Step by step guide on paddy straw mushroom cultivation.
1. Gather good quality substrates
- Gather good quality substrates such as dried banana leaves (still hanging in the plant) or dried rice straw.
- If substrate are properly prepared, you can produce a better yield of mushroom.
- Soak the substrates in clean, tap water for a considerable period of time. Dried rice straw requires 3 to 4 hours of soaking while dried banana leaves require 10 to 12 hours of soaking or overnight.
- This procedure renders the substrates pliable. It allows sufficient water supply in the substrates conducive for the growth of mold during its incubation period. Do not oversoak the substrates.
3. Haul the materials from the soaking vessel
- Haul the materials from the soaking vessel and allow excess water to drain freely.
4. Arrange the substrates
- Arrange the substrates,tied in the middle with plastic straw or abaca twine to about 4-5 inches diameter. Cut the substrate to 14 inches length (most ideal).
5. Put the substrates across the bed foundation
- Put the substrates across the bed foundation as shown in the picture until the whole length of the bed is covered to form the first layer. Repeat the process for the other layers. Each layer must be pressed firmly to make the surface level even.
6. Put bamboo or wood sticks on each end of the bed
- If you desire to have higher piles (6 and more) and longer length of bed (5m and more), put bamboo or wood sticks on each end of the bed and on every 1 meter width along the bed. This will give strength to the piled substrates and prevent from toppling down.
7. Drill small amount of fertilizersREMEMBER!!!! Do not use Synthetic Fertilizer if you want Organically Grown Mushrooms
- Drill small amount of fertilizers (complete or urea) along the bed at about 2 inches from the sides of the laid substrates.Use 1/2 kilo of fertilizer for one bed that is about 4-meter long and made up of 5 layers.
8. Plant both sides with mushroom spawns
- Plant both sides with mushroom spawns, about 1 thumb-size per hill on top of the fertilizers drilled, at 3 to 4 inches between spawns and 2 inches from sides. Use 6 packs of mushroom spawn (about 350 gms.) for a 4-meter long, 5-layer mushroom bed.
9. Distribute “madre de cacao” (kakawati) leaves
- Distribute “madre de cacao” (kakawati) leaves to cover the newly planted spawns
Gather good quality substrates provide good bedding materials. Properly prepared substrates and bedding produce a better yield of straw mushrooms.
Repeat steps 5, 7, 8 and 9 as you make the succeeding layers
- Repeat steps 5, 7, 8 and 9 as you make the second, third and succeeding layers. During the dry season, a three to four-layer bed is recommended because of lower relative humidity. Six or more layers are ideal during rainy season.
10. Cover the entire bed with plastic sheet
- Cover the entire bed with plastic sheet to ensure temperature build-up and to retain the moisture required for the mushroom mold to ramify.
- They should be left intact, no watering after planting for 5 days (dry season) or 7 days or more depending on the existing climatic conditions (cool, rainy months) or until there is a profuse mycillial growth.
11. When the mushrooms are at pin-head stage, the bed should not be watered.
- When the mushrooms are at pin-head stage, the bed should not be watered.
- Water should be applied only when the mushrooms reach the size of corn seeds and the bed has somewhat become dry.
- When watering, manually sprinkle the mushroom beds with your bare hands to control its application
12. Loosen the plastic cover to aerate the bed
- Loosen the plastic cover to aerate the bed on the 5th or 7th day after the incubation period. This will allow the release of toxic gases which may affect the growth of mushroom.
- In cases of storm, heavy rain or too windy condition, raising the plastic sheet for an hour in the morning is sufficient.
13. Return the plastic cover
- Return the plastic cover, but never allow this to touch the pinheads to avoid spoilage of mushroom
10. Under normal conditions, harvest the mushroom 10 to 14 days after planting
- Under normal conditions, harvest the mushroom 10 to 14 days after planting for three to four consecutive days. This is the so-called first flushing where 65% to 75% of the expected yield is obtained. The bed rests for five to seven days.
- Another crop is harvested over another two-to three-day period but the yield will be much less supplying 25 to 35% balance of the expected yield. This manner of production may continue for 18 to 22 days or even a month.
10. During harvest, gently hold the stem and pull out the mushrooms from the bed.
- During harvest, gently hold the stem and pull out the mushrooms from the bedin a twisting motion while the other hand is holding the base with your bare hands.
- Remember any portion left behind will decay and permit bacterial soft-rot to spread in the succeeding fruit, causing drastic reduction in yield.
16. Harvest the mushroom when it is unopened (button-stage)
- Harvest the mushroom when it is unopened (button-stage).
- Mushroom buttons stay for 48 hours while open mushrooms (umbrella-like) stay fresh for 24 hours.
- It is advisable to harvest during button stage because mushroom has a perishable nature and would easily soften.