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How to control the number of pins in the right way?


This post is also available in: English Russian Polish

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The artilce is written for UMDIS readers by consultant Maciej Grzeszek.


With autumn fluctuations in external temperature, problems may arise with uncontrolled pin formation, i.e. the over-pinning.

Nowadays, the rule: the more, the better – no longer applies. Probably every producer has already realized that too many fruiting bodies causes nervousness among pickers and a sharp decline in quality.So how to prevent over pinning?

First: control the activity of the substrate, i.e. apply less substrate per meter of cultivation and, in the case of loose substrate, tamp it more strongly or at least give up the foil under the mats. The higher the substrate temperatures during the shock, the more spontaneous the formation of pins. Therefore, it is worth, whenever possible, adapting its activity to the harvesting possibilities.

Secondly: heavy and damp casing. The heavier the casing we use, the less mycelium there will be before shock and, consequently, the fewer pins. We can also increase the amount of casing using a similar principle: the thicker the layer, the less mycelium and mushrooms.

Third: limit caking. The less caking, the less mycelium in the casing and, therefore, the fewer pins.

In the case of these two elements, i.e. casing and caking, you should be careful when making changes, not forgetting that only creating pins on the casing surface will allow us to fully control this process

Fourth: do not make ruffling. The ruffling procedure means that there is more mycelium in the casing, which also potentially increases the risk of over pinning.

Fifth: mild shock. The slower and milder the shock, the less pinning. It is also important to remember here the influence of the difference in compost and air temperatures, i.e. the so-called activities. The greater this difference, the milder our shock must be to limit the number of pins. The basic shock parameters, i.e. air temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide level, influence the throw density. The general rule is that the more gently the mentioned parameters change during the shock, the less mushrooms there will be.

If we have omitted any of the above recommendations and despite everything, too many pins have formed, we can always stop their growth by stopping evaporation. This procedure is commonly called “suffocating”. It involves increasing the temperature of air and/or carbon dioxide.

Sixth: increasing the air temperature after the pin formation process is completed. It should be as close to the compost temperature as possible. In practice, this means a temperature in the range of 19-21 degrees C.

Seventh: increasing the carbon dioxide concentration also in the pin growth phase (the most commonly used range is 2000-3000 ppm). Maintaining an elevated level of carbon dioxide has a similar effect to raising the air temperature, i.e. reducing evaporation and thus “suffocating” the pins. You should be careful with this “operation” and adjust the intensity of its use to the intended effect.

It should be remembered that the higher the temperature and carbon dioxide level and the longer the period of maintaining the increased range of these parameters, the greater the effectiveness of the impact = suffocating the pins.

Eighth: the use of calcium chloride. Adding it to water used for irrigation in doses of 10 to 40 g for each m2 of shelf increases the salinity of the casing. High salinity, in turn, limits the growth of some fruit bodies. In addition, calcium chloride has a positive effect on the dry matter content of fruiting bodies, i.e. their quality and durability.

The use of calcium chloride seems particularly advisable when, due to the high activity of the substrate, we cannot raise and maintain higher temperatures.

However, if it happens that despite our efforts, all methods have failed, we have no choice but to use the ninth and final method: start harvesting ahead of time, removing excess pins manually. Here it is worth remembering the rule that the denser it is, the earlier we have to start separation and the smaller the fruiting bodies to remove. In extreme cases, they can even be 2-2.5 cm in size, and here the pickers have a lot of room to show off… and the person supervising the picking, who will also have to prove himself as an excellent negotiator and peacemaker.

Pro Fungi

Consulting Training

Maciej Grzeszek

tel.+48 601 594 449,+48 601 171 911

profungi.pl@gmail.comAre you a mushroom producer and have questions about mushroom cultivation? – Send them to us to UMDIS and we will ask world-famous consultants to answer them. We publish anonymously.

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For contact: inna.ustilovskaja@gmail.com

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