Beginners are often very keen and understandably anxious to see the fruits of their labour. However, it’s best to be quite laid back and let nature take it’s course. If you follow the instructions to the letter and are patient, then you will get results. While you are waiting for one project to mature, why not start another one? This will keep you busy and before you know it, you will have many bountiful harvests…
A couple of things before you start…
– bags are freshly made and may appear to have moist grain or a brown substance at the bottom of the bag before use. This is nothing to worry about either and will disappear when used (the kits contains substances to stabilise the pH of the kit to ensure a larger yield over time).
– some bags will have black grains present in the grain mixture – this is nothing to worry about and is due to a mixture of different grains.
1. I injected my bag and nothing is happening. What shall I do?
Check your bag is at the correct temperature and wait. You should see spots of white mycelium growing with 1-2 weeks. However it can take longer if the bag is too cold or your syringe is old. If you don’t see anything after 3 weeks at the correct temp, then your syringe may have been faulty. If this is the case, you can try injecting your bag again with another syringe as a last resort (don’t forget to swab the injector port again).
2. My bag was kept at a low temperature (too cold) and has stopped growing. What has happened?
Not a problem – you have just slowed things down a bit. Put at the correct temp and wait a while.
3. My bag was kept at a high temperature (too hot) and has stopped growing. What has happened?
If you mycelium has been kept over 35 C for any length of time the it is likely to be dead. Sorry, but you’ll have to start again.
4. The grain in my bag has dried out during Stage One. What has happened?
This can happen if you are using a heat mat in direct contact or under the bag. You should build a mini-incubator using a storage box and thermostat and do not have the bag under or in direct contact with the mat. Mount the heat mat on the underside of the lid for best results. Use a thermostat and always keep the temperature on the low side to start with.
5. My bag has turned green. What shall I do?
Doesn’t sound good. Drop us a line.
6. Stage Two: I can’t see mycelium growing through the casing after 4 days at correct temp in Stage Two. Shall I wait longer?
Often the mycelium is not visible with a synthetic casing layer. As long at the bag looks healthy, go to Stage 3.
7. Stage Three: my Farm has produced several nice flushes of mushrooms but the grain in my bag looks dried out. What has happened?
Mushrooms require lots of moisture and the Farm can become dehydrated while there is still plenty of life left. At this point you can spray the bag repeatedly or “dunk” it by filling soaking the grain/mycelium block in some clean water (eg tap water is usually fine but you can use from a boiled kettle left overnight to cool or a new bottle of spring water). A simple method is to pour water down the side of the grain bag until almost full and leave it for an hour or so before draining off the excess. Return to step 3 as normal and the results can often be spectacular, with large fruitbodies appearing. The older the kit gets, the more likely the risk of the bag contaminating increases. When this happens you can compost the grain/casing for the garden and recycle the plastic bags.