As a mushroom grower, you are probably aware of the general importance of water for this crop. In this article we explain why it is especially important to pre-wet mushroom casing soil before preparing the beds. After reading about the importance of pre-wetting you can watch our animation to see how to best do it to get an optimal result:
Water holding capacity
Mushroom casing soil usually exists mainly out of different types of peat. We use high quality European peat for our BVB Substrates’ casing soils. This raw material meets all required functions and characteristics of a casing layer. It has a stable, constant acidity, a good plasticity and an excellent water holding capacity. Now, you can only reach the full potential of this last characteristic by properly pre-wetting mushroom casing soil.
Good mycelium quality
The water holding capacity of casing soil needs to be optimised to fit the growing conditions and crop demands. As a result, good mycelium will give you strong and heavy quality mushrooms. This is caused by the fact that mushrooms mainly consist of water (92%!). Growers use approximately 2 liters of water to grow1 kg of mushrooms.
Mushrooms growing in casing soil that has been brought to the right moisture level before use have a better shape and longer shelf life. Mushrooms with a longer shelf life usually result in more flexibility for the grower and a bigger possible market area.
The moisture content in these mixtures is rather high, to make them best suitable for mushroom growing. As a result the product gets quite heavy. We produce all of our BVB Substrates’s casing soil at our modern facilities in The Netherlands. If mushroom casing soil needs to be shipped over a long distance to reach our customers, it gets shipped with a lower moisture content to optimise transportation. In addition they tend to dry out a little over time. This makes it especially crucial for users of export blends to pre-wet mushroom casing soil.
Amount of water needed to pre-wet mushroom casing soil
It’s always important to check the moisture level before pre-wetting and before use. If you know the current moisture level you can determine how much water you need to add to reach the optimal moisture content. The table below shows the desired moisture content for our different mixture. The last row shows you how much water you need to add to reach the full potential.
Click the image to open a larger version in a new window.
How to pre-wet mushroom casing soil
Now you know the importance of pre-wetting casing soil and how to reach the desired moisture level, it’s time to learn how to best pre-wet mushroom casing soil. Have a look at our video instruction to learn how to best do that!