When the substrate is completely grown through and becomes white with mycelium, the following will encourage pinning
1) The plastic bag is removed completely.
2) Short, vertical slits can be cut down the length of the bag.
3) Holes can be made on the bag to allow the pinheads to emerge
At least 5 percent of the outside surface of the bag must be opened to allow air and light to reach the mycelium. If the bag remains in place with slits or holes, the substrate is less likely to dry out.
Too little air will induce bunched growth and thick stipes with small caps, and too much air will dry out the fruitbodies.
Humidity is very important at this stage, and every subsequent stage throughout the formation of caps. The floor should be watered frequently to keep the humidity high. Water can be sprayed onto the developing caps twice a day, or more often if necessary, using a fine nozzle. Unlike other crops, mushrooms – fruit bodies of fungi are quite sensitive to the growing conditions including temperature, humidity, light and ventilation. The correct temperature enables them to grow well in growing house. The light and ventilation influence the color, size and texture of the mushrooms. There is no need to worry and buy hygrometers if the above is done. Humidity is kept high, availability if water is crucial.
Mushrooms will be ready for harvesting for about 4-5 days after pinheads appear, depending on the temperatures. The cropping interval is between 8 and 10 days. Mushrooms are picked when cap size is 5-10 cm according to market. Mushroom is slowly twisted to remove it from the substrate. The stalks that were attached to substrate are trimmed with a sharp knife to remove dirty. Care should also be taken at harvesting to avoid breakages. If packing in punnets, the stipes should be laid down in the plastic or kaylite tray in the same direction, cling film is wrapped around the tray taking care not to squash the mushrooms.
*equipment can be used to control the above parameters, if the budget allows.
The shelf life of fresh mushrooms may be extended by refrigeration at 8 degrees Celsius. At this temperature they should stay fresh for four to five days. The higher the storage temperature becomes, the shorter the shelf life is. If you do not have a cold room/refrigerator(depending on scale of production), I recommend that you choose drying or sell soon after harvesting.
Drying preserves the mushrooms by removing enough water to inactivate the enzymes and micro organisms. Mushrooms preserved by drying have a good flavour and the drying prevents deterioration. Dried mushrooms are convenient for long-term storage and transportation. That is the beauty of growing mushroom, it allows growers to dry when the market is flooded and then sell when the prices have slightly gained. The challenge that you will face is reliance on sun drying which is very difficult when its raining or in winter
In this drying method, mushrooms are spread on the shelves in such a way that the gills face upward and are directly exposed to sunlight. Drying time required will vary depending on the weather conditions. In general, the quality of sun-dried mushrooms is lower than that of the mushrooms that are dried by machines. Dried mushrooms are becoming popular with consumers in our country. Oyster mushroom become tastier when dried. Drying is a very good marketing strategy after drying the mushroom can be kept in dry places for a long time.
I hope the manual will be of help to you