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Registered: 11/14/01
Posts: 439
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How to initiate pinning
    #487512 - 12/11/01 04:41 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I'd like to start a new thread about how to initiate the pinning cycle once a cake has been fully colonized. Here's the only good info. on it I was able to find online so far:

The rice cakes need a small amount of light to initiate pin heads. Mushrooms are not plants and do not need light to grow. However, P. cubensis is a phototropic mushroom. This means it needs light to trigger a hormonal response in order to form mushrooms. If you can see the rice cakes, there is enough light for this to happen. Many mycologists believe the reason light is important in the growing cycle is because it provides a reliable clue to the mycelium that it has reached the boundary of the substrate in which it is growing. In nature, P. cubensis often lives in a pile of cow manure. Once it has grown through the entire substrate and reaches the edge, light hits it and provides the mycelium with the information that if it forms a mushroom there, it can release spores into the air for distribution. It is not productive to form a mushroom inside the substrate because the spores can not be distributed in that case. Any normal spectrum of light that you have available will work. Sun light, fluorescent or incandescent are all fine and will work. A few minutes of light a day is sufficient but an hour or two will guarantee that pin heads form if everything else (temperature, humidity, the mycelium network is well established, etc.) is right. Be careful not to heat your terrarium too much if you use artificial light near the terrarium.

The rice cakes will have a very bright white appearance when they are first placed in the terrarium. Soon, they will be coated with a thin layer of fluffy mycelium. If the cakes refuse to fruit but continue to form more and more fluffy mycelium this is an indication that the humidity is too high and needs to be adjusted downward. For people using a humidifier in their terrarium setup, this is the single biggest cause of failure assuming they get the rice cakes colonized successfully.

When pin heads form, they will look like a short section of a common pin. Hence, the name. The end of these pin heads will soon grow dark brown. This is the cap beginning to form. When the rice cakes are fresh, the small mushrooms will start adding bulk rather than grow longer. They will form balls the size of a marble. Then, they will start to thin out and grow long, adding bulk the whole time.

If the mushrooms have mycelium growing on the caps, it is an indication that your humidity is too low in the terrarium. In this case, you have just enough humidity to allow the cakes to fruit, but you are right on the edge of failure.

(quote taken from the Magic Mushroom Growers Guide v3.2)
(again, thanks to teh shroomery for hosting this info.)

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old hand

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 1,351
Loc: BC Canada
Re: How to initiate pinning [Re: FreakShow]
    #487680 - 12/11/01 06:58 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Well, it also takes fresh air and temps of 74-78F

As for light, I've read that the best kind (other than sunlight, of course) is daylight flourecents. Cool whites are not quite ideal, and warm whites aren't even close.

The ideal light bulb should have a "color temperature" of 6500K (I don't know what that means) but I had no trouble finding tubes of this kind.

As for the humidity, is that true about "too high"? It might be a myth.

  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me


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Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Mushroom Cultivation

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