How Long Does it Take to Grow Mushrooms: Oysters, Shiitakes, and More

How Long Does it Take to Grow Mushrooms: Oysters, Shiitakes, and More

Different mushrooms take different lengths of time to grow and mature. How long does it take to grow mushrooms? Read this article to discover the answer.

Oyster mushrooms can be grown as fast as 20 days while truffles will take over 10 years before you even know if the mushrooms will fruit! Of course this is from inoculation to fruiting.

If you are buying a grow kit and just fruiting it takes about 10 days for mushrooms to form. When wondering how long does it take to grow mushrooms there is a wide time range, depending on what species you are growing and what process you decide to grow them. Typically with lower nutrient substrates it will take longer to grow but with high-nutrient substrates they can grow very rapidly. The use of high-nutrient substrates requires sterilizing media and using a lab for inoculations but the high yields and fast fruiting makes it worth it.

How long it takes to grow oyster mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are the fastest-growing mushrooms. The fastest substrates to grow them on are:

  1. Masters mix, a mixture of sawdust and soybean hulls.
  2. Straw
  3. Toilet paper
  4. Woodchips
  5. Logs

All of these take about 3-5 weeks except for logs, which take about 6 months or more. Check out this great video for growing oyster mushrooms on toilet paper:

How long it takes to grow shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are a little bit more picky about their substrate and take longer to grow than oysters. In the end it is worth it though. This mushroom has an amazing umami flavor, meaty texture, and dries great!

Shiitake is my favorite mushroom to grow when I am not in a hurry. Growing on logs is a great starting point but takes awhile. 

Logs should be kept out of the sun and wind. North sides of houses and sheds are good places. Under conifer trees is a great place to store your logs. Deciduous trees allow sun in six months of the year so they do not provide ample year-round shade. Keep the logs off the ground on pallets or resting one end on another log. If the logs seem to be drying out, soak them for four hours. You can tell they are drying out if the cracks on the end easily allow a dime to be inserted into them. Spawn run, the process of the mycelium growing out into the log, typically takes 12-18 months.

After 12-18 months the mycelium should be grown throughout the entire log. The fruiting period in New England is between June and September. In late June of the year after inoculation, soak the log for 24 hours. Mushrooms should fruit within 7-10 days. Harvest, rest the log for 7-10 weeks, then soak and harvest again. This can be repeated 2-3 times a year. Depending on the diameter of the log, it will continue to fruit for 3-7 years!

Shiitake mushroom grow kits, on the other hand, take about 3 months to fully colonize and then about 10 days to fruit.

How long it takes to grow truffles

Truffles are an amazingly delicious mushroom and like morels, (check out this article on growing morels) people have been trying to figure out how to grow them for quite some time. The current method of cultivation requires inoculating trees and then planting them in a tree farm. The trees grow for the next 10 years and hopefully the mycorrhizal mycelium of the fungus too. After 7-8 years hopefully truffles will start to form in association with the tree roots. This is a huge investment and still a pretty experimental process of cultivation. How long does it take to grow mushrooms? Truffles are one of the longest!

Chaga is another interesting mushroom to discuss. Chaga grows in the wild primarily and has not been seen as a mushroom that can be cultivated. This mushroom grows on birch trees and does so more readily in colder climates. We can find it in Western Massachusetts, but there is a bigger abundance of it once you go up north more to states like New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. This hard, woody mushroom begins its growth inside the birch tree and then protrudes out. It can take around 20 years for chaga to fully mature. This is a big reason why it is important to forage conscientiously, not take too much chaga, and to leave smaller chaga mushrooms to grow to maturity.

The quickest growing mushrooms come from our mushroom growing kits

All of our mushroom growing kits come ready to fruit, which means the mycelium is already fully colonized throughout the growing medium, or substrate. Most of our kits can yield fresh, delicious mushrooms in 10-14 days. This is exceptionally quick and a great way to get to know the mushrooms being grown. This is particularly helpful for commercial mushroom farmers who want to experiment with different mushroom and strain types before committing to larger larger runs. It is also great for home growers who are excited about their first flush of edible, gourmet mushrooms.

Check out all of the mushroom growing kits we provide to the global community on this page. And for the growers who have already experimented with kits and want to grow in larger quantities, explore our sawdust spawn options here.

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