Cultivating Blue Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest of mushrooms to grow. They grow on hay, leaves, paper and even coffee grounds. Oyster mushrooms are very aggressive growers which means that they will out compete most other fungi and such. Below is pictures of my procedure.

I'm going to try cultivating Blue Oyster mushrooms on spent daylily scapes, stay tuned!


Hay was used for the mushroom "food" I heated the hay to about 170f, to kill any stray fungi that might compete with the Oyster mushrooms

I poured off the water and allowed the hay to cool. Once cool I packed the hay into large ziplock bags.

In this picture at the top, you can see the prepared bags and the mushroom spawn which is growing in millet seed.

I got the mushroom spawn from North Spore of Maine


After about 3-4 days the mushroom mycelium are starting to spread throughout the hay.

By week 2 the mycelium have completely colonized the hay, and at this point it is ready for fruiting. In order to stimulate fruiting I moved the bags to a well lit location and cut some 2 inch criss cross holes in the bags, to allow lots of air into the bags

Within 4-5 days fruiting has begun. The mushrooms start out small but increase in size in a matter of hours.

Here you can see the Oyster mushrooms popping out of plastic bags.

Here is what the final harvested mushrooms look like.




Mounted on a piece of metal conduit pipe, the Whisper waterer is easy to move around.


The "Whisper Waterer" is a modification of a small mini-sprinkler system. Typically these are run in long rows with many sprinklers and are used under fruit trees, in Strawberry patches and such. My setup is for a single sprinkler which cn be used on beds as are needed. They are nice as they are gentle and cover a small area and so can be used in a section of a garden without preventing you access to the rest.

  Interested in having one made? email me and if there's enough interest I might make some. Cost around $30 shipped This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The components of the Whisper Water are (from left to right)
Mini Sprinkler head
small hose: 3/16" Black or clear  (like common aquarium air hose )
Water hose end (Green) and a piece of 1/2" hose and a metal clamp
1/2 hose coupling with a 1/2" threaded receptacle (Gray)
Threaded reducer  (white)
brass nipple for small hose (metal copper)
The black knob just below the mini sprinkler and on the black hose are mini cut off valves, I have stopped using them as it's one more place for things to get clogged up.
I also have a small black plastic "riser" (sprinkler post) attached to the metal stake to achieve greater height. I screwed mine to the stake but zipties would work too.
You should be able to just assemble with the parts shown, a screw driver and knife or fine saw might help with adjusting some of the components.
I bought these parts at a hardware store. I'm sure an online search would get you all the parts you need.
Here are some helpful links
Pleasant Valley Organics: Mini Sprinkler supplies
Sprinkler Warehouse: Yet more sprinklers supplies
Hose Barb Adapters : instead of brass?


Identifying and controlling weeds is process of elimination. Looking at a given part of the garden one must decide which plants to focus on to control first.

Rule number 1: Grasses should almost always be the first to go. Particularly the larger running grass like Quack grass. This grass has a larger leaf and has a distinct running habit (as opposed to clumping). Because these plants will run throughout the garden and into dayliy clumps, they should be addressed first.

Other running plants that should be removed : Nutsedge, Mugwort, Bindweed and Vetch (these are all running plants)

Rule number 2: Remove weeds that will get large: These include plants like Velvetleaf, Wild lettuce and biennial Evening Primrose. These will get very large and dominate your garden in that space

Rule number 3; Smaller plants might be left: Hawkweed, Violets and Wild Geraniums have nice flowers and don't grow so big as to crowd out daylilies. Though if growing too close to a daylily removal might be advised as it will compete some for water and nutrients.

White clover is good for the soil but will run, so keep that in mind.

Rule number 4: Some plants are persistent, Dandelions are a good example,  repeated cuts to the crown are needed to permanently eliminate them, so it might be worth weeding once or twice and accepting some dandelions in the garden.

Lastly Nature Abhors a Vacuum, better to have something relatively harmless growing than nothing as something will grow there!


So how would I manage the plot below?

First all running grasses would be string trimmed or weeded out. Other grasses next. At the same time all Dandelion shoots would be string trimmed or weeded at the same time.

The rest would be left unless they were growing too close to a daylily.

Next go around with a string trimmer or weeding would focus on any grass regrowth and patches of plants that are encroaching on the daylilies



April 28, 2022: In this issue:

Field progression

Washed daylilies,

Daylily foliage compared,

Daylily seedlings,

Dante waits again



The daylilies grow taller and fill out more every day. Eveything looks like it came through the winter and spring fine. Which is of course no surprise, but it's nice to see.

 The most notable plant in bloom is our Forsythia bushes

Everybody is healthy and things are chugging along.

The first orders have been shipped and orders have already been received on the West coast!






We carefully hand wash each daylily we ship. So they are clean and ready to plant. The plants are also kept moist until packed and we spray a bit of water on the roots to ensure they stay moist through the shipping.



This time of year, daylily foliage differences is really apparent. Colors range from light green to blue green. And width of the leaves vary too. These variations can add interest to the garden  before blooming starts. 



1st season daylily seedlings with white colored fine hair roots

2nd season seedlings with darker orange more mature roots

In order to "create" new daylily cultivars, plants must be grown from seed. We've found that seedlings grown for an extra year (season) in pots in our greenhouse develop good strong roots which helps the seedling survive transplanting and Vermont winters



While it's hard to come up with a plant that I love as much as the daylily, Johnny Jump Ups (Viola tricolor) are a runner up. I love them for their spontaneous tenacity. They appear in the daylily beds in various places and have been growing here for decades. Almost no one flower is the same and almost never in the same place. I'm going to try and tame them a bit.



And yet another door Dante can be found at, it's cold today so he came in early found a nice warm fleece coat and began his nap.



Siberian Iris will naturalize and over time create large drifts of color. 

Why you should be growing Siberian Iris.

Siberian iris are valuable for the earliness of their bloom, their vigor and longevity. Once established you can count on Siberian iris to grow increase and bloom for years if not decades to come.

 Here in Vermont Siberian iris are one of the most prolific and rugged iris that I grow. And I can count on them blooming profusely every year as they have done for decades.

 Siberian iris will grow into large stands which are very weed resistant and when in bloom produce a stunning show.

They are very adaptable and will tolerate wet conditions very well and a certain degree of dry conditions as well.

While most people think of Siberian iris as coming in purples blues and whites there are actually a number of other colors and number of subtle hues and variation in those blues purples and whites that can make the flowers very interesting. Additionally there are some unusual Siberian iris flowers with ruffles and frills.

 Siberian iris foliage are is typically nice blue green shade and in my opinion a large stand has a very wonderful and strong visual effect.  Also typically Siberian iris with purple or blue flowers have pigmented buds which add to the interest of the plant and and then of course the bloom season.

I have Siberian iris growing all over my property in many different locations both dry and wet and strikingly I have a large number of plants that have   seeded in.

This is basic Iris terminology that is used to describe the various flower parts.

Siberian Iris have fine fibrous roots, because of that they are sensitive to drying out. And so one must be sure to keep the roots moist.

 I feel confident in stating that Siberian iris are strong growing and adaptive plants. There are a few aspects of Siberian iris cultivation and propagation that must be considered, the most significant in my mind is the root system is fine and fibrous and as such they are is sensitive to drying out therefore one must take care to keep the roots moist when dividing and transplanting and even a short period of time in the sun is very detrimental. A damp cloth or piece of burlap over the roots is helpful when transplanting.

Siberian Iris foliage has a great landscape value in itself. The blue-green foliage is almost always impeccable.

The other slight drawback of Siberian iris is that they take a little bit longer to recover after dividing or transplanting. I typically describe Siberian iris as sulkers and so the first year they just kind of sit there and act unhappy.

I think this old adage gardening adage applies 
"the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap"

However once they get established and begin to increase the clumps will just get larger and larger and produce more and more blooms.

The variation in even the blue and purple shades can make for some spectacular combinations and years ago we had large drifts of purple blue and white iris that were just stunning currently we have a smaller size patches but a much larger variety. Some of the newer varieties that we have are quite striking are quite exceptional. There is for instance a yellow Siberian iris that has very spectacular ruffles and the yellow fades to a pale yellow. Other colors include pink shades and pale lavender.

Siberian Iris exhibit a nice variation in blues, purples and white as well as pink and lavender shades as well as yellow.

There is also some interesting variation in flower size with some of the smaller flowered Siberian iris having a wonderful delicate almost butterfly like appearance. Siberian iris like a good rich soil and a fair amount of moisture under the circumstances you can expect good strong growth and a lot of bloom.

Siberian Iris can naturalize and coexist with other plants quite well.

That being said as I mentioned I have Siberian iris growing all over my property in sandy, clay, wet, dry add a lot of marginal growing areas. And all the iris in these various locations grow and bloom amazingly well.

So the most important aspect of growing and cultivating Siberian iris is to be sure to care for them while they are getting established. This means making sure that the roots stay moist before you plant them and then keep them well watered while they are getting established. Of course there is a balance and I expect that you could water even Siberian iris too much.

One last thing to keep in mind in my experience, here in Vermont one must take care too when dividing Siberian iris to have the divisions relatively large, this ensures or at the very least increases the chance that the divided clumps will reestablish and grow. Tiny divisions of Siberian iris frequently fail and are not likely to survive a winter if divided and transplanted in the season late season.