Careful picking of the tiny buttons or the giant-size ones is the order of the day. Don’t pull them up – you may injure others just breaking through. Press the soil down around the bottom of the stem with one hand and twist it off at soil level with the other. Or use a sharp knife to cut the stem at its base.
Practice selective harvesting, picking every day if possible, and your beds will crop up to six months. After each “flush” is completely picked, clean out the remaining ends and diseased or underdeveloped mushrooms.
When the entire bed is cropped out, the compost will make a fine soil conditioner. Most gardeners don’t try to grow mushrooms during the summer – it’s too hard to maintain a 60o temperature – so you can set up a profitable schedule fall preparation of compost, winter cropping, and spring fertilization of your garden with the used compost.
The wonderful flavor of cultivated mushrooms and their ability to elevate any dish from the mediocre category is enough to make them a valuable part of the diet. But cultivated mushrooms also contain valuable nutritive elements. Nutritionists have found them to be a good source of extra protein, iron, vitamin C, riboflavin and niacin.