The mushroom cultivator. A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home

Paul Stamets. The mushroom cultivator. A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home. - Agarikon press, 1983

Содержание

FOREWORD by Dr. Andrew Weil

PREFACE

I. INTRODUCTION TO MUSHROOM CULTURE

II. STERILE TECHNIQUE AND AGAR CULTURE

III. GRAIN CULTURE

IV. THE MUSHROOM GROWING ROOM

V. COMPOST PREPARATION

VI. NON-COMPOSTED SUBSTRATES

VII. SPAWNING AND SPAWN RUNNING IN BULK SUBSTRATES

VIII. THE CASING LAYER

IX. STRATEGIES FOR MUSHROOM FORMATION (PINHEAD INITIATION)

X. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: SUSTAINING THE MUSHROOM CROP

XL GROWING PARAMETERS FOR VARIOUS MUSHROOM SPECIES

XII. CULTIVATION PROBLEMS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS: A TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE

XIII. THE CONTAMINANTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE: IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL

XIV. THE PESTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE

XV. MUSHROOM GENETICS

APPENDICES

GLOSSARY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

PHOTOGRAPHY AND ILLUSTRATION CREDITS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

OCR
154/The Mushroom Cultivator
like the Forest Green Mold (Trichoderma) and Bacterial Blotch (Pseudomonas). As stated in the
previous chapter on pinhead initiation, once the primordia are set, the relative humidity should be
lowered to 85-92% and held constant within this range throughout cropping. Besides the creation
of a cool surface by "evaporative cooling", evaporation aids in the transport of nutrients (in solution)
from the substrate to the growing mushrooms. If the evaporation rate is too high and the humidity
falls below 85%, excessive drying occurs, causing small stunted mushrooms and cracked scaly
caps. A dry cropping surface further reduces yields and is difficult to recondition. In this respect, it is
critical for the grower to reach a balance between air circulation, fresh air and humidification. This is
but one aspect of the "Art" of mushroom culture.

Watering
Maturing mushrooms have water requirements that must be met if maximum yields are to be
achieved. Mushrooms grown on uncased substrates draw their moisture from the substrate, whereas those grown with a casing draw equally from both. Uncased substrates are more susceptible to
dry air and therefore require a relative humidity of 90-95% as well as periodic misting of the cropping surface. If the cropping surface dries and forms a dead mycelial mat, it can be reopened to further flushing by raking or scratching. This technique is often used by Pleurotus growers to stimulate
later flushes.
The advantages of using a casing layer are many. Protected from atmospheric drying, the substrate moisture is channeled solely to the mushroom crop. And, the water reservoir provided by the
casing not only supplies the mushroom flushes but also serves to keep a high humidity in the cropping surface microclimate. In order to sustain these benefits, the grower must learn to gauge casing
moisture and know when to water.

Other than light mistings, any substantial waterings before the button stage can result in damaged pins. But once the mushrooms have reached button size, it is time to begin building the casing
moisture back up to the peak reached at pre-pinning. The aim is to reach capacity just prior to the
main harvest. This is accomplished by a series of daily, light to moderate waterings with a fine misting nozzle. Commercial Agaricus growers have traditionally used a rose-nozzle but many have now
switched to nozzles with finer sprays and variable volume outputs. This enables the grower to add
moisture without damaging the casing surface. In this regard, high water pressures and close nozzle
proximity to the casing should be avoided.

The goal is to keep the surface of the casing open and porous throughout the cropping cycle.
Putting on too much water at once is the most common cause of panning. By watering 2-4 times/
day rather than just once, the casing can slowly absorb the water without damage to the surface.
After the first flush is harvested the casing should be kept moist with light mistings until the next
flush reaches the button stage. The casing moisture is then built up again. Each new flush is treated
in this manner, although later flushes will have fewer mushrooms and therefore require less water.
At no time should the casing be allowed to dry out. Mushrooms pulled from a dried casing carry
large chunks of casing with them, creating gaps in the cropping surface and at times exposing the

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