August 25, 2019

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How about growing Hericium mushrooms in caves?

Aug 08, 2019

Hericium mushroom (Monkey head mushroom) falls under with wood-rotting fungi and it is a kind of low-temperature type mushroom. Suitable temperature range for growth of mycelia is 6-34 degrees Celsius, the optimal range is at 25 degrees Celsius or so. When it is under 6 degrees, metabolizable action of mycelia stops while growth of mycelia is in tardy trend and easy to age at above 30 degrees Celsius. When it reaches 35 degrees Celsius, mycelia stop growing.

Besides, suitable temperature range for growth of sporocarp is 12-24 degrees Celsius and the ideal range is 18-20 degrees Celsius. When the temperature reaches over 25 degrees Celsius, sporocarps of Hericium mushroom lead slow growth or they are hard to form. And, when the temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius, sporocarps turn red. As temperature gets down, the color becomes darker, which indicates the insignificance of edible value.

Now, in China, time for artificial Hericium mushroom cultivation in greenhouse usually starts from November to next April, therefore, from May to October, it is hard to find fresh Hericium mushrooms in the market.
Hericium mushrooms cultivated in caves imply a new prosperous path. In southwest of Guangxi, China, there are many natural caves that feature karst landform. In these caves, temperature is kept at a range of 17-20 degrees Celsius all the year round while the humidity is always at 80% or so, which makes them the ideal environment for Hericium mushroom cultivation. Following this kind of cultivation pattern, market blank of fresh Hericium mushroom during May to October could be filled up in China.

As known to all mushroom growers, Hericium mushroom is aerobic, it is quite sensitive to the concentration of carbon dioxide, when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air is higher than 0.1%, stems are stimulated to constantly branch and that fatally results in malformed mushrooms, hence it is of crucial importance to sustain fresh air in the caves. When necessary, growers could add air supply system in the caves.

During the formation phase of sporocarps, 85%-90% of air humidity is ideal, during that phase, sporocarps grow quickly and become white, supposing that air humidity is under 70%, surface of sporocarps seriously loses water, mushroom bodies become dry, shrunken and yellow. On the contrary, when it is higher than 95%, mushroom bodies are branched.

In many corn production areas in China, corncobs are mostly burned as firewood, which discloses low value in use. In response to the situation, corncobs are ably reused for Hericium mushroom cultivation. Specifically, after combining with smashed corncobs, sawdust, wheat bran, brown sugar and other selenium-rich raw materials, nutrient bags used for Hericium mushroom cultivation are higher in nutrition and more capable to promote the high output. Meanwhile, air, water and soil in the caves are free from pollution, rich mineral substances and microorganisms also elevate the high and healthier yield.