How Long Does It Take From Pinning to Harvest for Mushrooms?

One of the most exciting parts of mushroom cultivation is spotting those first tiny pins forming on your substrate. The appearance of pins signals the beginning of the fruiting stage. But how long after you see initial pins can you expect your mushrooms to be ready for harvesting?

The timeline from initial pinning to mature mushroom harvest depends on several factors. With optimal care, most gourmet mushrooms are ready to pick within 1-2 weeks of first pinning. Still, various conditions impact the rate of growth.

By understanding the pin-to-harvest timeline for your fungi, you can better plan your cultivation schedule and ensure your mushrooms reach their peak maturity.

What Happens During the Pinning Stage?

Before estimating the duration from pins to harvest, it helps to understand what’s happening during this critical growth phase:

  • Primordia formation – The mycelium begins differentiating and forming mushroom initials called pins or primordia. These start out as small protrusions.

  • Pin development – Pins grow taller and start forming the cap and stipe structure of a mushroom fruit body.

  • Maturation – Pins enlarge and develop into immature mushrooms, progressively gaining size and structure.

  • Fruiting – Mushrooms reach maturity with full expansion of caps. They are ready for harvesting.

The pinning stage encompasses the first three phases as mushrooms transition from vegetative mycelium growth to fruiting structures.

General Timeline from Pinning to Harvest

While the complete growing cycle from spore germination to harvest may take 2-3 months, the pin-to-harvest duration is much shorter. Here is the typical range:

  • Oyster mushrooms – 5-10 days from pins to harvest

  • Shiitake mushrooms – 7-14 days from pins to harvest

  • Lion’s mane – 10-14 days from pins to harvest

  • Reishi mushrooms – 14-21 days from pins to harvest

  • Chestnut mushrooms – 14-18 days from pins to harvest

These are general estimates, assuming growing conditions are ideal. Actual duration varies based on factors discussed in the following sections.

Factors that Impact Time from Pinning to Maturity

Several key factors influence the rate of mushroom growth during the pinning and fruiting stages:

Mushroom Genetics

  • Some strains naturally mature faster than others of the same species.

  • Fast-growing commercial strains may reach harvest maturity 1-2 weeks sooner than wild-harvested varieties.

Growing Environment

  • Maintaining optimal humidity, temperature, light, and air exchange speeds maturation.

  • Sub-par conditions slow growth and delay harvest readiness.

Mushroom Care

  • Proper misting, humidity control, and fresh air exchange after pinning encourages healthy, rapid growth.

  • Insufficient water and poor air circulation slows mushroom expansion.

  • Supplementing with additional nutrients can accelerate growth.

By optimizing all the controllable factors, you can achieve the fastest timeline from seeing pins to filling your harvest basket.

Outdoor vs Indoor Growth Rate

Mushrooms grown outdoors in their ideal habitat tend to reach maturity faster than indoor-cultivated ones:

  • Outdoor shiitake mushrooms may be ready to harvest in as little as 7-10 days after pinning.

  • Indoor shiitake grown in a controlled environment generally take 10-14 days to mature.

The more you can mimic your mushroom’s preferred natural environment, the faster it will develop from pin to harvest.

Impact of Mushroom Size and Shape

The desired harvest size and shape of your mushrooms impacts the growth duration:

  • Petite, button-sized mushrooms reach harvest stage faster than larger, full-sized ones.

  • Mushrooms grown for uniform shape and size take longer to attain ideal form.

  • Irregular, natural shapes are quicker to harvest than cultivated shapes.

Give your fungi extra time to grow if you want large, picture-perfect fruits at harvest.

Troubleshooting Slow Mushroom Growth

If your pins seem to stall and take too long to reach mature size, there are a few potential causes to check:

  • Growing conditions are sub-optimal – humidity, moisture, temperature, or air exchange levels may need adjustment.

  • Contamination has slowed or halted mycelium and mushroom growth. Discard if severe mold, rot, or bugs are present.

  • The substrate is depleted of nutrients so mushrooms can’t grow. Supplement or change substrate.

  • Mushroom variety has naturally slower growth genetics. Be patient or try a faster-growing strain.

Address any issues promptly to get your pin-to-harvest timeline back on track.

Tips for Growth After Pinning

Follow these tips for robust mushroom development once pins start forming:

  • Maintain high humidity around 95% RH by misting walls and substrate surface several times per day.

  • Fan or increase air exchange to provide fresh air and prevent excessive CO2 buildup.

  • Ensure daytime temperatures match ideal range for your species.

  • Provide 14 hours of bright indirect light daily to power growth.

  • Avoid touching or handling mushrooms and pins to prevent damage or slow growth.

Creating the ideal environment tailored to your mushroom’s needs results in a shorter duration from pins to fully developed fruits.

When to Harvest Mushrooms After Pinning

Determining the perfect time to harvest mushrooms is both an art and a science. There are both visible signs and ideal timeframes that indicate mushrooms are at their peak for picking.

Oyster Mushrooms

  • Harvest oyster mushrooms when the caps start to flatten out but before the edges curl under too much. Look for caps 2-4 inches diameter.

  • Ideal harvest window is generally 5-9 days after first pinning.

Shiitake Mushrooms

  • Pick shiitake when the edges of the mushroom cap begin to curl under slightly and the gills below are exposed.

  • Expect shiitake to reach maturity 7-12 days after initial pin formation.

Lion’s Mane

  • Harvest lion’s mane mushrooms when the dangling spines are fully formed but still bright white.

  • Typical lion’s mane growth from pins to maturity takes 10-14 days.

Reishi Mushrooms

  • Pick reishi when the cap is protruding and before the edge margins curl inward.

  • Allow 14-21 days total growth time from pinning to harvest for reishi mushrooms.

Get to know the ideal visual and time cues for harvesting your own mushroom varieties. This helps ensure you pick them at the right stage for maximum flavor, texture, shelf life and benefits.

Staggered Harvest Times for Continuous Mushrooms

One advantage of mushrooms compared to many other crops is that multiple flushes or fruitings can occur from the same cultivated block or substrate over time. This allows for staggered harvests:

  • Initial harvest of mature mushrooms 7-14 days after first pinning.

  • Subsequent flushes every 10-14 days, providing 1-3 potential re-harvests from established substrate.

  • Pick each flush as mushrooms reach their peak maturity.

With multiple harvests possible per substrate block, keep a detailed log of your mushroom growth timeline from pins to fruiting. This allows you to accurately predict maturity and schedule your future harvests.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pin-to-Harvest Timeline

Here are answers to some common inquiries about the duration from pinning to mature mushrooms:

How long from seeing first pins until I can harvest oyster mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms typically require 5-10 days from initial pins to reaching harvest maturity.

Why is there a range in days from pinning to harvest?
The exact number of days depends on mushroom variety, growing conditions, desired harvest size, and other factors. The ranges provided account for these variables.

How can I speed up the growth of my mushrooms after pinning?
Optimizing humidity, air exchange, temperature, light, and care after pinning encourages faster mushroom development.

What are signs my mushrooms are ready to harvest?
Look for full cap expansion, upturned cap edges, exposed gills, and other visual signs of maturity. Harvesting based on grow time alone can result in premature or over-mature mushrooms.

How long do I have after mushrooms pin before they spoil?
Most mushrooms can remain in the ideal harvest stage for 2-3 days at most before quality declines. Pick promptly when ready.

Whether you’re an experienced mushroom grower or just starting out, understanding the timeline from pinning to maturity helps plan your cultivation schedule. With ideal conditions and care, those tiny pins rapidly transform into bite-sized mushrooms ready for your next meal!

Primordia vs Mushroom Pins: What’s The Difference?

Primordia and mushroom pins are almost the same thing and some people use it interchangeably. That being said, those two words refer to slightly different stages of the early fruiting process. Heres the difference:Primordia is a slightly earlier stage in the mushroom fruiting process. In this very first stage, hyphae begin to change and form a new structure that is not like mycellium. Those are the little balls that youll find in your substrate before pins start developing.

Pins are at a later stage, they are usually more elongated and no longer ball-shaped. Pins also start to develop a cap -although these can be unnoticeable in some mushroom species.

Substrate Bruising or Yellowing: Prevention and Remediation

Bruising or yellowing of the substrate is often a sign of excessive handling or stress on the mycelium. Minimize handling and ensure that environmental conditions are optimal to prevent further damage. If bruising is severe, consider isolating the affected area to prevent the spread of potential contaminants.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Mushrooms? Most Accurate Timeline

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