As you know we’ve covered the equipment and places to successfully produce mushroom. Now we’ll have a look at the production process itself which is very unusual as mushrooms aren’t plants.
First, before bringing in the compost, you’ll have to apply biocides to the rooms you’ll be growing mushrooms in because mycelium is very vulnerable to foreign organisms . For this, use formaldehyde and DDVP, both at %1 volume. After applying these solutions, keep the room shut for two days and then ventilate. Remember to put a doormat at the entrance with %1 formaldehyde solution as well.
Protect the Mycelium from Aerial Harm
When the rooms are prepared, put the sacks filled with mycelium induced compost into the trays after pressing on them. Fold the empty top parts of the sacks and cover them with wrapping paper which %1 formaldehyde solution was applied. The wrapping papers should not have any kind of print on them, because the print process might introduce some elements that might harm the mushrooms. Covering the compost will protect the Mycelium from aerial harm and losing humidity from the surface. If sack has enough empty space, you can use that section to cover the compost as well. If you have used paper to cover the compost, you should water the paper with spraying. While the paper must always be kept wet, the compost itself shouldn’t.
When you move the sacks, remember to disinfect the floor. At the first stages of mycelium growth, the room temperature should be kept 20-24 degrees and the moisture %80 – 90. At this time, the temperature should never get above 27-28 degrees, as the insides of the sacks will be 2-3 degrees hotter than the outside. At 30 degrees, mycelium growth slows and at 32 and more, it dies. Similarly, around 13 degrees the growth slows and mycelium dies at 0 degrees. As you can see, the temperature should always be controlled.
Add Fresh Air From Outside
To prevent the temperature becoming too hot, if you don’t have a system to make it cooler, you might consider adding fresh air from outside. But as you want a high ratio of carbon dioxide, fresh air with oxygen is something you don’t want, and it will drop the moisture levels. It is dangerous but might be considered if there is no other choice.
As mushrooms are not plants, they don’t need sunlight. Actually, sunlight leads to low-quality products as it causes cracks and stains on the mushrooms. Light should only be used when harvesting or taking care of your mushrooms.
The moisture should also be controlled and kept around %85- 90. If the room isn’t moisturised enough, the compost will start to dry and the efficiency will drop. But moisture levels higher than %90 is very suitable for a great number of problems. If the moisture is too low, you can water the floor or hang wet sheets on the walls.
The moist environment needed for any step in mushroom production is suitable for pests and diseases. Because of this, pesticides should be applied before the infections.
If you’ve managed to keep the environment in control, the mycelium should cover all the compost in about 18 days.
If the growth is slow, one or more of these might be the reason:
- Compost being too dry or wet.
- Temperature is over 30 degrees inside the compost.
- Compost being poor or not prepared well enough.
- Compost being prepared enough but not pasteurized.
- Presence of bacteria or diseases in the compost.
- Using old mycelium.
- The room temperature being too low.