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“Pump” and “pillow”. How to change the number of pins after the end of the cooling down?

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Have you ever had a cooling down gone wrong? The flash is going too dense or rare. Or your client wanted small mushrooms and unexpectedly changed the order to large ones? Or the picking leader claims: “no pickers”? You can easily increase or decrease the number of pins after cooling down.

Iurie Boiciuc, UMDIS` consultant on mushroom cultivation, have been helping mushroom growers from 15 countries for more than 20 years, and below I explain how to use the “pump” and “pillow” methods to change the situation on your mushroom shelf.

Have you ever had a cooling down gone wrong? The flash is going too dense or rare. Or your client wanted small mushrooms and unexpectedly changed the order to large ones? Or the picking leader claims: “no pickers”? You can easily increase or decrease the number of pins after cooling down.

The number of pins, of course, depends on the cooling down. A slow cooling down of 6-7 days will give you a rare flash and many generations. This is for growing large mushroom. Cooling down for 3 days makes a dense flash – to pick small mushrooms. But the mushroom grower has time – this is 3-4 days after the cooling down – to influence the number of pins for the first flash. And 2 days after cleaning the shelf to influence number of pins for the second and third flash.

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How to make more pins? Using the “pump” method! Your “pump” will be the water that will “pull” your mushrooms up. How does this work in practice? If you see that there are few pins, you reduce the absolute humidity and increase evaporation. This can be done by lowering the temperature or humidity. And an important point! The main thing is to have something to evaporate – so that the spawn or pins cannot be dry. You must have moist casing and dew on the spawn. Look at your shelf carefully. If there is no shine on the casing, or the spawn begins to turn yellow – before increasing evaporation, do a light spray with small pressure with small drops of water. That’s it, you’ll get more mushrooms!

But what to do when you have a lot of pins – and you want to get fewer and larger mushrooms? Do you remember those detective stories where the villain smothers the victim with a pillow? A mushroom also needs to breathe. If you increase the concentration of CO2 and reduce the supply of oxygen, small pins will stop developing. So, you increase the concentration of carbon dioxide and reduce evaporation: you heat the air or increase the humidity. Using this principle, you can regulate the number of pins of the second and third flashes as well, remembering that for this you have 2 days after the shelf cleaning.

The conclusion: mushrooms grow when there is evaporation from the surface of the shelf. Don’t forget, the main thing is to have something to evaporate, do not dry out the casing and pins! Hence the rule: good evaporation – the flash is thicker, no evaporation – the rare flash. Like most living organisms, mushrooms need oxygen. If there is no oxygen (CO2 increases) – the pins do not form, do not grow or die. If there is oxygen in the rooms – the mushrooms grow normally.

I can’t give you the exact parameters as in the handbook. They depend on your situation; no two growing rooms are the same – we work with each room individually and train growers to understand what and how to adjust. Registration for consultations is open. Fill the form or write to email iaumdis@gmail.com.

Iurie Boiciuc, 20 years of consulting, experience in 15 countries in Europe and Asia.

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