Contamination in Mushroom Production
Failing is part of the process of learning any new skill and mushroom production is no different! At Nãm, we learned many lessons from the mistakes we made over time!
The most common failure in mushroom production is contamination.
All life on Earth competes to survive, so it is important to provide mycelium with the best environment to grow/develop/progress. In mushroom production, the number of microorganisms that compete for the same resources must be limited.
Here are some important points for successful mushroom production:
Although unsterilized substrate causes contamination, incorrect sterilization presents even greater risks.
It is important to use alcohol/disinfect all equipment used before starting production (work surface, tools, suits, gloves).
We must make sure that the substrate is completely sterilized during the process, without exception. It is also important to check the pressure regularly when using the pasteurizer for heat sterilization. Maintaining a clean environment is essential when growing mushrooms in order to maximize the chances of successful production.
Patience is a virtue both in life and in mushroom production! You cannot rush the mushroom production process. It is a process that requires patience and determination! When we try to speed it up, we increase the risk of contamination! It is important to follow each step correctly to reduce the possibility of failure. We must let the substrate cool completely before placing it in the bags and wait for the mycelium to colonize the entire substrate before starting the fruiting stage.
The growth environment
There is no perfect strategy for mushroom production. Each mushroom species is unique and thrives in different conditions.
To grow mushrooms effectively, one must adjust the environment to meet the needs of each individual species. The wrong environment will quickly lead to contaminated crops. It is very important to always check the requirements for each different variety of mushrooms grown!
Mushrooms grow in varied habitats around the world, so each requires separate attention. The most critical aspects are:
- Air and soil temperature
- Light conditions
- Fresh air exchange
Lack of sufficient fresh air exchange is one of the most common reasons why mushrooms or mycelium do not grow well. Mushrooms that do not have fresh air exchange tend to grow small and elongated. We don't want to suffocate our mushroom friends, so it's important to give them some fresh air :)
One of our pieces of advice is not to be afraid of making mistakes! However, avoiding unnecessary mistakes is always a good practice and a way to save money, time and frustration in mushroom production!