Learning how to cultivate mushrooms is no easy feat. You must go through several steps in the cultivation process, which are all delicate. For instance, setting your mushrooms in a place with too much light or darkness can affect the process. Likewise, not washing your hands is a serious issue that can cause bacteria to ruin your yield. So what do you do? Here are some of the top ways to increase your mushroom yield below.
Sterilize Your Environment
The first thing you have to do when you're in the process of cultivating your mushroom kits is to keep a clean environment. By “clean,” we aren't just talking about the normal forms of cleanliness before you handle a batch. You must make sure you sterilize all your supplies.
You must clean all your syringes, scalpels, and other implements you use regularly. You can expose your scalpel to a flame for 20 to 30 seconds until it's glowing red hot, then cool it by taking it away. Though you can use a lighter, an alcohol lamp is the most ideal for this process. Rubbing alcohol is indispensable for any cultivator, and you should wipe down your tools regularly. Hand washing is necessary, but some experienced cultivators will take a complete shower before handling their substrate.
All these things are good ideas, and implementing them is a surefire way to increase your mushroom yield.
Some of you haven't heard of this term before. Supplementation adds nitrogen-infused nutrients to the mushroom substrate for the sole purpose of increasing its yield. It provides a better and more extensive nutritional base to support mycelium. This makes it stronger so that it can produce higher-quality and healthier yields.
You can achieve supplementation when you add properly aged manure. Manure also holds water and can help keep your substrate at the proper levels. However, don't overdo it. If you add too much supplementation, it'll have the opposite effect. Remember that contamination we mentioned earlier? Well, adding too much supplementation is one of the factors that can cause this. Start small and increase slowly to achieve the best results.
Choose the Right Strain
The right strain can have a huge impact on your yield. Different strains within the same species can give wildly different results. There are tons of different possible combinations. All of them have minute differences that impact the quality of your yield.
Luckily, expert cultivators have researched which mushrooms yield the best strains. So which strains are ideal for growth? You'll soon find out. There are also mushroom types that yield a higher harvest. A few examples of these are shiitake, lion's mane, and oyster mushrooms. They're profitable, easy to grow, and have many medicinal benefits.
Time Your Harvest Properly
The time you choose to forage your mushrooms profoundly affects their growth and biological efficiency. You'll lower your biological efficiency when you pick mushrooms before they're ready. You'll know when this is for most mushrooms because the species won't look fully mature. Make sure you check a mycology guide so that you know what “ripe” mushrooms look like.
This is also the case when you pick the mushrooms too late. You'll achieve a higher-than-usual yield but with lesser quality. You have to find the sweet spot, which is tough since each species has differences.
Harvest when caps turn downward to upward. The convex-shaped cap is apparent, and the color usually starts to lighten. That said, it's not the same for every mushroom, so check guides related to the mushrooms you’re growing.
Store Your Harvest Properly
Mushroom storage is crucial to the growth process. Improper storage can halt growth, so it's essential that you get this right. Mushrooms have high-water content, so store them in the fridge to keep them fresh. Clean the mushrooms well ahead—remember, you don't want any contamination. If you look in the fridge after a week and the mushrooms are slimy, you'll need to try another batch. They should have a slight buoyancy to them while retaining their firmness.
Determine the Right Climate for Growth
Most people grow mushrooms indoors so that they don't have to worry about the climate. A greenhouse, garage, basement, or warehouse can do the job. If you think about it, this is the case in the wild, where the external environment—excluding extreme temperatures—has little effect on their growth. Many strains can grow in hot and cold seasons, such as the regular oysters, pearl oysters, and king oysters we get from forest logs.
Select the Right Lighting
Mushrooms can't grow in a place with too much darkness or too much light. They need to be in a place with a day-night cycle. So when you're growing them, either put your substrate in a place where they get 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness—a sunlit window in the basement is perfect for this—or get one of those LED lights that turn on and off on a schedule. Whether you use natural light or LEDs, keep the mushroom growth cycle in mind. Watch them closely for alterations, and your yield should be high.
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
Make as many batches as possible. It doesn't have to be perfect. Sometimes, we beat ourselves up, especially when just starting, because our results aren't what they should be. Keep in mind that mushroom cultivation is hard work. It requires study and experience. So if your first batch doesn't come out perfect, take it as a learning experience, not a complete failure.
If you do this, you'll feel less crushed as you learn. You'll develop a growth mindset that embraces improvement rather than a fixed one that believes that talent and immediate perfection are the most important traits. No matter what happens—and a lot can go wrong—keep going. You won't be sorry.
Manipulate the Bed Size
The substrate size should be slightly larger than the bed and strong enough to hold its weight. If you'd like, raise your clay and brick foundation. Make sure you place the bed on a strong material frame. You’ll probably want to place four to five bundles on the frame, so layer the bed accordingly.
Make Mushroom Compost To Encourage Growth
Mushroom compost changes the activity of microorganisms by developing the raw ingredients' chemical nature. It’s a food source that's suitable for growing your mushrooms. This is important because it excludes unwanted fungi and bacteria. Adequate air, moisture, carbohydrates, and nitrogen are all needed to help the compost pile stimulate mushroom growth.
As we said earlier, mushroom cultivation isn't easy. However, if you use these tips, you'll be well on your way to a fruitful yield. It's a delicate process you can master if you have a growth mindset. Midwest Grow Kits offers the best supplies to make your mushroom cultivation process a breeze. Shop with us now for all your mushroom needs!