Grow kit instructions: Pink Oysters

Plan: Find a place for your Shroom Cube. The best area is water-resistant (like a countertop), has ambient light (not direct sunlight), and is in a location where the kit won’t be jostled or moved around. Room temperature and high humidity are ideal.

Check: Your kit should already have slits cut in it, and the openings covered by micropore tape. The tape is there to help retain moisture and to keep out microbes and pests, while allowing air to enter and exit the bag. There are several spare strips of tape on the back of your Shroom Cube. Make sure to keep any openings covered whenever your kit is not actively fruiting.

Wait: Be patient but check your Shroom Cube daily. Within one week you should see a mass starting to push out the tape. It will eventually push the tape right off the bag, and you can safely remove the tape at this point. The mass will develop into lots of little “pins” or “primordia.” These are the baby mushrooms. Some may wither rather than growing, and that’s fine. More energy will go into the remaining pins.

Grow: At this point, humidity and fresh air are critical to good development. The ideal conditions are 70 degrees, high humidity, and plenty of fresh air, but not direct wind. Humidity tends to be the hardest to control, so here a few things to try (in order of preference), depending on your home situation:

  1. Gently mist the developing fruits several times a day with a spray bottle. Don’t spray the fruits directly, but let the spray fall onto them. (This is the preferred method.)
  2. Use a home ultrasonic humidifier to humidify the air around the kit.
  3. Use a bag as a humidity tent. It needs holes to allow limited airflow. Roll up a cuff on the  bottom to make a stable base and place it over the kit. Remove the bag and spray the inside with a misting bottle several times a day to maintain a humid atmosphere. You could also place a soaking wet rag under the tent, beneath the developing fruits.
    This method works, but it tends to increase the CO2 levels around the developing mushrooms and makes them “stemmy.” They taste the same, but yield is reduced.

Pick: The mushrooms are ready to pick when the caps are still curved slightly downward, but are flattening, or when the edges start looking rippled. Hold the cluster at the base and twist to remove. You can store your oyster mushrooms for several days in a paper bag in the fridge, but they’re best right now!

Wait and Regrow: Use the spare micropore tape on the back of the bag to cover the holes and set your Shroom Cube somewhere dark to rest. Don’t worry about humidity during the resting period. Within two weeks, but possibly as soon as one week, you will see that it is ready to fruit again because it will be forcing the tape off. Successive fruitings may be smaller, but you can expect to get at least 2 or 3, totaling about two pounds of mushrooms, over the life of the kit. When your kit is done, it can be set outdoors and out of the way, where it may eventually fruit again, or it can be turned directly into compost or mulch. Worms love it!