We've made our mushroom growing kits as simple to grow as possible. However there are 2 problems that are outside our control, and can get people stuck. The first is stalling due to lack of humidity, the other is dormancy usually due to it being in the wrong location. These are relatively minor problems and easy to fix once you know how. Have a look at our trouble shooting guide to learn more.
Maintaining high humidity is one of the biggest challenges people have when growing mushrooms. To help, we have written an in-depth article about managing humidity for your mushroom grow.
Note: Mushrooms only need high humidity when they are growing. So, only during the 'fruiting' stage (from pinning to harvest). When it's incubating, or between flushes, you do not need to care for it as long as you have it properly hydrated.
There are only two main mushroom pests to look out for. The Phorid fly and the Sciarid Fly (aka fungus gnat). Both of these flies will lay eggs in the holes of the bags. After the eggs hatch, the larvae roam inside the substrate and quickly devour the mycelium inside. Eventually eating through the stem of the mushroom they emerge as flying adults via tiny pinprick-looking holes, out the top.
We have an in-depth article about mushroom pests, how to spot them and how to deal with them.
It is very unlikely you will get an outbreak of mould. If you do, we have an in-depth article on mould and what to do.
Short answer, probably not! We have a process that has our failure rate at less than 1%. However there is the small possibility that it is. In that case we will replace it, no questions asked.
Your mushroom grow kit is made as part of a batch of about 10-15 bags. If there is a dud it would mean that the entire batch is similarly affected. Because of the cost involved in replacing a batch we are highly motivated in maintaining strict quality control. If we had made a bad batch we would know about quickly. We also make and keep a control bag from each batch so that we can observe its growth. In the case of a bad batch, we would replace your grow kit without hesitation.
Environmental Factors: Generally, any issue with an individual bag is related to the unique variables in your home. These signs often include:
- pin-sets stalling (lack of humidity)
- dormant bags (lack of temperature fluctuation)
- pests (usually if it is being grown outdoors, which we do not recommend)
Contamination: Less frequently we will encounter some contamination like mould. In most cases, the mould will clear up, as healthy mushroom mycelium will either contain or kill it. We will generally replace a bag that has become mouldy if the mycelium is too badly affected to recover. Most often the mould has entered after the bag was made, via the air holes. Oftentimes, it's after a person has oversoaked the bag during rehydration.
Our Method: We have a production method that is reliable so we can ensure consistency across many batches. The only variable is the grain spawn used to make the batch (there is one bag of spawn per batch). Issues with spawn would be due to contamination of the spawn and would affect the entire batch. For us, this would be rare as we have a laboratory clean room where the cultures and spawn are made and we have tight protocols to maintain sterility. However, if it does happen this contamination would most likely be mould or bacteria. These are relatively easy to spot, so we would not use the spawn bag for production.
Control Bag: For each batch, we retain a small sample to make a control bag. If you contact us, we can then compare your bag with the control. This gives us better insight into what may be happening, and the advice we can offer to fix problems. It would also alert us to any potential contamination issue affecting the entire batch. Note: We incubate the control bag in our barn. It does not get any special or favourable treatment.
Our Support: We pride ourselves on our ability to work with you in having a successful mushroom grow. This means overcoming any issue you may have with the growing conditions. If we simply replace the bag without overcoming the problem, then we potentially doom the new one to the same fate. If you need support, please contact us using the live chat feature of the website (or by facebook message). Please include a photo of the bag, including the batch number on the side. Also, if you can, the order number.