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 are now a couple of things required to get it ready for its second, or subsequent flush. You may also need to do this if you had a failed flush and all your mushrooms stalled. In which case, we call this re-setting the bag.
1. Clear the air holes
Run your hand over the outside of the bag to clear the holes of any debris and nubby bits like pin-sets that failed to grow, or stem stumps from harvested mushrooms. We want these airholes clear so it gets plenty of fresh air and space to grow next time.
2. Check if it needs a drink
Weigh the bag and compare its new weight to its original weight. The difference is the water loss.
- Half the weight of the bag is water. So, for instance, if you purchased a 4kg bag that means 2kg (or 2 litres) is water
- So, let's say, from that 4 kg bag you harvested 700g of mushrooms, and the bag now weighs in at 3kg. This means the bag has lost 700g of water to the fruit (which is what gives the mushrooms their weight) and 300g to evaporation from the holes.
- 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.
- Also note, the loss of 300g to evaporation would be fairly high and may indicate that it is in a spot that may be too dry.
3. The Rehydration
Once it's lost about 70% of its water it's time for it to take a dunk. Generally, 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. Chlorinated tap water is fine.
- 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.
Note: Do not oversoak. This is one of the few things that will harm the mycelium and may cause mould.
Now you know everything you need, in order to be successful for subsequent flushes.If you do a good job in caring for it, it should reward you for many months to come. We have had customers give us feedback that theirs are still producing after 10 months. However, its yield will diminish as nutrition is depleted. You may want to experiment by adding some diluted liquid fertiliser to it. Use a metal straw, inserted into strategic spots inside the bag.