MUSHROOMS

Management of Fruiting/Mushroom Development

Management of Fruiting/Mushroom Development Under suitable environmental conditions, which may  differ from those adopted for spawn  running,  primordial formation occurs and then followed by the production of fruiting bodies. The appearance of mushrooms normally occurs in rhythmic cycles called "flushes".  Mushroom growers like to practise the liberal use of the sense of sight, smell and touch to evaluate the progression of the composting process and the quality of the final product. The gross characteristics of compost, usually referred to as “structure”, result from a number of complex physical, chemical and microbial processes. The overall goal of composting is to produce selective nutrient media for the growth of the mushroom. These selected nutrient-rich substrates should support a high yield of good quality mushrooms. The general aspects of the achievement of composting are summarised as involving:

1)  straw softening and other structural changes;

2)  modification of plant materials so that nutrients are made available to  mushroom growth and development;

3)  building up of an appropriate biomass and a variety of microbial products( some of these can serve as nutrient sources for the mushroom);

4)  establishment of selectivity, i.e. the compost promotes the growth of the mushroom over competitor organisms;

5)  modification of compost structure so that it holds more water; and

6)  building up of compost moisture content to serve as a water reservoir for the mushroom Crop

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