Now that you’ve built an oyster mushroom bag you’re probably wondering what to do with it? Follow these simple steps:
● Store your mushroom bag somewhere clean and temperate with little to no light for the next couple of weeks. Check on its progress periodically and allow for some air exchange if storage area doesn’t have good air flow.
(examples: closet, cupboard, shed or storage tote)
● Once the sterilized straw has turned white with mycelium, it has colonized and soon primordia (baby mushrooms) will form which is known as a “flush”.
● Find a nice spot outdoors to proudly hang your mushroom bag – any shady, wind protected, humid area where slugs and snails don’t have access, like under the canopy of a tree or on your covered porch. If that is not an option then try hanging it in a bathroom near the shower and by a window or in the kitchen area near the sink and by a window.
● If the environment is dry, create a micro-greenhouse by suspending a loose fitting opaque or transparent plastic trash or dry cleaning bag over your mushroom bag forming a tent. Try to create some space between the two bags by using some chopsticks or bamboo skewers with corks on the end. Make sure the tented bags are never in direct sunlight.
● At this point you will want to allow some air exchange and raise the humidity levels by occasionally opening up and spraying water into the tented mushroom bag chamber/micro-greenhouse once or twice a day.
● Harvest the mushrooms when they have reached the size of a sand dollar or about 2-4 inches in diameter as they tend to toughen up as they grow larger.
● After the first flush of mushrooms your bag will seem to go dormant, this is normal. Your mushroom bag will continue to produce mushrooms provided you rehydrate it between flushes. This is easily done by cutting a slit in the top of the bag and watering with a funnel/turkey baster where it hangs or by submerging your mushroom bag in a bucket of water overnight (4-12 hours) and hanging it back up.The first flush is always the most productive, each subsequent flush will produce about half as much as the previous.
● Sadly, all good things come to an end. Your mushroom bag will start to lose the battle with molds and mildews but there is still hope. Break it up into your compost heap or amongst a pile of woodchips and you may find a pleasant surprise at a later time!
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