Investigation on the effective substrate for high yields of Pleurotus ostreatus: A case study of Kinyerezi Tanzania
Keywords:Substrates, compost, mushrooms, inoculation, local greenhouse
AbstractInvestigation on what substrate combination is more effective in producing high yields of Pleurotus ostreatus in local greenhouses was conducted at Kinyerezi (6°50'27.2"S, 39°10'26.5"E) in Dar es Salaam in 2020 aiming to produce a substrate protocol which will maximize yielding of mushrooms in local greenhouses. Sugar, grain chaff, and lime were added in specified ratios to the compost of sliced banana leaves and sawdust and followed by sterilization for 4 hours and cooling for 24 hours before being packaged in 1 kg bags for fungal inoculation. 450 plastic bags of compost were inoculated with mushroom spores and left for 28 days for colonization. The compost was sparingly watered to maintain the optimal humidity, temperature, and pH for the germination of mushrooms. Mushroom germination in 100 bags with additional sugar,100 bags with additional grain chaff, and 100 bags with additional lime were monitored for four months where germination percentage and germination number were recorded monthly and used for statistical analysis. Bags with additional sugar indicated a significant difference in the monthly germination percentage (P=0.002248, df = 2). Additional sugar descriptively increased germination number from 30 to 173 than other substrates which increased from 0.5 to 16.5. However, the increase was statistically not significant P=0.25246, df = 2. Mushroom growers are advised to use the compost formula as indicated in this investigation as a new knowledge contributed by the research. The use of added sugar as a substrate in the compost is mandatory.