The mushroom growth process is incredibly delicate. Variations in temperature, colonization, and contaminants can all cause a batch of mushrooms to grow ineffectively, if at all. Sterilizing your tools and mushroom substrate is a huge part of the process, as it mitigates any possible contamination. So, how do you sterilize the soil for mushroom casing? Read on to find out.
What Is a Mushroom Casing Layer?
A mushroom casing layer is the top layer of moist material on top of the colonized substrate. It helps keep water in the substrate. Mushroom bulk casings can come in many forms, including garden soil, coco coir, and sphagnum. However, the most used material is peat moss, which is cheap and widely used. These materials are all excellent for retaining moisture.
Soil Sterilization Best Practices
You’ll want to handle and disinfect your casing soil effectively and focus primarily on hygiene during the pre-wetting phase of casing soil input. Properly rinse the closed bags they come in, work in sterile environments, and use clean equipment. You’ll want to store your casing soil in a sterile environment so that its high quality remains intact up to the point of use. We’ll go into some of the risks of inadequate storage and things that can affect the quality of your casing soil below. These things make it more difficult to sterilize your soil for mushroom casing properly.
Risks to Your Casing Soil Quality
If you want to keep your casing at a low risk for contamination, you need to shelter it from wind that can carry pathogens in the air. Sunlight and heat can cause the casing soil to dry out, which isn’t ideal since it’s meant to retain water in the casing layer. Rain, snow, and hail can cause casing soil to become dirty, making it far more prone to contamination.
In short, soil sterilization is important, and without it, you’ll stunt the growth process of your mushrooms. Hygienic practices are key to steady and healthy growth. Here Midwest Organics LLC, we pride ourselves on the quality of our casing soil. Shop Midwest Organics today!