Alexander Tsarev
Mushroom industry

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Mushrooms in basement (fourth part, last one)

19 сентября 2010

home-made, mycelium, compost

Casing soil

Mycelium growing in the compost

When is compost pressed, it is transferred to the mushroom growing room, and placed on the shelves (in the case of multi-zones system of cultivation). Constructions of the shelves are made of different material — corner pipe, wood. The main thing is that they bear the weight of bags. Weight of one bag of compost is an average of 20 kilograms.

For shelves construction are used flat slate, wooden sticks, bath, fixtures and other kind of ancillary materials. It is important to have the optimal size. Shelves cold not be larger than 140 cm. because we will have problems with mushrooms picking. Optimal shelves width are between 120-130 cm. The distance between the layers must not be less than 70 cm, for the convenience of the work with mushrooms, and to have possibility to maintain optimal climatic conditions to the mushroom growing.
During growing room construction, the most important is relation between room volume and the growing area for cultivation of mushrooms. The minimum relation has to be 2. That means that for 1 m2 of cultivation surface is expected to provide at least 2 m2 of space volume. The greater the relation between volume of the room, and surface of mushroom cultivation, the less will be problems with the climate control for growing mushrooms.

Mycelium overgrowing in the compost is usually within two weeks. When temperature of the air in the room is low (less than 20°C), overgrowth is slower. For example, at 5— 10°C, overgrowing compost mycelium may needs up to 8 weeks. The key point for mycelium growing in the compost — to avoid raising the temperature above 30°C, because can happen that mycelium dies. The optimum temperature for mycelium growing in the compost is 24°C.

Soil preparing and casing

When mycelium overgrows compost, surface of compost has to cover, with casing soil, to promote pin heading and mushrooms development. Casing soil is made of peat moss.
The best way is to make casing soil, is to mix "white" peat moss and "black" peat moss (lowland peat) in some proportions. pH of this mixture is regulated on 7,2— 7,5 using limestone. The best think is to buy peat moss at specialized factory in the bags ready made.
It is preferable preclude contact between casings soil and ground. In case of contact, causers of mushrooms disease can infect casing soil.
The worst are infection with Mycogone and Verticillium molds, causing Wet and Dry Mushrooms Bubble.
Casing soil preparation is simple, long-time known process what I do many years...In fact it is like this :
We use black peat moss (60%) and white peat moss (40%) of volume, and mix with limestone, chalk. Next step is watering this mass. Water quantity depends of peat moss structure. It means presence of lamps and their size. They have to be 1-2 cm. in diameter. In case that we do not supply enough water, lamps will be smaller, but if we supply too much water, the whole mass merges into one big lump. This casing soil will form big lamp and mushroom mycelium does not likes this kind of casing soil. Preparing one batch takes a few minutes instead 1-2 weeks, as recommends the majority of mushroom growing technologist.
To prepare peat moss mixture, is better to use some kind of machine, to evict possibility of contact between casing soil and floor. Optimal is to use mixer for
liquid, but not use cement mixer....

When is ready, casing soil, compost surface is covered by 4-6 cm. of depth casing soil layer. Important point!
One or two days before casing, it is desirable to open bags that condensate water dries. In case that compost surface has drops of accumulated condensate. Otherwise, if we cover with very wet casing soil, mycelium on compost surface can die and we will not have to pick any mushrooms.

Bags covered with casing soil

Mycelium transition from compost to casing soil

Mycelium transition from compost in the surface layer has to be controlled, and we have to maintain the optimum moisture of casing layer, and the compost temperature. The humidity of casing layer is usually in the interval 75-80%.When we squeeze some amount of peat moss, in the hand (a cover of soil) it has to give some drops of water. Because of it, we have to irrigate casing soil. The first irrigation may be given only when the mycelium grown in the casing soil, a few millimeters. To control it, do so, with fingers of the hand grasped a small piece to the casing soil. At its bottom, side should be visible whitish plaque mycelium. The principle of irrigation covering layer — water is often up to several times per day and small portions of 0,2 to 0,5 liters per square meter. The amount of water depends on the state of the mycelium, which we must to check before each watering.

Beginning of casing soil irrigation
Compost temperature has to be 24-26°C. During this period very important is gas concentration and air humidity. What we do not wont is external, fresh air. If concentration of CO2 get drop down, it will provoke primordial formation deeper in casing soil. Later on, when this mushrooms grew up, they will be dirty and bad quality. At winter external fresh air, is dry and when it enter in the growing room,
It make air in the growing room dried, and it provoke that casing soil get dried.
Consequently we must irrigate casing soil more and often.

Temperature measuring in the compost

Mushroom growing

When mycelium overgrowth soil and come on surface of casing soil, watering will stop, temperature of air and compost have to cold down until 18°C and louver, using external fresh air to do it. However, it is important that air humidity stay over 90%.To maintain this air humidity have to spray water on walls and floor, if it is not ground. Mushrooms watering will start again, when they get 1-2 cm. diameter of the mushroom cap. Irrigation stops 1-2 days before mushrooms picking beginning. Mushrooms watering is completely different from casing soil
watering. Mushroom irrigation has to be seldom, but with maximum quantity of water, what compost can take. Normally it is about 1-2 liters of water / m2 growing surface/ one watering. In case of water appearance on the bottom of the compost watering will stop.

Mushroom growing

Mushrooms regulate climate control; we have to look on them.
If mushrooms are slightly wet, sticky, and grayish color, with brown blotches on cap, and when we teach mushroom stipe, it gets sticky, on fingers, these are indicators about lack of fresh air.
If mushrooms are, dry, "skin" cracked, caps open prematurely, casing soil surface dry to fast, these are indicators of an excess of fresh air, or that speed of air is to fast.

Mushroom picking and post harvest management

We pick mushrooms by removing from casing, turning around, and after to cut with knife, base of mushroom stipe. Mushrooms pack in the small container, 3-4 kg. each.
Kip mushrooms in the fridge, at 0-4°C. Post harvest maintenance of mushrooms depend on conditions, and can be 10-12 days.


  1. santhosh, 25 декабря 2013:

    This is really a good guide for growing mushrooms, really a clear matter

  2. adm, 25 декабря 2013:

    Thank you. We are working on it.

  3. Irina, 25 декабря 2013:

    Eberithing is excellent on this site. It's really useful for those who wish to grow mushrooms. The only problem is purely linguistic. If you translate it into good ENglish you can attract more readers.

  4. WEERASINGHE, 25 декабря 2013:

    This is very good site for mushroom growers. Excellant

  5. Ольга, 25 декабря 2013:

    I welcome you, Mr. Nikodem.<br>The development of mushroom production in Russia, unfortunately (fortunately) does not depend on the author's website Tsarev Alexander Vladimirovich.<br> First, it depends on the Russian government, what for they are not interested.<br> Also on this role applies Moscow School of mushroom, which is under the flag of Sylvan. However, Sylvan is in development of the Russian mushroom even less interested than the Russian government.<br> At the same time, the main goal and aim of this website is to provide financial well-being of the site author Tsarev Alexander Vladimirovich. His activity is participation in the creation of new mushroom complexes and support the existing (working) compost and mushroom production. Moreover, its activity is not only Russia. For example, now Alexander is launching a new enterprise in Kazakhstan in Alma-ata.<br>Through this site, the problem of financial well-being is completely resolved.<br>To all this we may add that Alexander Vladimirovich primarily interested in compost and mushrooms themselves, and not just as a development of the mushroom industry in the country.<br>P.S.: Thank you very much, for your opinion, that our site has influence at development of the mushroom industry in Russia.

  6. Nikodem Sakson, 25 декабря 2013:

    Dear sir<br>Can you explain me how is goal of existing of your webside if Russia practicly dosen't produce mushroom and the production is smaller since year to year?


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