A sentence often heard in logistical companies but even more nowadays in mushroom growing.
Due to short schedules, labour management and supermarket requirements timing in the growing of mushrooms is essential.
If mushrooms are not in time one can loose part of a flush. The compost for the next room is ordered. Supermarkets need the mushrooms on the shelf on a set time and for the organisation of the picking force a strict timing is needed. Even if it is just to stay away from picking in the weekends to avoid high labour costs.
To ensure a right start of the first flush on the desired time many factors are involved.
The activity of the compost is one of them. An active compost or an inactive compost can easily make a difference of a few days in the start of the first flush. A corrective measure there can be supplementing. And for all the choice of supplement and the quantity. Especially in combination with the right type of casing soil this has great influence. No need to say that both compost and casing soil need to have a good stability. The combination of those two can be seen in the amount of caccing and the deepness of the casing layer.
Water on casing soil is the next determining factor. It is well known that water can stop the mycelium from growing. A factor that can be used to time flushes.
A very strong tool is the ruffling machine. By ruffling the grower can time flushes even more accurate. Generally ruffling is done between days 3 and 6 after casing the room. Later ruffling often also means a slower recovery because older mycelium has a slower re-start. Ruffling is done a lot by farms who have very strong time requirements by the supermarkets. A negative aspect of the ruffling can be that the staggering of the flushes is more difficult. But this can be overcome by changes in the climate setpoints during fructification.
So just looking at timing of crops, the grower has many options. Unfortunately this also means enough options to make mistakes but isn’t this what makes mushroom growing interesting?
Henk van Gerwen