The Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is by the far the best beginner mushroom for the aspiring home mushroom cultivator. It is a vigorous and adaptable species and this allows the beginner grower you to experiment with a range of techniques, substrates and growing condition while still getting results. It is also one of the most high yielding species of popular gourmet mushrooms rich in vitamin-D and a natural source of lovastatin.

The Grow Kit we have designed gives you the chance to try out a quick and easy method of growing Oyster Mushrooms. The substrate, straw pellets, only requires to be hydrated, no pasteurisation and certainly no sterilisation necessary. This is also the only reusable Grow Kit on the market utilising the 3l cropping container (see below for link on how to reuse). The following steps provide detailed instructions for the Grow Kit, separated into three stages, with links to other areas on this website that will allow you to explore related aspects of mushroom cultivation. We also have a FAQs page but please do contact us if you have any questions not answered there.

———– Video coming soon………… —————-


In your Oyster Mushrooms Grow Kit you have:

  • 100g of mushroom spawn (this is the cultured mycellium of the fungus on grain) in a grip seal bag.
  • the substrate, in this case straw pellets;
  • a cropping container, the 3l bucket with 4 holes;
  • 10l compostable bag.

Now all you need is 1 litre of water to hydrate the substrate and inoculate it with the spawn, here’s what you need to do.

Step 1:

First and foremost make sure you have thoroughly clean hand and use some hand sanitsier as well if you have some. Now remove contents of the grow kit and empty the bag of straw pellets into the empty cropping container (the 3l bucket).

Step 2:

Break up the 100g of spawn before opening the bag and then mix gently into straw pellets, you can use your (thoroughly clean!) hand or use a clean stainless steel implement (a spoon for instance). At this stage we are trying to minimise the exposure of the grain spawn to potential contamination.

Step 3

Now slowly pour 500ml of water over the straw pellets, pause for 1 min, then pour the remaining 500ml. The reason for is to prevent water from spilling out of the holes in the cropping container. Once all the water has been added, put the lid onto the cropping container.


It is now time to allow the mycellium to grow through the substrate, this period of vegetative growth in referred to as the incubation phase or spawn run.

Step 4

Put the container in the compostable bag and loosely secure the top with the elastic band. You do not want the bag to be sealed, its purpose is to protect the grow kit from contaminants and evaporation but there needs to be passive gas exchange.

Step 5

Place the Grow Kit somewhere dark with a steady temperature ideally between 18-24c. An airing cupboard is a good example of the ideal incubation room. It should be clean, dry, dark and consistently warm. However, the most important factor is a steady temperature, fluctuating temperature can cause condensation which can encourage contaminants. So another good option is on top of a fridge, at the back, above the gradual heat that is produced from the heat exchange.

Fruiting and Harvest

Step 6

After 2-3 weeks remove the bag and place the grow kit somewhere cool and humid out of direct sunlight. This can be the challenging part for the home grower as really you need your home to be the opposite condition for fungus growth and development! The main reason for the required humidity is to prevent the mushrooms from drying out. So, the easiest way to do this is to lightly mist daily with a hand sprayer/mister. (However, if there is a simple way of creating a fruiting chamber with a storage box and some perlite see Shotgun Fruiting Chamber for more details.)

Step 7

In a few days the mushroom will begin to emerge (sometimes called pinning as they look like pin heads) quickly they will swell and be ready to harvest. This is the first “flush”. You want to harvest them before the outer edge of the cap begins to unfurl. Just twist them off and remove any of the attached substrate.

Second Flush (and more..)

After you have harvested you mushrooms you can rest the substrate and it will fruit again. However, the substrate will have shrunk slightly and will likely begin to “pin” in areas within the cropping container. This is obviously not ideal, so it is best to remove the substrate form the container (it should just fall out like a cake) and placing it on a tray or plate (or even the lid), allow the mushrooms to grow from the entire surface of the substrate. You can continuing misting but this is where a Shotgun Fruiting Chamber really works well.


Once harvested they are, of course, best eaten fresh and you can’t get fresher than this! Otherwise oyster mushrooms do store well in the fridge for 2-3 days. They can also be dried using a dehydrator and stored in an air tight container.

The best way to cook Oyster Mushrooms, in our opinion, is the following method, whatever dish you’re making.

1- slice the mushrooms and add to a hot pan (skillet), you need to heat the mushroom to reduce the water, no oil yet, add salt and even a splash of hot water to get things going and prevent them sticking to the pan.

2- once they have reduced and are starting to brown slightly take them out of the pan, put them to oneside, and add butter to the pan heating until it starts to brown.

3- Now throw the mushrooms back into the pan. This is the time to add extra flavour, if you so choose, seasoning, garlic or herbs. Thyme is particularly good with mushrooms. Once they mushroom have absorbed the butter and are starting to sizzle splash on some soy sauce or tamari.

You can now add them to any suitable dish just before serving.


You can make cardboard spawn from the base of stems of the fruitbodies and use this as your spawn for growing more mushrooms!

Reusing your Grow Kit

We are always trying to find way to avoid single use plastic that is why we have devised this example Grow Kit with a reusable cropping container. To do this you need to thoroughly clean the container and wipe down the inside with an alcohol or other type of anti bacterial spray before using again.

You could use straw pellets as your substrate again, or straw, chopped and pasteurised or treated with lime. You will need more spawn. You could use cardboard spawn with chopped straw or if you are a coffee drinker try using cardboard spawn in this coffee digester technique.

We really hope this Grow Kit will be gateway to growing more mushrooms. There is lots of information on this website about different techniques and methods of growing and wide variety of mushrooms. We also run weekend Introduction to Mushroom Cultivation course is a secluded woodland with an off grid mushroom lab, processing unit and grow room.


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