Growing mushrooms is just like practicing any farming. You need to learn how it works before you venture into it.
Although there is no single strategy you can use to guarantee success, there are several things you can do to avoid a disastrous harvest.
The problem is that most people get overexcited by the success of other mushroom growers. What they don’t know is that such people may have failed several times before reaching where they are. Some of them spent a lot of time learning about growing mushrooms before they got started.
The truth is that growing mushrooms is never a sure deal. Sometimes you may reap big and sometimes suffer losses. But you can reduce those loses by avoiding the following common mistakes:
One of the biggest mistakes that beginners in mushroom growing make is being impatient. This is because you are often super excited and want to accomplish things in a snap of a finger. In the process, you end up messing up a lot of things and fail to pay attention to important details.
Mushroom growing requires a lot of patience and persistence. You need to understand that mushrooms do not grow to maturity overnight. The best way to avoid this mistake is to use the three-step approach. This is because each of the steps dwells on a different aspect of the business.
There is no way you will succeed if you don’t pay attention to the aspect of cleanliness in your business. This is because contamination is one of the major reasons mushroom growers fail. This often begins with the hygiene of the fruiting room.
If you don’t ensure that the room is always clean, then be ready to harvest mold or blotch instead of mushroom. You need to constantly sterilize your tools properly before doing any transfers.
Still on contamination, understanding what type of contamination happens in each stage can also help you to spot them early and take appropriate action. This will help you stop the diseases from spreading further.
Inoculation is another area that most mushroom farmers go wrong. It usually happens because of impatience. For instance, you will find a farmer inoculating a substrate almost immediately after sterilization. Doing so will expose your mycelium to heat and kill them.
The other mistake that farmers do under inoculation is the use of too little or too much spawn. Too little of spawn will definitely lead to contamination while too much of it will result in overheating. You need to ensure that your inoculation techniques are not counterproductive.
Not knowing mushroom species
This is another common mistake you should avoid if you want to be successful in mushroom farming.
It is unfortunate that some people start growing mushroom species that they don’t have an idea about. How will you know how to treat your mushroom if you don’t understand what species they are?
The common mushroom species are the grey oyster and the white oyster. All of them belong to the Pleurotus family. But they often grow differently owing to their genetic differences.
Before starting growing your mushroom, you should be able to understand them in terms of species and genetic origin. This will give you an easy time when it comes to its management.
Lighting and lighting
These two elements are very important as far as mushroom growing is concerned. Although lighting may not be necessary in some cases, there are mushroom species that require moderate lighting for them to flourish.
Moisture is very important in all types of mushrooms growing. The problem is that most farmers never really understand the right amount of moisture to use on their mushrooms.
Exposing your substrate to a lot of moisture content will result in contamination. On the other hand, minimal moisture content will negatively affect the growth of mycelium.
The best thing to do is to find a way on how to balance all the elements from moisture to water to lighting.