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Mushroom aborts: what to do?

Posted under: Latest News, News and Science

Cultivating psilocybin mushrooms can be a great joy, but also comes with its own set of challenges. Sooner or later it can happen ─ your precious mushrooms stop growing for no apparent reason. These small pins of underdeveloped mushrooms are called aborts and will never reach maturity nor produce spores.  So what causes mushroom aborts and what can you do with them? 

What to do when you see mushroom aborts?

 

When you see that one of your mushrooms stopped growing for about 4-5 days the best thing to do is to harvest/pick it out from the kit. 

 

How to recognize mushroom aborts?

 

First of all, you can recognize aborts by the tip of the primadoria (the head of the small starting mushroom). A distinctive feature of aborted mushrooms is their dark-blue or black caps. When you see this and notice that the growth of your mushrooms has stopped completely for about 4 to 5 days you will know that they have aborted.  

 

Here is an example of an abort in the red circle. 

 

 

What causes an abort?

 

  • Lack of fresh air exchange & high CO2 concentration
  • Abrupt changes in temperature during fruiting
  • Genetic changes and strain mutations
  • Lack of nutrients (usually on the last flushes) or competition for nutrients
    Overlay or stroma (mycelium overgrowth that forms on the surface and prevents primordia formation)

 

What to do when you see mushroom aborts?

 

You should always completely remove the aborts when you notice them because at some point they will start to decompose and this can contaminate your entire grow kit.

 

Can you consume mushroom aborts?

 

A mushroom abort is not the same as contamination ─ the aborts are good to consume if you get them before they start to decompose. They might even be more potent and more psychoactive than the full-grown mushrooms by weight because they tend to be more concentrated with psilocybin!

Do you suspect contamination? Click here to read more about white, green, and grey mold.

 

Are there only aborts on your substrates?

 

In the unfortunate event that all of the mushrooms in your grow kit decide to abort, it is a good idea to harvest them and cold shock the substrate. Temperature shock is a method used for pinhead initiation and increasing yield, but it is also debated amongst growers. The general idea is to trigger the stress gene in the mycelium, pushing it out of its comfort zone and stimulating reproduction.

 

Trying to grow another flush

 

If you are going for another flush, make sure that the grow kit is fully harvested. All the small pins on the sides and bottom should be picked before preparing the kit for the next flush.

 

Conclusion 

Don’t despair if you notice a few aborts in your mushroom kit ─ it can happen to the best of us! Make sure to harvest them as soon as you can and then enjoy them.

 

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