The different stages of a mushroom grow

The unique conditions of your grow (home) will influence the speed and shape of your mushrooms. The following photos may not be identical to your mushrooms.


For the first few weeks (generally 2 in summer and up to 4 in winter), the mycelium of the mushroom is growing in the substrate. The substrate we use is a mixture of Pine sawdust and soy hulls. In essence, this is a “rotting” log that the mushroom would grow within if it was in a forest.

You should notice the mycelium thickening and getting white within the bag.

Week 1

grey oyster mushroom kit growth week 0 1 e1627955285294

Week 2-3

grey oyster mushroom gro kit growth week 2 1 e1627955317502

Week 2-3

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Week 2-4

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Pinning Stage

This is the stage where the mushrooms start to fruit. It’s called pinning because the little mushrooms sometimes look like little pinheads (called a pin set). Although, Oyster mushrooms often just looks like a blob (especially the pinks. At his stage, it’s essential to crank up the humidity. Ideally, it’ll be in the 90% relative humidity range. See our humidity tips page.

Pink pre-pin

pink oyster mushroom pinning e1627955631718

Pink Pinning

Pink Oyster Mushroom about day two of growth e1627954809786

Grey pre-pin

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Grey Pinning

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Growth after a few days

If all goes well, and you are providing good conditions, you should notice steady growth. For instance, if you check every 6 hours you should notice a difference. If the conditions are not good (and this is usually due to lack of humidity), it will stall.

Pink day 1-2

Pink Oyster Mushroom about day two of growth e1627954809786

Pink day 2-4

Pink Oyster mushroom about day three of growth e1627954837293

Pink day 3-4

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Pink day 5

Pink Oyster Mushroom mini farm in field of gress

Grey day 1-2

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Grey day 2

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Grey day 3-4

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Grey day 5

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Mushroom harvest

The Greys are easier than the Pinks for observing the changes that are taking place that indicate that they are ready to harvest. The caps on the Greys will flatten out and may start to curl or rise up (into a more convex shape) exposing their gills. It’s at this stage they will drop their spore.

The Pinks will often grow with their gills fully exposed, so it’s difficult to see the change like the Greys. So for the pinks, if they have been steadily growing we recommend harvesting on day 5. Once you have had a successful harvest, you should know what to look for and perhaps time the harvest better for next time.

we recommend picking them before they spore but if they do, carefully wipe up the spore with a damp cloth and harvest. They are still good to eat.

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Yield of oyster mushrooms

Things that can go wrong

The number one thing that people contact us about, is the first harvest stalling. This is generally through a lack of humidity. Notice how the little pink pinset has darkened (and will eventually turn black). If it stays this size and darkens, it’s stalled.

Stalled pin

Pink oyster mushroom stalled growth e1627954870174

Stalled bag

pinning pink oyster mushroom day 1 e1627962779654
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