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Oyster mushrooms are a popular wild mushroom, known for their oyster-like flavor. They are members of the genus Pleurotus. Several species are found in the wild, and some of these are commonly cultivated by commercial and home growers alike. Growing oyster mushrooms is fairly easy and they require little space to produce significant yields. They may be grown both indoors and outdoors, and many companies provide supplies and equipment to grow these tasty fungi.
The first thing to consider for any mushroom cultivation endeavor is whether you wish to grow them indoors or outdoors. Growing oyster mushrooms indoors is very easy with the use of a mushroom kit, many of which are available on the Internet. These kits are very simple to use and the mushrooms can be grown inside almost any home. The drawback is that they produce a limited number of mushrooms when compared to outdoor cultivation, but they also tend to produce mushrooms more quickly.
Do some research on the Internet by searching "mushroom kits". Many companies provide kits, and prices and varieties will vary. Some companies may offer more than one variety of oyster mushroom. Growing oyster mushrooms is very easy with one of these kits which take up very little space and require little care to produce a fair number of mushrooms. Generally the kits require no more than the addition of water and a cool, dark place to grow. They generally produce mushrooms within a few weeks.
Growing oyster mushrooms outdoors is also possible. Wooden plugs inoculated with live mushroom mycelium are inserted into holes drilled into fresh hardwood logs. These plugs are also available from many online retailers and suppliers as is the special wax used to seal the holes. To grow oyster mushrooms this way, drill holes in the logs large enough to accept the plugs, and space them about 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) apart along the entire log. Almost any hardwood will do, but avoid walnut or fruitwood, such as apple or cherry.
Pound the plugs in with a hammer and use wax to seal the hole. Oyster mushrooms require moist conditions to colonize the log and grow, so you should place the log in a shady, moist location in some woods or other suitable area in your backyard that gets very little or no direct sun during the non-winter months. Depending on the variety of mushroom you choose, the time frame for inoculating logs with the plugs may vary, so consult the information from your supplier about when to prepare your logs. After a period of months, the logs will sprout oyster mushrooms.
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