Blue Oyster Mushroom – What it is and how to grow
We are going to discuss on Blue Oyster Mushroom – What it is and how to grow
Hypsizygus ulmarius is commonly called ‘elm oyster’ or ‘blue oyster’. It is similar to oyster mushroom, but differs in morphological and biological efficiency. The Blue Oyster Mushroom is a distinct species. It has very large fruiting organs and the blue pinheads turn pale white at maturity. They are tasty as well as high yielding. This variety of mushroom is also fleshy with attractive shape and excellent taste. Its yield, sporophore size, flavor and texture are far superior to those of other commercial oyster mushrooms such as Pleurotus florida or Pleurotus sajor-caju.
Oyster mushroom can be grown small and marginal by farmers. It can be successfully grown on various fertile media i.e. Soyabean, Wheat, Paddy, Maize stalk, Arhar, Sesame, Bajra, Sugarcane bagasse, Mustard seed, Paper waste, Cardboard, Sawdust and other agricultural wastes.
Firstly to straw, it is cut into small pieces (2-4 cm long) and then soaked in water, so that the straw attains the moisture level of 75-90 per cent. Then formalin (0.5 percent) and carbendazim (0.075 percent) solution. After 18 hours the straw is taken out and the excess water from the substrate is removed by placing it on a clean wire mesh.
Spawning in bags can be done in two ways i.e. multilayered or fully mixed with substrate @5 per cent on wet weight basis. The upper edges of the bag are tied with the help of nylon rope. One mm in each bag for ventilation. Eight to ten holes are made. The spawn bags (bags containing seeds) are kept in the mushroom house. Average temperature of 20–30 °C, pH 7.0–8.0 and relative humidity 75–90 per cent is required for its mycelium growth under normal commercial cultivation conditions. The poly-propylene bags are removed after complete colonization of the substrate by the mushroom mycelium (spawn run).No water is needed until the bags are opened. When the bags are kept open at the time of primary formation, very light watering in mist is given regularly to keep them moist.
Filled in poly-propylene bags sized 20 x 16 or 24 x 16 inches. These are 4, 7 and 9 kg respectively which can accommodate up to wet straw.
The onset of pinhead occurs 3-5 days after the bag is removed. The first flush of mushrooms is achieved within 5-7 days of pinhead appearance depending on the type of substrate used. The mature sporophore /fruit bodies are plucked just before the edges of the mushroom are twisted or turned downward. They usually appear in clusters and are harvested by slight twisting and pulling.
Depending on the type of substrate and prevailing climatic conditions, three to five consecutive flushes can be taken from the same bag at an interval of 8-10 days and First harvest takes 30-35 days from sowing.
On an average, 700-900 grams of fresh mushrooms are given to one kg. The substrate can be taken from the bag, giving 70-90 percent biological efficiency.