostly white =
ready to move on to stage 2
ready to move on to stage 2
If your mycelium needs more time to develop, return it to the box and place it in a warm location - over 15°C and NO MORE THAN 25°C. Check it once a week until you see dense or fluffy white mycelium.
If you are not ready to move on to step 2 but your block is, you can store it in the fridge for up to a month.
Step 2: Finding an Ideal Location
Oyster mushrooms grow best outdoors in moist soil that is out of direct sunlight and shielded from the wind.
Find a spot in your garden/allotment or place your planter that's shady and shielded.
If you cannot find a spot with enough shade, you may use a tarp to act as a sun and wind shield.
It's worth bearing in mind that slugs and other creatures enjoy mushrooms as mush as you do. Slugs can be a particular problem when the weather is very wet. You can try surrounding your chosen location with a layer of diatomaceous earth.
Step 3: Preparing your Growing Medium
In nature, oyster mushrooms break down things such as dead trees and leaves. We can imitate this process by using commonly found organic materials such as sawdust, straw and cardboard as additional growing medium to increase the yield of your kit.
Use ripped up cardboard, straw and/or sawdust as additional growing medium for the mycelium to consume. You can use up to 2 times the weight of your mycelium block (1.8kg) in additional organic materials.
The cardboard box and tape used to package your kit is completely biodegradable, so that's usually a good place to start!
Gather your additional growing medium in a large bucket. Cover with water and leave to soak for 12 hours. Drain off any excess water.
You will also need to collect some pieces of cardboard to line the hole in the ground.
Step 4: Planting your Mycelium
Dig a hole in your chosen location big enough to accommodate your mycelium block and growing medium.
Wash or sanitise your hands.
Line the hole with sheets of cardboard.
Break up your mycelium block inside the bag.
Fill the hole with alternating layers of broken up mycelium block and your additional growing medium.
Cover your hole with a 5cm layer of soil.
Apply a thin layer of mulch and generously water your new mushroom patch.
Step 5: Maintenance
Thoroughly water your mushroom patch during dry spells or when the soil looks dry.
Over time the mycelium will colonise the additional growing medium, and when outside conditions become favorable mushrooms will begin to grow.
Your mushrooms will likely grow in spring, summer or fall months depending on the time of planting. They will not generally fruit in winter, but it is fine to plant your kit any time of year and simply wait for a change in seasons. Depending on when you plant, your mushrooms will be ready to harvest in 2- 6 months.
When your mushrooms begin to sprout, make sure to keep their bodies moist by using the sprinkle head on a watering can.
Step 6: When to Harvest
Let your mushrooms grow to the desired size, but harvest before the edges have started to fray.
Your mushrooms may grow in one large cluster, or in several clusters across a larger area.
Step 7: Harvest
To harvest, simply twist an entire bunch from the ground. Do not cut the mushrooms off at the base, as any leaving any bits of mushroom may attract slugs, bugs or animals that are keen to eat your mushrooms.
Clean your mushrooms of and dirt or debris. You can store you oyster mushrooms in the fridge for up to a week
Step 8: Initiating The Next Flush
After harvest, water your mushroom patch well to promote more mushrooms. Your next flush could sprout in as little as a few weeks, however they are most likely to sprout again when the season changes. You should expect one to two crops of mushrooms before the growing medium is spent and you are left with your bed of mushroom compost.
Step 9: Mushrooms Compost
Did you know that fungi play a key role in storing carbon? Trees and plants remove carbon from the atmosphere and fungi break down plant waste to create new carbon-rich soil. Clean air, healthy soil and delicious mushrooms: just one of the many ways fungi are incredible!
Mushroom compost is a valuable resource in the garden due to its high moisture holding capabilities. It is best used as a base layer for planting to help protect plants against drought. You can dig up and transplant your mushroom compost into the garden, hanging baskets or pots.
We hope you've enjoyed growing your Blue Oyster mushrooms!
We're passionate about sharing the diversity of the fungi kingdom & making more of its edible & medicinal delights easy to grow. Want to try another strain or learn how to cultivate mushrooms? See our full range of mushroom growing kits and cultivation workshops!