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Prewet : The Basics

Updated: 3 days ago

Wheat straw should always be shiny, broad, long and fresh. It should be spread on the platform, the height of which should be 1ft-1.5ft. No matter what the length and width, keep in mind that its height should be up to 1.5ft.

After the straw well spread, the upper surface of the straw should be leveled uniformly. Water from Submersible should first be sprayed well on the dry straw with a 2 inch hose pipe. During the spraying of water on the straw it should be kept in mind that the boy spraying water on the straw, should spray with length or width, moving from east to west or north to south. Keep a check that he does not apply water by standing or sitting in any one place.

The water from the straw stack will seep into the goody pit, and when the water level of the goody pit rises, you can spray the water from the goody pit. If there is not enough water in the tank then you can also use the water of Submersible, straight to the straw. In case adequate water is not available, one from fresh water and the other from goody pit can be used.

Wetting the straw as soon as possible is an important task. Remember that there is a wax coating on the surface of straw. Due to which wetting the straw becomes challenging. Make sure, the straw surface gets wet in first 24 hours.

After 2 days of spraying, it should be overturned by JCB, so that, well wet and less wetted straw is mixed well. After that, it should be laid the same way with height of 1.5ft. It should be leveled again over the surface. Remember, the spraying of water should not stop. If there is enough water in the goody pit, then fresh water can be stopped and only the water of the goody pit should be used. In this way, the process of spraying of water should go on for a full 5 days, take special care that the boy does not apply water by standing or sitting in one place. This process of spraying water should go on continuously day and night.

Mushroom consultant Vivek Sinha says that PREWETING (watering the straw) is the most important process of composting, if we do this process properly, there won’t be a lot of problems. One of them is excessive increase in temperature of Phase-2. The compost in the Phase 2 chamber remains overactive and its temperature increases very fast. During spawn run, if the compost is overactive, it is an indication of half done Prewet. Therefore, we should do this process with great care.

It takes 24 hours, to remove the wax coating from the straw (the wax coating gets removed only after the straw is wet). The water enters the straw only after the wax coating is removed. So when the straw remains wet for 3 to 4 days, water starts entering into the capillaries of straw. This aspect of PREWETING is of special concern, so especial care should be taken. If this water (inside the straw capillaries) is less, then you will continue to suffer and good compost will not be made and as a result you won’t harvest good mushrooms.

After 5 full days of watering, straw will soften and its color changes to mustard yellow. Now it is ready to be mixed with other compost ingredients.

The rest in next blog...

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