Incorrect parasol mushroom picking destroys the mycelium
It has been a common knowledge for ages that when picking mushrooms you must gently twist it out of the ground. For us, hardcore mushroom pickers, this is a common practice and we do it automatically. Unfortunately, many do not follow this procedure and incorrect picking could harm the mycelium – especially if you are picking parasol mushrooms. Yes, beautiful parasol mushrooms are often the victim of barbaric acts. We shall focus on incorrect mushroom picking in more detail in the following lines. It may seem unimportant to some of you, but we want to draw attention to this bad habit.
Why is the parasol mushroom the victim?
The reason is quite simple. The most valuable part is the pileus because it is ideal for frying, simmering in butter and cumin and it just tastes great. Stipes are used very rarely and mushroom pickers use them only to make spices but only a very small part of the stipe is needed to make spice. Stipes are too tough for regular cooking.
Photo: Radek Štěpán
So what is incorrect mushroom picking?
Simply put, people often pluck off the pileus only and leave the stipe to dry. Ok, it is easier to get only the part of the mushroom that is useful… But what about the rest of us? It is not a pleasant sight when you see “dead” stipes protruding from the ground. But, this is not the only problem that we have encountered.
Photo: Radek Štěpán
The mycelium is usually destroyed
When you cut mushrooms at the ground, the remaining parts of the mycelium rot and the entire mycelium may be destroyed. The same applies to the parasol mushroom. The remaining part of the stipe begins to rot and the mycelium may die in the process. But, if you gently twist the mushroom out of the ground you will protect the mycelium. It is very simple and anyone can do it. If you grow mushrooms at home you can put the remaining parts of mushrooms in your compost. So when you twisted the mushroom out of the ground, cut the lower part of the stipe and place it back where the mushroom was. Best, cover the mycelium with the moss or soil you find around. This way you will ensure that your harvest will be great during the next season as well.
Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.