If you are going to start growing magic mushrooms, you will want to know everything about how to create the best conditions for the growth of your magic mushrooms, as well as how to harvest them. Harvesting is not very complicated, but there are some important points that you should pay attention to. For example, you should know when is the best time to harvest, and working hygienically during the harvest is also crucial. This increases the chance that your mycelium can deliver extra flushes. If you keep all this in mind, you are sure to have a problem-free mushroom harvest.
The best time to harvest
When growing magic mushrooms (for example with the handy and easy to use growkits) it is advisable to keep a close eye on your magic mushrooms. This is the best way to keep track of how far they are in their growth. If you want to know if your magic mushrooms are ready to harvest, you can tell by the veils, which are located under the hats. If the mushroom is not ready, the veil is still attached to the hat. As soon as the hat opens, the veil breaks. However, once this happens, spores may be released.
You want to avoid that. When spores end up on the mycelium (the nutrient medium), it will create substances that will disrupt the production of magic mushrooms. These are intended to promote colonization of the mycelium. The grow kit can then no longer produce new flushes (harvests) of magic mushrooms. That is of course a sin. If you can harvest before the spores are released, you can use your grow kit multiple times for even more harvests.
So it's better to harvest your mushrooms a little too early than too late: before the membrane or veil breaks. The caps are then nicely rounded, and the mushrooms are ready for harvest.
Have you kept a close eye on your magic mushrooms and are they ready to be picked? You can just do that by hand. The following items are useful to use for this:
- Rubber gloves
- Sterile trays
- Soft brush
It is recommended to use rubber gloves to wear. Like anything you do with mushrooms, you should avoid contamination with bacteria. If you don't have rubber gloves, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap, preferably a few times. If you use extra tools, make sure that they have also been sterilely cleaned, as well as the containers in which you will store the mushrooms. Be aware that if you don't do this, your entire crop of magic mushrooms could become contaminated with bacteria, which could cause them to go bad.
You can harvest the mushrooms by hand picking them from the substrate. Do this slowly and carefully so as not to damage them. Grab a mushroom under the hat by the stem and while pulling gently, twist counterclockwise. Try to do this quietly, so that the mushroom, but also the mycelium, is not damaged. With smaller mushrooms it can be useful to use tweezers. Sometimes your fingers are too big to grab these smaller mushrooms. You can use a soft brush to wipe off any leftover vermiculite or substrate.
Storing magic mushrooms
After you have harvested the mushrooms, you must of course store them. You can keep mushrooms fresh. In that case you can put the mushrooms in the fridge, where they will keep for 10 days. However, if you want to keep them longer, you will have to dry them. This can be done very simply by placing them on a clean cloth or a few pieces of kitchen paper. Keep space between each individual mushroom so that they are not against each other. Then they can rot. It takes an average of 7 to 10 days for them to dry.
Although this is the simplest way, it is almost impossible to get all the moisture out of the mushrooms. Other techniques you can use are drying with silica gel or Epsom salt. If you have dried your magic mushrooms well, they will keep for a long time and you can enjoy their magical properties for another 2 to 3 years.