Using Fruiting Blankets
The great outdoors can be the perfect "grow room" for your mushrooms. If you want nice quality mushrooms all the time though, rain or shine, you'll need to provide a little protection for the developing crop.
We offer two blankets which perform the same tasks of moderating temperature and humidity around developing mushrooms. The Heavy Fruiting Blanket (black), also known as a winter blanket, is most often used during more extreme conditions such as periods of cold wind and excessive rainy stretches. The Light Fruiting Blanket (white), or summer blanket, is best used during the summer when you only need light protection from extreme temperatures. Both blankets will also protect developing mushrooms from deer, turkey and some rodent damage, and the light blanket can be used as a physical barrier (if tacked down around fruiting logs) to help protect Oyster mushrooms from picnic beetles.
Spring: Use either blanket to cover stacks of logs that are beginning to fruit. As soon as you see baby mushrooms, throw the blanket over the stack of fruiting logs. The blanket will protect the developing mushrooms from excess rain and maintain a humid environment around the logs where the mushroom caps are expanding.
Spring can also be windy and dry, which can dehydrate the pins before they fully develop. The heavy blanket is best used in this situation because it can be saturated with water via soaking in a tank or delivered through a garden sprinkler to create a humid environment around the logs underneath.
Summer: For logs that are being soaked to force fruit, stack the logs as soon as they complete soaking and cover with a blanket. Remove the blanket from the stack after all of the mushrooms are picked. If using the light blanket, you may need to use a double layer if heavy rain is predicted.
The blankets can also be used to bring on a force fruited crop faster, especially during cool nights of fall. By covering the logs right after soaking, the crop can mature up to 3 days earlier than logs left uncovered.
Winter and Early Spring: Use a blanket to cover your stacks of fresh cut logs to protect them from moisture loss while they await inoculation. Otherwise fold up the blanket and store under cover to prolong its useful life.
Be sure to take the blankets off the logs once the crop has been harvested to allow airflow to dry log surfaces.