Harvesting magic mushrooms is not rocket science or as complicated as one might think. But, there are opportunities that you might get things wrong. You have to make sure that you will do the harvesting right. In this article, you will be taught the proper way to harvest your magic mushrooms so you can enjoy the yields you have been waiting for.
Over the years, the growing techniques, as well as harvesting methods, have not changed very much. Growers still need to make sure to harvest their crops on time and applying the right strategies. Equipment sterilization is still very much vital so that bacterial or mold problems. If you know what to look for, the mushrooms will show that they are ready for harvest. Harvesting at the perfect time is the key to maintain the best quality and appearance. Moreover, as long as you work in a sterile environment and take care when handling the mushrooms, the harvesting can be quick and easy.
When Should You Harvest?
Harvest occurs after the casing and pinning processes that prepare mushrooms to spawn and grow. The casing procedure involves spreading mycelium-infused compost into containers that function as mushroom beds. A layer of peat must be added on top of the compost to serve as casing material. The mushroom mixture will be left in this state for about six days, with constant monitoring to assure moisture is retained in the soil. Within two days, more or less, the mycelium should be ready to grow through the peat and begin the pinning process.
However, you can opt for purchasing mushroom growing kits so you can shorten the process and not worry about doing the casing on your own. Many growing packages are available in the market and are designed to save you time and effort while guaranteeing you will get a fresh crop of healthy mushrooms.
Pinning, on the other hand, is a process that involves creating weather conditions during autumn to force the development of little white pins. These white pins will eventually develop into small buds, and then mushrooms. Mushroom cultivators are advised to maintain a constant environmental temperature of 23 degrees Celsius throughout this stage. If maintaining temperature has become a problem, place a heated mat under your containers as heating help.
After casing and pinning, your mushrooms will continue to grow until harvest. It will take about three weeks of growth, then; you can harvest the first flush. Just wait approximately nine to ten days, and then you can start collecting for more.
How Do You Identify That The Magic Mushrooms Are Ready For Harvest?
You will know that your mushrooms are ready for harvest by looking at the veil underneath their caps. When the cover has been broken, then you have reached the time for harvest. But, take note; many experts suggest that the best time for harvest is right before the breaking of the veil. This will prevent the spores from being released. At this point in the mushroom growth cycle, the psychedelic mushrooms have now developed light, well-rounded, cone-shaped caps that are perfect for the taking.
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Should You Harvest Too Early or Too Late?
It is always better to start your harvest earlier than being too late. Picking mushrooms on a later time will result in cap opening and releasing its spores. This is quite a troublesome thing because the mycelium releases hormones that will tell them to stop fruiting and begin their colonizing. The final result could be a grow kit that is not capable of producing any further flushes, resulting in excessively reduced yields.
When the spores are released, they cover the magic mushrooms as purple and black spots. This does not really have effects on the mushroom’s potency. This only causes a mess and lowers the aesthetic quality of the psychedelic mushrooms.
How Should I Harvest?
When your mushrooms are ready for harvest, you should start picking them by hand. Doing so will reduce the potential for damaging them. Magic mushrooms can be harvested by pulling them upwards from their base while performing a twisting motion in a counter-clockwise movement. Be careful and meticulous in using too much force because this might damage the mycelium. Make sure that your hands are dry when you start your harvest.
Small tweezers can be used in picking shorter mushrooms that are quite difficult to grip. You can also use a gentle and small brush to sweep away any remaining substrates or vermiculite on the magic shrooms.
One major thing that you should never forget is to work with sterilization when you are harvesting mushrooms. Ideally, using sterile rubber gloves should be worn so you can prevent contaminating your shrooms. However, experts also recommend regularly and thoroughly washing your hands before you start working with your mushroom cultivation.
Neglecting cleanliness and sterilization could lead to contamination by bacteria or mold. Sterilizing your growth tools, equipment, and containers before utilizing them is crucial. Smaller pots can be sterilized quite easily just by boiling them and steaming them.
Storage and drying is an essential part of the post-harvesting process. Mushrooms that will be consumed within 10 days can be stored in a refrigerator. However, magic mushrooms that need to be stored for long periods need to undergo a drying process. This technique is straightforward, you just have to spread the magic mushrooms out on a cloth or a kitchen towel and leave them there to dry. Make sure that you adequately space out your mushrooms in the drying process as leaving them close to each other can move them to rot.
Additionally, you should start changing the towel or cloth that you use for a new one every few days so that rotting can be avoided.
When you are drying at room temperature, keep your mushrooms out of direct sunlight and wait until they are thoroughly dry. Waiting usually just takes seven to ten days. Afterward, mushrooms can be stored in an airtight container inside a refrigerator or another dark and dry place. Properly storing your mushrooms in a dry, cool, dark place will retain their potency for two to three years.
Now that you learned about harvesting magic mushrooms as well as properly storing them, you can begin your cultivating adventure. Just do not forget to apply what you have learned, so nothing goes wrong, and you can make the most out of your journey.