You can easily grow oyster mushrooms in a bucket!
If you’ve never grown mushrooms before but want to try your hand at it, this is the process for you. It requires no special skills or equipment and requires minimal cost to setup. The process is simple, effective and yeilds plenty of delicious oyster mushrooms.
This is likely the easiest method for growing oyster mushrooms at home. It has a low chance for contamination and yeilds good volumes. however, it does require that you start with grain spawn. You can easily buy this online and there will be links in the supplies section below
Supplies you will need:
- A 5 Gallon Bucket
- A Drill with a 1/4″ bit
- Some Aspen Wood Chips
- A heavy plastic tote (capable of holding boiling water)
- A bag of oyster mushroom grain spawn (North Spore or Fungially have several options)
Step By Step Instructions:
- Drill holes in the side of your bucket 6 inches apart all around it.
- Soak your wood chips in your large tote, covered, overnight in boiling water.
- Layer into the bucket wood chips and grain spawn in an alternating pattern until you reach the top of the bucket. The last layer should be wood chips. Make sure you squeeze excess water out of your wood chips as you add them, they should be damp, but not so wet as to leak large amounts of water.
- After your bucket is full seal it with it’s lid and place in a cool to room temperature place to incubate for 12-20 days. After this amount of time you will begin to see the mycelium developing at the holes in the bucket.
- Once the bucket is fully colonized this way you can move it into a cool (~60F) shady place outdoor or into a place in your home that gets a low level of sunlight. The mushrooms should start to develop and protrude from the holes in the bucket.
- Harvest when fully grown.
Notes and Additional Information
Oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest mushrooms to grow at home. They are hearty, resist contamination, and grow well on any woody substrate. This method for growing them works so well because oyster mushrooms can grow on just about any wood substance where competitive contamination might have trouble growing on wood chips alone. If you were to use a more nutrient rich substrate to grow the mushrooms on, this method would likely fail as it gives contaminates a lot of opportunities to colonize your project.
For the best chance of success with this method I recommend using pearl oysters. These are the easiest to grow and are typically the most forgiving due to their tolerance of a wide range of conditions.
While this method is fairly resistant to failure, it is still possible to contaminate your batch. You can reduce this risk by wearing gloves while you work and by pre-cleaning your bucket with 10:1 isopropyl alcohol before hand.
When packing your layers of wood chips and oyster spawn you want between 1-2″ of wood chips in each layer. The grain spawn layers do not need to be very thick at all. The entire bucket will only need between 2.5 to 5 lbs of grain spawn.
Easy and Affordable
If you’re in the US, 5lbs of grain spawn will run you about $30 and you likely already have the other supplies you need. This method is super easy and can produce fresh delicious oyster mushrooms for you right in your own home. Give it a try, and if you use our method tweet us pictures at @instamushrooms.