Here are some common rice straw mushroom problems that mushroom farmers can learn about and know how to overcome for their cultivation.
Let's see them below:
1. Too Few Mycelium Growing
Too few mycelium growing could be related to the initial quality of the spawn. Weak spawn from the start may not give you very strong offspring. So check first that you have good quality one.
Laying land that have been infected with oils will not be good for growing the straw mushroom, thus mycelium may decide not to spawn out. Upon contact with highly acidic or highly salty water, mycelium also grows few and slow.
Also check if you're growing a new mound on an old mound. The old mound may have been infected, which could then infect the new mound growth.
Secondly, people have this problem of:
2. There's A Lot Of Mycelium Growing But Pin Heads Don't Develop
Usually, this means the substrate is lacking nutrients for the mushroom to grow. The easy fix is you could, in this case, add some more nutrients for it like compost or composted manure.
Thirdly, growers have experienced:
3. Many Pin Heads Develop But Only A Few Have Enough Energy To Mature/Turn Into Mushroom
This could be circled back to the initial mushroom spawn health. Check again if the shrooms have been receiving good food/nutrients. In some cases, it could be that the straw mound is compressed too tightly.
4. The Mycelium Is White At First But Then Turns Brown/Changes Color
Check your straw source. It could be some fungi in the straw that is causing the problem. Also check your water source. Mycelium may grow few and change color in contact with highly salty water. Fresh water is best for misting your mushroom.
5. The Mature Mushroom "Egg" Is Big But Lightweight
This is actually normal. The whiter paddy straw mushroom will usually weigh lighter than the more gray one. This is their unique characteristics.
6. The Mushroom Is Rotted
Due to watering with strong pressure, the mushroom could have been damaged when they are younger (the pin head stage). Use very light, low-pressure water sprays like a shower or mister for the mushroom. They will grow well. Also, look out for ants, crickets, grasshoppers or cockroaches which could chew and bruise the mushroom.
7. Other Wild Mushroom Growing Side By Side
The wild mushroom may not come from the spawn, but could be from the substrate. You should choose fresher (not very old, decomposed) and clean substrate. Using fresh water to hydrate and mist the mushroom could also limit the growth of wild ones. If you spot wild mushrooms growing around, pluck them off.
8. Other Green, Yellow Molds Growing
Green, yellow mold could originate from the growing substrate. If you're using straw or other materials, it's good to soak them in lime mixed water (0.5-1% concentration) before growing. Lime can limit the growth of molds. Alternatively, you could pasteurize the substrate in a drum to avoid molds and other bacteria growing.
9. Insects, Mice, Chickens, Cows And Other Farm Animals Enjoying the Mushroom
Mushroom mounds, especially those made from straw, attract special attention from cows and oxes (as straw is the natural food they like to chew). Also, chickens may come around digging to find worms. Other insects may also fly by to find a 'happy home' and reproduce there.
For big animals, if we see them near our mushroom growing area, we can 'shoo' them away. You could, if you're growing outdoors, use a greenhouse to cover the mushroom straw piles.
If ants come and build nests, the mycelium may not grow well. For these little animals, you should not use insecticides near your growing place. Try to lure them away from afar.
You could elevate your mushroom growing surface up, add four buckets in the supporting frame legs (like four shoes). Then in there, add some water, soapy water or some black/kerosene oil. Because of the strong smell, ants and other insects won't come near.
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