Forest edible mushrooms are a storehouse of useful vitamins and nutrients that completely replace a meat product.
For their high Microdosing shrooms nutritional value, they are not in vain called “vegetable” or “forest” meat. They are healthy, tasty, nutritious and, most importantly for mushroom pickers, they grow quickly. Active reproduction and growth of mushrooms, starting from the first spring collection season and ending with the last, autumn one, is due to their unique biological characteristics.
The structure of mushrooms
An ordinary mushroom that grows in the forest consists of a stem (hemp) and a hat, which to gether make up the fruiting body of the mushroom. The base of the stem is connected to a mycelium (mycelium), which is very reminiscent of a tangled weave of thin threads (hyphae).
The mycelium itself is located in a loose top layer of soil, including overripe leaves, dying plant remains, humus and other soil organic matter. The threads of the mycelium form the entire fruiting body of the fungus – from the base of the stem to the cap. It is through them that organic nutrients obtained from symbiont trees enter the mushroom cap.
This is very important for the reproduction of the fungus, because. spores are found in thin plates or tubules on the lower surface of the cap. After maturation, spores fall off the surface of these formations (plates, tubes) and are carried through the forest by wind, insects or animals.
Once in a warm and humid environment, fungal spores begin to germinate rapidly. This is how a new independent mycelium is formed, which lies underground up to 15 cm from the soil surface.
The mushroom picker has many important functions:
- contributes to the maximum fixation of the entire fungal organism in the soil;
- “distills” the mineral substances obtained from the soil into the cells of the roots of symbiotic trees, and then delivers the organic substances formed in the process of photosynthesis by trees to the fruiting bodies of fungi;
- fulfills the obligation to adapt to changes in the environment;
- responsible for sporulation and preservation of fungal spores.
Mushrooms grow most rapidly in mature perennial mycelium’s, which have a numerous and branched micellar system that is resistant to adverse conditions for growth and development (frost and drought). When the mycelium becomes sufficiently developed, formation begins. Mushroom threads are more strongly intertwined with each other, forming small lumps – future legs and caps of mushrooms.
Approximately 3-5 days are required for the mushroom to reach medium size. It is these young and strong mushrooms that professional mushroom pickers prefer to collect. But not all mushrooms grow and develop at the same rate.
How fast a mushroom grows is directly affected by:
- the nature of the area where the mycelium grows;
- humidity and temperature of both air and soil;
- a variety of edible mushrooms.
For example, boletus, russula and boletus most quickly gain weight of the fruiting body, so you can go to the forest for harvesting a few days after the previous one – you will find a lot of young mushrooms.
From boletus and porcini mushrooms, you can wait almost a week for full ripening. And chanterelles are considered the most leisurely in the mushroom kingdom, they grow much more slowly than other varieties.
In order for future mushrooms to develop intensively in the mycelium and grow rapidly, the mushroom organism needs certain conditions.
The low temperature regime has a negative effect on the young mycelium, and sudden spring frosts are detrimental to developing fungi. A cold snap with sharp temperature changes can greatly slow down and even completely stop the growth of the fruiting body. Intensive and accelerated ripening of mushrooms begins at a temperature of 18℃ to 30℃, but only with a sufficient moisture index, at least 60%.
The humidity index should be about 60-70%, both in the air and in the soil. If the soil is not moist enough, then the mushrooms cease to grow actively, although the development of the fruiting body does not completely stop.
Soil acidity (pH) is also very important for fungi – the active acidity of the environment, the value of which shows us the concentration of hydrogen ions (H + ) in the environment. The normal life of the fungus and its vital processes, such as, for example, the activity of enzymes, sporulation, the entry of nutrients into the cell, the synthesis of antibiotics and pigments, depend on it. Most mushrooms prefer acidic soils, a smaller number – alkaline.