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Mushroom Cultivation: The Various Stages Explained
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Fungiculture has gradually grown in a small-scale industry with beginner companies venturing into cultivating edible fungus and supplying the market with a plenty of fresh-grown options. The good news for those who have newly ventured out into this business is that mushroom farming is not as complicated or extensive as it may sound. If you break it up into phases, there are a total of three of them. The first step of mushroom cultivation is to prepare the compost. Here is a short description of all the steps involved in growing mushrooms. They might also vaguely answer the question of how to grow magic mushrooms.
Preparing the Compost
You need to prepare a humus for the mushrooms you will grow. This involves a lot of wetting and mixing of ingredients. This is not very difficult as long as you get the stacking and piling part alright. The compost ingredients have to be stacked up and erected in a rectangular pile. The sides have to be tight as possible and the centre thick and loose. You can do the compost by turning the materials through what they call a compost turner. As for materials, you can use horse manure. As it passes through the turner, spray in some water to make it a thick paste absorbable in the soil. If you want to keep it less messy, prepare synthetic compost with gypsum and nitrogen supplements. With a little aeration of the final product, aerobic fermentation starts. In the last stage, pasteurization has to be carried out to kill nematodes, pests, inspects or any kind of live organism in the compost.
As the mushrooms grow into their full volume, they start developing microscopic spores which are essentially how the fungus multiplies. Now, a grower doesn’t have to make use of that for there is too much unpredictability involved in it. So, a vegetative propagation is done in order to ensure the multiplication. Making the spawn is another process. You will need millet grain, chalk and water, all sterilized. Once the mixture is ready, add a bit of mycelium. The colonization of the mycelium results in what is called spawn. The spawn is then refrigerated for months and stored for future use. Later, it can be spread out on the compost and made to mix with it.
Casting, Pinning and Cropping
The first part involves top-dressing to the compost that is then mixed with the spawn. For casing, one may use a mixture of ground limestone and peat moss. It is precisely the place where rhizomorphs form and so supplementing it with nutrients is not needed. Once they are formed, the mushroom initials start to sprout out. This is called pinning and it takes a while for the caps to develop into its full-grown size. It is in the time of cropping cycle of mushroom cultivation that one can harvest the mushrooms within a time span of 3 to 5 days.
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