4. Post harvest care
We sincerely hope you’ve had a bumper harvest from your first flush and looking forward to the second – which should be 2-3 weeks after the first. There’s now a couple of things required to get it ready for its second, or subsequent flush.
You may have some small and dry pin-sets left on the bag or a few clusters that have stalled and failed to grow. This is normal. It usually happens if some clusters started a couple of days after the others, and are already close to maturity. These late starters have sensed this and simply aborted to save strength for the next flush.
Clear the air holes
Run your hand over the outside of the bag to clear any debris or dried nubby bits out of the airholes. We want these airholes clear so it gets plenty of fresh air and space to grow next time.
You might also want to take a moment to weigh the bag. This will give you some good data to help refine your technique and help you maintain a healthy little farm. There is plenty of nutrition in the bag to keep your mini farm active for many months, all you need to do is manage the water:
- Half the weight of the bag is water. So, for instance, if you purchased a 4kg bag that means 2kg (2 litres) of it is water
- So, let’s say, in your first flush you harvested 700g of mushrooms, and the bag now weighs in at 3kg. This means the bag has lost about 300g (or 300ml) of water to evaporation – in addition to the 700g which is what gives the mushrooms their weight.
- This means it only has 1 litre of water left, which should be enough for the second flush, but it may struggle for the third. At some stage, it will need a drink.
- Let’s say, after the first flush it’s weighing 2.5 kg: this means it’s lost 800g (800ml) of water, which could indicate you have it located in a spot that’s way too dry.
Once it’s lost about 70% of its water it’s time for it to take a dunk. This should not be needed until after the 3rd flush (or possibly its 2nd if you have it in a dry location). Do this by…
- Soak it in a bucket (bath or sink) of water for a few hours.
- Put a weight on top to submerge it.
- When you pull it out, put a small hole in the bottom to help it drain.
- Re-weight. Aim to get it to about 80% of its original weight.
- While it’s soaking, try finding a better spot for it.
Now you know everything you need, in order to be successful for subsequent flushes.