The glossary is not exhaustive we will continue updating it every time, we will also take submissions from growers.

Abort: A mushroom that for some reason ceases to grow and never reaches maturity. Abortion is also a regular term that refers to mushrooms dying before maturity. there are several causes for this: lack of enough nutrients, high carbon dioxide levels.

Biological efficiency: The definition of biological efficiency (BE) in mushroom cultivation is: 1 kilogram fresh mushrooms from 1 kilogram dry Substrate is 100% biological efficiency. This  definition was first used by the Agaricus industry to be able to compare different grow setups and Substrate compositions. It’s the conversion rate from dry substrate to fresh mushrooms, using example above: 300 grams of mushrooms from 1 kilogram of substrate is 30% BE. Many growers in Zimbabwe fail to understand this.

Colonisation: The process of the thread-like strands of growth, called mycelium, that develop in the compost/substrate after having grain spawn applied.

Contamination: Undesired foreign organisms (contaminants) in a growing medium. Often occurring due to insufficient sterilization/pasteurisation or improper sterile techniques.

Hyphae: Single strands of mushroom mycelium.

Mushroom mycelium: The white or grayish white, thread-like growth that develops after spawning. It is the conduit through which the mushroom gets its nourishment from the compost/substrate.

Relative humidity (RH): The ratio of the amount of water vapor actually present in the air to the greatest amount possible at the same temperature. Various methods of measuring RH is available but the wet-bulb, dry-bulb is the most used.

Spawn: Rye, wheat, millet, or sorghum grain, cotton seed hulls or any such materials cooked with water and chalk, then sterilized. Mycelium is added and allowed to grow for 10-17 days. At this time the mycelium will have completely colonized the grain and is called spawn.

Substrate: Whatever you’re using to grow the mushrooms on.

Vegetative growth: The growth of mycelium from spawning through to pinning. In order to cause fruiting (form mushroom initials), all vegetative growth must cease.

This is a post that I will be visiting again and again until I have a full and rich glossary, like I said in my opening remarks you can play a role in the building of this glossary: asking us to define a mushroom growing term and sending a defined term, over and above defining I need add a bit of fleshy on each word and/or term.

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