6. If it hasn’t gone as expected
An important thing to remember, we are dealing with nature so even if you followed all the instructions – it may not have gone as expected.
Most of our tips are aimed at increasing your understanding of growing mushrooms and managing their environment. In many cases, patience is also a valid and simple option, nature will inevitably kick-in, with more favorable (spring or autumn-like) conditions occurring.
Pin-set stalling and drying up: This is the number one issue people have in getting to their first harvest. This can be more problematic for Pinks as they’re a tropical mushroom, so need a bit more care especially in their first 8 hours. Humidity will be different from house to house, or the location within your home, where you live, on different days, and at different times of the day. So, in terms of misting and seeking out better locations, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But, if it stalls, it’s not a big problem, it’s just the mushrooms’ way of telling you that you need to find a more suitable location or step up your misting. See section on misting.
If it looks like your mini farm has stalled, simply follow the directions in Post Harvest Care to prepare it for the next attempt.
- Understand your environment: There are many variables that will affect performance. Foremost is climate: temperature and humidity. Growing them inside will provide some control but every home has a different ‘climate’ especially during mid-winter or mid-summer.
- The dryness factor: Most people do not realize just how dry the air in the home (and in NZ in general). Tip: be thinking, if that’s a good spot for mould to grow (like inside your shower) then your mushrooms would love it.
- The Temp factor: During winter (and also mid-summer) they can also be a little stubborn. Not so much because it’s too cool or warm, but they like to sense a wider fluctuation in temperatures: like an 8-degree swing. Similar to what we get in spring and autumn between day and night time temps. So leaving it outside in the cool/shade for a few days, then bringing it back inside can help.
- Reading signs: Over time you will get better at noticing what the mushroom is telling you. For instance, if it starts pinning, but fails to grow and dry out, that’s your mini farm telling you you’re not doing a good job maintaining humidity. So, just clean out the holes to prep it for next time. If after about 3 weeks it still hasn’t kicked into gear, then something else is wrong. The bag itself is dry, wrong temperature (which could include lack of fluctuation), bad airflow, etc. Note many of these issues are covered in the FAQ’s.
A note on growing old: Mushrooms do not age as we or animals do, due to time. It’s more a case of it running out of nutrition or water (which you can control). So, if it stalls and a flush fails to grow, it’s not like you have wasted any mushrooms. The potential to grow them is still in the bag waiting to be unlocked.