Blue Oyster Kit Instructions
If you're not starting your kit immediately, store it somewhere cool. We advise that you don't store your kit for longer than 2 weeks as it will start to break down the biodegradable packaging that houses it.
Finding an Idea Location
Mushrooms grow best when they are warm, out of direct sunlight and have plenty of humidity and fresh air. Finding or creating the perfect environment is key to getting the most mushrooms out of your kit.
Find a humid spot with indirect sunlight in to place your box. Near the kitchen sink is often ideal. If you've purchased thermometer/hygrometer, a humidity reading over 50% and a temperature reading between 10C and 20C is ideal.
Because mushrooms prefer 80-90% humidity, you will also need to mist your kit daily with the a spray bottle.
Starting your Kit
If you have ordered a thermometer/hygrometer remove it from the hole in the front of the box. If you are using your own spray bottle, be sure it is clean and free of any chemicals.
Remove the round tab on the front of your box and discard.
Using a clean knife, puncture the exposed bag in a cross pattern the same size as the hole. This will initiate the fruiting process and your mushrooms will grow from this hole.
Mist your kit according to the misting instructions below.
'Pinning' (pictured left) will occur within 1-4 weeks. Once your mushrooms begin to pin they will grow rapidly over the following week.
Mushrooms prefer to grow in a humid environment. Because of this, you'll need to gently mist your kit regularly with a clean spray bottle.
Before your mushrooms begin to grow, a gentle mist 4-6 inches from the 3 times a week will suffice. You do not need to mist the box so much or so close that it becomes sodden. If you are using a large, household spray bottle, be sure it is set to 'mist' instead of 'stream' and mist from 6-8 inches from the box. You want to create a humid environment for the mushrooms and to keep their bodies moist, rather than to 'water' them as you would a plant.
Once you see your mushrooms begin to pin, mist them twice a day to keep the mushrooms moist.
When to Harvest
Harvest your mushrooms before the edges have either started flip up begin or to wrinkle, darken and split. A white dust under your mushrooms means they have started to drop spores. Your mushrooms will be at their most tender if you harvest them before they sporate, but they'll still be perfectly delicious if you don't quite catch them in time. Just don't forget to wipe off your counter!
Caps are just starting to open - mushrooms will be at their most tender
Largest caps have already flipped up -mushrooms will be slightly less tender
Edges have started to brown and wrinkle. Mushrooms will be slightly less tender.
How to Harvest
To harvest, twist and pull the entire bunch off at the base. Do not harvest one mushroom at a time, as this will show your mushrooms' growth.
Be sure that you have removed all of the mushrooms' base from the hole. You should be able to see brown substrate to ensure the next flush.
Cut off any cardboard or substrate that has stuck to your mushrooms. You can store your mushrooms in the fridge for up to a week.
Initiating another flush
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How long will this take?
While mushrooms will usually begin to grow within 1-3 weeks, this time period is not exact and can vary depending on the weather, temperature, humidity, how colonised your substrate was when your kit arrived and how long you waited to start your kit. It is not uncommon for it to take over a month to see any pinning. If you haven't noticed any growth by the end of week 3, you can speed along your mushrooms by popping the box in the fridge for 12 hours. Once your mushrooms begin to pin they should be ready to harvest in about a week.
What to do if your box becomes soggy, mouldy or damaged box
While we encourage you not to mist so much that the box becomes sodden, sometimes by the second or third flush of mushrooms the cardboard of the box will start to break down. If this happens, you can take the bag of mycelium out of the cardboard box and grow your mushrooms through the hole in the bag instead. By this time, the mycelium will have totally colonised the substrate so it will not be affected by exposure to sunlight
What to do if your mushrooms start growing out of another part of the box.
This problem is most common if you have waited a long time to start your kit. Blue oyster mushrooms are very vigorous, and if your don't provide them a hole to grow out of at the right time they WILL find a way to grow. In this case, remove the bag from the box and grow the mushrooms directly from the bag as described above.