Oyster Mushroom Grow Block Kit
Congratulations, you are now the owner of an Oyster Mushroom Grow Block. The “block” is composed of mainly of hardwood sawdust and wood chips bound together with mushroom tissue or “mycelium” contained in a plastic bag. Mycelium is the white fluffy material covering the outside of the block. It is very delicate and you should avoid touching it as much as possible. When moving the block, hold onto the top and bottom to minimize damage.
When you receive your block, you may notice the presence of small mushrooms, either on the surface of the block, or straining against the plastic of the bag. This indicates your block is ready to fruit! Before you begin, open the bag at the top and remove any immature or mal-formed mushrooms from the block's surface (this pre-emergence is normal for especially aggressive oyster mushroom species). If you wish to delay the fruiting for a few days, place the block in the refrigerator without opening the bag.
Expose the block to fresh air by carefully cutting a large “X” into the plastic bag on two or three sides of the block. Fold the excess upper bag portion under or around the bag. Loosely drape the supplied humidity tent over the block. The tent is long and you may need to roll up the open end. You can support the humidity tent with skewers, chopsticks or even wooden pencils poked into the block. You are trying to prevent rapid drying which will stunt or prevent mushroom growth.
Set your block on an uplifted platform such as an upside down pie pan on a dinner plate. This will allow any excess moisture to drain off and collect in the plate, preventing damage to furniture.
Locate a place where your block will receive light, but not direct sunlight. Light is necessary for oyster mushroom development, unlike the common button mushroom which can grow in complete darkness. The more indirect light the oyster block receives the darker the caps of the mushrooms.
Mist the surface of the oyster block/bag and the inside of the humidity tent covering with water from a spray bottle as often as you think about it. Several times a day is not too much but at least twice a day is recommended. Avoid soaking the mushrooms themselves as they get larger or they may become soggy.
The oyster block will start forming mushrooms a few days after setting it up. Primordia will form at the cut “X's” in your bag. After approximately 5 days the oyster mushrooms will be ready to harvest. Harvest your mushrooms before the mushroom cap edges curl upward. Pull off all mushrooms large and small when the majority reaches maturity. Some mushrooms may be small, others large and fully matured. Unharvested mushrooms and stems will get slimy as they decompose and will sicken your block if not removed.
After harvesting, your block will go dormant for around 7 days. If your block seems light, soak in water for several hours. The block will tend to float and will need to be weighted down to fully submerge. Your block will produce 3 to 5 cycles before exhausted. Heavy growth of colorful molds indicates the end of your block’s productive life.
Everything Mushrooms – 1004 Sevier Ave. - Knoxville TN, 37920 865.329.7566 - http://everythingmushrooms.com