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Creating ideal conditions for mushroom growing

26/03/2024 Stefka Yosifova Boykina

Explore the essential elements of successful mushroom cultivation. Learn how to create the perfect environment by mastering the main environmental factors - temperature, humidity, and CO2. Whether you're a novice or experienced grower, discover the key secrets to nurturing healthy and abundant mushroom crops.

Creating ideal conditions for mushroom growing
Cultivating edible mushrooms is a delicate process, and maintaining optimal climatic conditions is essential for a successful and high-quality yield. We all know that mushrooms flourish in moist, damp and humid conditions and therefore they appear mostly after heavy rains.
So, some seasons are better than others for them, and normally the best season is when there has been opulent rainfall, i.e. according to the mushrooming schedule, most fungi species come out in autumn – the busiest season for mushroom hunters. Therefore, a mushroom grower has to ensure the conditions which in nature only exist in autumn throughout the year and this can only be achieved using an HVAC system.  

From compost preparation through the growth phase to harvesting the mushrooms, the optimum temperature, humidity and CO2 levels need to be provided. The major challenge is controlling and measuring these parameters as accurately as possible. 

Facilitating indoor mushroom growth involves replicating natural growth conditions with precision. Consequently, the specifications for an HVAC installation in mushroom cultivation are tailored to meet the specific needs of each stage in the growth process.

Stage 1 - Compost Preparation
►  Temperature: During composting, the temperature should be carefully managed. Thermophilic microorganisms break down the organic matter, and maintaining a temperature between 60°C to 71°C is generally optimal.
►  Humidity: Compost should have the right moisture content, typically around 65-75%. Too much or too little moisture can hinder the growth of mushrooms.

Stage 2 - Inoculation and Growth 
►  Temperature: After inoculation with mushroom spores or mycelium, maintaining the right temperature is critical for mycelial growth. This varies between species but is often around 24-27°C.
►  Humidity: High humidity (90-95%) is necessary during the initial growth phase. This is typically achieved by misting or using a humidification system.
►  CO2 levels: Adequate ventilation is necessary to prevent a buildup of carbon dioxide, which can inhibit mushroom growth due to the fact that unlike plants mushrooms breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Regular air exchange is important.

Stage 3 - Fruiting 
►  Temperature: Dropping the temperature to around 13-21°C is often necessary to induce fruiting.
►  Humidity: Humidity is still crucial, but it may be slightly lower during the fruiting phase, around 85-90%.
►  CO2 Levels: Continue to manage CO2 levels by maintaining proper ventilation to encourage mushroom formation.
In all stages of mushroom cultivation, precise climate control is vital for success. The sensors utilized in this process are pivotal, tasked with accurately and reliably measuring temperature, humidity, and CO2 concentration in a challenging environment. Any unnoticed deviations or inaccuracies in measurements can directly affect the quality of the mushrooms and result in financial losses.

But, how do you choose the most appropriate sensor? How is the mushroom growing environment different from the standard ambient conditions?
Before all, fungi thrive in moisture and dirt, while the HVAC sensors find it difficult to survive in such surroundings. The invariable humidity and contamination by the spores poses a challenge for the HVAC system. Condensation related deposits on the sensing elements could impair the accuracy of the readings and corrode them. The spores the fruit body releases can cover the surfaces and result in false measurements, which can lead to losing the harvest. 

The technology has to be tough. For such application, Sentera developed its multipurpose – temperature, humidity and CO2 sensors for harsh environments. They feature a special coating, which has proven to withstand the extremely demanding conditions. Depending on the type of your system, you can chose between a duct and a wall mountable enclosure.  
DSMHG-2R with EC fan in mushrooms
Not only can we measure, but we can also control the optimal conditions! Sustaining a continuous flow of air is essential for mushrooms to prevent the accumulation of humidity and potential contaminants. Effective air circulation is instrumental in promoting robust mycelium expansion, laying the groundwork for the forthcoming fruiting stage. Indoor mushroom cultivators commonly achieve this by incorporating supply and exhaust fans or ventilation systems into their grow houses or rooms.
On-demand AC fan speed control in grow rooms
Automated climate control systems are often the best choice in mushroom cultivation facilities. Besides sensors, these systems include controllers that regulate the environment on-demand, based on the sensor measurements. What is more, monitoring and control can be achieved through computerised systems that adjust environmental conditions based on preset parameters.
Solution for mushroom growing
You can control your system using Sentera’s free software suite, but this can also be done remotely via our HVAC portal – SenteraWeb. Depending on your fan speed type, we can offer a range of suitable solutions. 
Contact us for a customised HVAC solution for your mushroom farm.
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