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Grow king oyster mushrooms yourself

Grow your own herb mushrooms - How to grow the popular edible mushroom in a cucumber jar

Do you want to grow king oyster mushrooms yourself? Then you've come to the right place! King oyster mushrooms are highly prized in mushroom dishes. They have a spicy, nutty aroma and have a firm consistency even after heating. They can therefore also be used very well as vegan meat substitute can be used. The popular edible mushroom can be eaten raw in salads, for example, but tastes particularly good when marinated, fried, pickled or steamed.

In this article, I would like to show you how you can grow king oyster mushrooms at home in a pickle jar.

  1. Motivation
  2. Preparation
  3. Growth
  4. Harvest
  5. Closing words

Why grow king oyster mushrooms yourself?

King oyster mushrooms are not found in the wild in Germany. Unfortunately, they are not always to be found on supermarket shelves either, as their cultivation is more complex and the mushroom is correspondingly more expensive. is.

But the mushroom cultivation makes incredibly Have funbecause they grow much faster than garden plants and yet are so completely different. The fascination comes from looking at them - they can grow several centimeters within a few hours. And at the end of the cultivation process noble mushroom dish!

Preparing your own mushroom farm in the kitchen

Equipment for herbal seedling cultivation
The basic equipment for growing king oyster mushrooms

You can grow king oyster mushrooms at home using simple household products. All you need are some bought king oyster mushrooms from the supermarket and a few simple utensils:

  • Disinfectant (or spirit)
  • sharp kitchen knife
  • Saucepan with steamer insert
  • Cucumber jars
  • Cigarette filter
  • Cordless screwdriver with 6mm metal drill bit
  • Kitchen roll
  • Cardboard (egg carton or corrugated cardboard)
  • Candle
  • Straw pellets (or sawdust from deciduous trees)
  • Spray bottle (e.g. deodorant atomizer)
  • Plastic bags
  • Plate

Cloning king oyster mushrooms

Herb mushroom cloning
Only the clean parts of the mushroom inside the mushroom are cloned.

When cloning mushrooms you really have to work clean. After all, only the king oyster mushroom is to be grown on the substrate. Mold growth on the substrate must be avoided at all costs. You must therefore disinfect your hands and tools before each step.

The following things you must prepare before cloning:

  • Cut the cardboard into 5x5cm pieces and sterilize in a saucepan with a steamer insert for approx. 20 minutes in hot steam
  • Drill 2-3 holes in the pickle jar lids
  • Disinfect plates, knives, pickle jars and lids with disinfectant and kitchen paper

Cut out mushroom flesh

The mushroom flesh to be cloned must be removed from the inside of the king oyster mushroom. On the surface of the purchased edible mushrooms other germs have already settled that don't belong in a pickle jar. To do this, simply remove the skin all around like the skin of a banana and cut the core into small pieces. Sterilize the knife over a candle flame from time to time so that no germs from the mushroom surface get through the knife to the clean mushroom flesh in the core.

Mycelium grows in substrate
The mycelium grows from the mushroom pieces into the surrounding substrate

Then simply place the pieces on the cooled and wrung out pieces of cardboard and cover again with a new piece of cardboard. In this way, piece by piece, a Mushroom cardboard sandwichuntil the pickle jar is more than half full.

Then close the cucumber jar and insert cigarette filters into the holes in the lid. Now we will see how good the preparation was.

Grow mushroom on cardboard

Oxygen in cucumber jar for mycelium
The mycelium needs oxygen for growth and produces its own CO2

In the following days, the mycelium of the king oyster mushroom grows from the mushroom pieces into the cardboard pieces. It forms a snow-white, furry coating. For growth, the jars must be kept in the dark and require a warm location. Between 20 and 25°C is ideal.

When the entire mushroom-cardboard sandwich is surrounded by this coating, the next step can take place.

Mycelium from herb mushroom spreads
The mycelium from the king oyster mushroom has spread to the cardboard spread

Fill cucumber jars with additional substrate

In addition to cardboard, king oyster mushrooms like to grow on sawdust from deciduous trees. Ideal is Sawdust, hardwood pellets or smoking chips. You can also use straw pellets as bedding for hamsters or rabbits from the pet shop. However, the mushroom harvest on straw will not be quite as large. You can buy straw pellets in large bags at almost any DIY store.

The pellets must first be soaked in hot water. As Mixing ratio: 1 kg of straw pellets to 1.5 l of water. Fill the jars with the cooled straw pellets to just below the lid. The mycelium now needs a few more days to grow through the new substrate from the cardboard.

The first king oyster mushrooms grow from the mycelium

Herb mushroom rudiments in the cucumber jar
The first sprouts of king oyster mushrooms appear in the cucumber jar

When the substrate is completely overgrown, the next phase begins. Now the first signs of the actual king oyster mushrooms appear.

The Primordia grow in the direction of the air holes because they now need more oxygen. They are also looking for light. The cucumber jars now need a brighter location without direct sunlight. The actual king oyster mushrooms now like it a little cooler and more humid. Between 14 and 18°C and a humidity of 90 percent are ideal.

Grow herb mushrooms yourself under bag
The high humidity is maintained for longer under the bag

I removed the lids from the cucumber jars and put a bag with air holes over the jars. I aired the jars twice a day and sprayed the inside of the bag with water using a spray bottle.

The first harvest of your own king oyster mushrooms

The king oyster mushrooms are ready for harvest when the edge begins to curve upwards. All the king oyster mushrooms from the same batch must be harvested at the same time. This is because mushrooms with damaged stems do not continue to grow, so mycelium overgrows them.

Simply the mushrooms from one batch Turn out of the substrate block by hand and let the others continue to grow. The substrate in the cucumber jar can produce several harvests. In between, however, the mycelium takes a break for a few days until the next mushrooms mature.

The first homegrown herb mushrooms
The first king oyster mushrooms in the cucumber jar can be harvested

The harvest depends on the substrate quality and quantity. The The capacity of one pickle jar was enough for about ten king oyster mushrooms for me. This quantity was distributed over approximately three harvest waves. However, larger quantities of substrate in bags can also be grown through by the mycelium. The harvest is correspondingly larger.

When no more king oyster mushrooms form, the substrate is used up. You can then simply Dispose of in organic waste or throw them on the compost heap. This method can also be used to grow oyster mushrooms or lime mushrooms.

Growing king oyster mushrooms yourself - mushroom cultivation as a hobby

Herb mushrooms successfully grown yourself
Ripe king oyster mushrooms on a large substrate block made of straw pellets and cardboard

King oyster mushrooms are one of the tastiest edible mushrooms that are so easy to grow yourself. Oyster mushrooms are even less demanding to grow. They grow faster and are more resistant to mold. However, mold growth in the substrate block cannot always be avoided. For this reason, I always use several substrate mixtures. A few failures due to mold are then not so significant.

If you enjoy this hobby, I recommend growing shiitake on coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are a substrate that requires higher standards of cleanliness. It is a very nutrient-rich substrate - both for tasty edible mushrooms and mold fungi. Last but not least, there are also countless other Coffee grounds applicationswith which you can reuse the leftovers of your coffee.

I hope that I have been able to help you with this article on growing king oyster mushrooms. If you have any questions, please get in touch!

Stay sustainable,


PS: For more inspiration on growing your own mushrooms, take a look at my blog over!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Klaus Muttray

Klaus Muttray

Klaus Muttray is an educational scientist and blogger. On he writes about the ecological transformation of society. He deals with possibilities of action in our everyday life to live sustainably and thus protect our environment.

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