Mushroom cultivation is fun for some, therapeutic for others, and a source of livelihood for many farmers. Getting into mushroom cultivation for the first time is always exciting.
However, as a beginner, things can go wrong quickly, and it is best to be aware of the cultivation process. To help you, here are some common mistakes made during mushroom cultivation.
Sterilization during mushroom cultivation is essential to fighting off contamination and for reliable mushroom growth. Therefore, you must sterilize the substrate and carry out the inoculation process in a well-sterilized area. All materials and surfaces in your work environment should also be sterile.
However, it is important to note that inaccurate sterilization is one of the most common contamination causes. During sterilization, adhere to the directions, and totally and constantly monitor the pressure during heat sterilization.
Another common mistake is using the same liquid culture syringe twice without treatment. You should flame-treat the needle and scalpel after every use during sterilization.
All the excitement of venturing into mushroom cultivation for the first time leaves most beginners impatient. You want amazing results now, but forcing your hard work to pay off immediately may cost you. Cultivating mushrooms requires time, effort, and patience.
Rushing through the mushroom farming process sets the wrong conditions to foster healthy mushroom growth. All steps should be done exceptionally well and in no hurry. Following the three-step approach will help keep you in check and thorough throughout the process.
Poor Growth Conditions
One nagging problem for mushroom farmers is deformities, which means that the mushrooms grow but not to full potential. Your mushrooms will have cracked caps and long stems, among other "shortcomings."
Deformities occur as a result of poor farming conditions, such as poor lighting and airflow or excess moisture. Ensure that you have enough lighting, check for normal but regular moisture levels, and improve airflow and CO2 levels around where you grow your mushrooms.
Watch Out for Thermogenesis
Thermogenesis is the process of heat generation in organisms. During mushroom cultivation, it may occur during organic matter decomposition as a result of mycelium. Consequently, this triggers the substrate to generate heat raising the substrate temperature against normal room temperature.
When your substrate temperature is too high, the mycelium often dies, affecting the process. It is best to maintain temperatures only slightly over room temperature to prevent thermogenesis.
When you harvest your mushrooms late, you risk them getting spoiled quickly after the harvest time. Another common harvest-related problem is gathering your mushrooms while they are wet because this spoils them. It would be best if you harvested your mushroom when you spot the caps downturned and dry.
Confusing the Species
Before getting into mushroom cultivation, ensure that you research the process and the plant species. Two mushroom species may share the same family but are meant to be cultivated in slightly different conditions.
With a keen eye for details and awareness during mushroom cultivation, you stand to avoid most of the mistakes above. Follow the cultivation process accurately, and enjoy your healthy mushroom yield.