In this third stage of the mushroom cultivation process, the aim is to create the optimal conditions for my mushrooms to fruit. To make that happen, as per the Third Wave Mushroom Grow Kit instructions, I introduced a scheduled light cycle and mist sprayed my mushrooms with spring water.
For the 12/12 light schedule, I used a sun lamp, which I kept with the fully colonized bulk mushroom substrate mycobags in the corner of a room in my home that doesn’t get much light or foot traffic. I set morning and nightly alarms to help me maintain the schedule, but there were still times when I left the mycobags exposed for longer and shorter periods than instructed.
When it came to airing out and misting the substrate, I was also relatively hands-off. The colonized substrate never seemed to get too wet or too dry, so I didn’t have to pour off any excess liquid and only occasionally watered them with the mist bottle included in the grow kit. This may have been the effect of the humid spring climate my region was experiencing, but whatever the reason, the mushrooms seemed mostly to take care of their own humidity.
Even when I didn’t mist for long periods of time, I continued to fan out the bags every day that I remembered. In hindsight, I might have paid more attention to the mushrooms, making more of an intentional and ritualistic practice of caring for them, rather than intermittently neglecting their maintenance. But, it was my first growing attempt; lessons learned for next time.
Regardless, within two weeks I started to see little white pins (which I learned are called primordia) pushing up through the substrate. Several days later, I was thrilled to see the pins of little button mushrooms starting to develop like phallic brown aliens emerging from the webbed soil.