Mushroom blog

Mushroom growers or composters like you are kept busy with the daily running of your farm or compost yard. This blog offers you plenty of handy tips. Maybe some of the tips are familiar, or describe quite logical situations. But there might also be some situations you have never really thought about before. So how are things managed on your farm or composting yard? Perhaps there are some things you could do better or differently! A new blog will be published here every month.

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Mushroom casing soil

Why is casing soil used? There are two main reasons: 1. the Pseudomonas putida bacterium; 2.  to regulate evaporation. Mushrooms will not grow without evaporation. The casing soil structure, through the depth of casing and on the surface, is the factor that determines how much water can absorbed and released. This is also known as...

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Mollier diagram

What is the absolute moisture content of the air? Or the enthalpy of the air? More and more growers have a handy app that reads out these values. I always ask: “What do you do with this data?” I don’t always get an answer. Because it’s not about the numbers. The best way to understand...

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Climate in the mushroom growing room

All growers recognise the importance of climate in the mushroom growing room. How the climate feels when you enter the mushroom growing room is a good indicator. Sometimes what your instinct says goes against what the data from the climate control computer suggests. Experience can help you finetune that “instinct” if you go into the...

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Which factors determine the pH value?

My previous blog described what the pH should do during the composting process. This blog examines the role of the raw materials, such as ammonium sulphate, gypsum and water. Ammonium sulphate, (NH4)2SO2 During indoor composting, NH3 is removed from the air by a reaction of the air to sulphuric acid, H2SO4. The by-product resulting from...

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pH during mushroom composting

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is " what is the optimal pH value of compost?" I always answer that it is much more important to ensure the pH falls during phase II and spawnrun. But which factors influence the pH value? The obvious answer is gypsum - but is that true?...

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How to steer pinhead development

A good spread during the first flush gives much higher production. But during pinhead out grow how can growers steer towards precisely the right number of pinheads and development of different cap diameters? Let me explain how. The height of mycelium colonisation The moment of cool down and the days immediately following determine how far...

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Getting optimal results involves cultivation techniques, the amount and quality of the compost, climate control settings and much more. And, of course, all these factors have to be coordinated and synchronised. But sometimes, increasing production is easier than you think. The key word here is efficiency. By properly filling the beds from the beginning to the...

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Number of days of mycelium growth?

Mycelium growth is the stage from the moment of spawning up to the moment the compost is removed from the tunnel and filled into the growing room. Or when mycelium growth in compost took place in the growing room, it  continues until the moment the compost is covered with casing soil. What happens during mycelium...

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Pest and diseases information

It is difficult to find good information about the pests and diseases that affect mushroom growing. This blog offers you handy tips on where to find good sources of information. Extensive reports The results of most studies are published in the form of extensive reports. But for growers concerned with the daily practicalities of mushroom...

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Watering A new watering system has been in use for some years now. It is a static system that incorporates pipes and nozzles in the beds. With conventional watering systems, a spray lorry moved along the beds. This blog explains the advantages and disadvantages of the static system. How the static system works The static...

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Odourless hazard

One of the basic raw materials used by composters is gully water or black water. This water is often stored in large water tanks. The hazards this involves are illustrated by the fact that in the Netherlands alone at least three incidents with slurry tanks occur each year. Unfortunately these incidents usually result in several...

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Graze picking by planning

Harvesting the beds several times a day – or graze picking – automatically leads to higher production. A mushroom can double in weight in 24 hours – that is 4% growth per hour. However, it needs to have space to grow. The amount of space around the mushrooms depends on the next moment of harvesting....

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Sealed growing rooms and tunnels or two magic solutions

Well-sealed growing rooms are essential in order to exclude phorids and sciarids flies! Using chemical or biological control agents makes no sense at all if there are all manner of entry and exit routes still open to phorids and sciarids. If a room or tunnel is well and truly sealed, then you won’t even need...

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Floor humidity

If you want to maintain a natural climate in the growing room during the recovery period until about five days after ventilation you should water the floor and walls of the growing room. Do this at intervals of between one and six hours. You will  notice the result as a shock effect in the graph…

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Straw determines the structure and the nutrient value of compost. New straw is harder, which is why the pre-wet period is crucially important for good production.

Irregular mycelium run

Have you noticed more mycelium growing on the surface in the middle of the bed than along the sides? This common problem causes big differences at harvest: differences in the time you harvest, the quantity you pick and the quality of the crop. In this blog post I give you some tips on how to…

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Too much mycelium

On many farms I see lots of problems with quality and particularly  production in the second and third flushes. This immediately prompts a close examination of the compost, although the problem has developed at the start of cultivation in the casing soil.

Mycelium fails to develop properly – what now?

You have started cool down, but the mycelium fails to develop properly in the casing soil. The surface of the casing soil stays black. The pinheads develop from the mycelium below and between the clumps of casing soil and are therefore invisible. In these growing rooms too many pinheads then develop, which will lead to…

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Lab results

The moisture content and pH value- of compost, and all the other results of lab analysis represent extremely important data for composters and growers. But what is the actual value of these lab results? For example, in order to analyse 100,000 kilos of compost, not even a single kilo is used. To put that into…

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Chicken manure

Chicken manure is an important raw material in mushroom compost and for the composter as it is the biggest source of nitrogen. It is therefore vital to keep the quality as consistent and as high as possible. However, the quality of chicken manure is unimportant for the farmer, for him it is a waste product….

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Air inlet Temperature

Did you know that the air inlet temperature can cause poor quality in mushrooms? In my work as an advisor I notice that growers who are having quality related problems like scales, brown discolouration and bacterial blotch often don’t think about checking the stability of the air inlet temperature.

Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene …..

The highly-respected researcher Helen Grogan used these words to open her presentation ‘Trichoderma agressivum in phase-III-compost in bulk’ at the ISMS congress inChina. And rightly so, as hygiene is the most important weapon in the battle against this mould. A small percentage of infected compost can ultimately infect a huge amount of compost. If just…

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Recovering Period

Mycelium has to grow toward the surface where it develops pinheads. How do you achieve this? By not using the cooling!

The influence of harvesting on mushroom quality

Harvesting mushrooms is an unfortunately neglected aspect of our craft. The quality of mushrooms is dependent for more than 50% on the method and precise moment of picking. Using the right method correctly and at the right time will yield plenty of extra production.

Influencing the ammonia content (NH3) during composting

You produce compost according to a fixed process. In phase I you make the compost, then you fill the compost into tunnels or maybe even the growing rooms. You steer the compost by adjusting the temperature and amount of aeration. But did you know that you can influence the NH3-content without adding anything to the…

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Anaerobic compost in the bunker

Anaerobic compost – compost with no oxygen – is by definition a bad process. Oxygen is one of the most important elements in the composting process. If the computer shows the temperature in the compost rising above 80oC, this tells you that enough oxygen is getting into it. All good, you might think. But despite…

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Activity and fan settings

The difference between the compost  temperature and the air temperature is known as activity. Activity is the main energy source of the mushroom: without activity the mushroom cannot grow. I will explain how to influence activity.

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