Growing oyster mushrooms is a good way to start a mushroom farm business. Oyster mushrooms are typical home grown mushrooms.
Growing oyster mushrooms is relatively easy and inexpensive. You need practically no experience at all to start.
Here’s how to start:
Make your Structure
There’s need to have a good structure in place with the quantity of compost bags you want to house in mind. Your production capacity determines the quality and quantity of materials you would need.
Your cropping house could be made of concrete but using treated wood or even bamboo is relatively cheap and equally good for our purposes.
A simple shed firmly supported by wooden frames and roofed with thatch is good enough to start you off. It is advisable to use materials that can withstand the weather conditions in your locality.
The shed should have enough shade against direct sunlight and be located in a suitable place preferably a hygienic low ground field.
Select a growing System
The growing system largely used for oyster mushroom production is the tray or shelve system. This is because the production of oyster mushrooms mainly requires the use of compost bags.
It is important to consider the direction of air flow when mounting your shelves. The shelves are usually slightly slanted to support the compost bags adequately and reduce the incidence of the bags falling off and also to enhance watering.
Stocking the Cropping house
The compost bags are essential when it comes to growing oyster mushrooms and starting the process without them is like going for a hike without a back pack. It is imperative to decide whether your bags will come from an external supplier or from yourself.
This is necessary as it gives you a fair idea of how your production will run. In either case, once the bags arrive they should be allowed a number of days to recover from shocks of transportation and handling.
Stocking can begin after the fifth day when you are sure the right conditions have been established.
The tips of the compost bags should be carefully cut open just sizable enough but not too wide. Gently scrape the surface and water generously. Keep watering to maintain a moist atmosphere.
What to do when Production begins
Constantly monitor humidity and temperature in your cropping house. This can easily be done by putting a thermometer/hydrometer at vantage points in your cropping house to take readings.
Ideally, temperatures should range between 20-30 degrees and humidity, 70 and above. Water intermittently and always keep the cropping house moist. Growing oyster mushrooms start flushing by the sixth day when necessary conditions are in place. Watering should continue nonetheless.
You can harvest mushrooms from your compost bags over a 2-month period. Mushrooms are ready for harvest after every sixth day but it is advisable to harvest according to your marketing plan. Oyster mushrooms can be dried after harvesting to give them a longer shelf life.0