I am trying to grow oyster mushrooms with a growing kit that I bought online, which basically is a brownish block that I immerse in water for a few hours before taking out and keeping moist for days. Mushrooms then shoot out from it. The problem is the shoots that come out are too closely packed and crowd one side of the block. Eventually only a few of them get to grow to their full potential, suffocating the rest.

So I tried picking some when they are halfway grown. That way the harvested part is large enough to use as an ingredient in cooking and the seedlings will be exposed to air, light, and enough space to continue to grow. But when I tried to pluck off the big ones, they came off with the substrate that they grew on, bringing with them lots of seedings.

Then I thought, maybe I could pluck only half of the larger mushrooms, breaking them in the stem. I tried that carefully yesterday, but I haven't seen much growth in either the seedlings that have been given space and air or the stubs after the truncation. I don't know if the substrate was hurt--unlikely--or something else. I wonder if mushrooms continue to grow when the top part is cut off. Also any suggestions?

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