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One of the easiest ways to grow your own fresh Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms is with our plugs. These hardwood spiral plugs are inoculated with the Shiitake, Golden Yellow Oyster or Pohu Oyster strain in our sterile lab. They come in packages of 100 in a sealed bag with a filter patch; available in multiples of 100 plugs.

You simply drill holes into a fresh cut hardwood log and tap the plugs into the holes. Place the log in the shade and water a few times a week. Log will be fruiting in 6-9 months, depending on amount of plugs used. Logs will produce for 3-4 years. You can use soft woods as well, but production will be a bit less but will fruit faster on softer woods. Use 30 - 50 plugs per 4" dia.x 5' log, No pines or cedar can be used. Oyster is a beautiful mushroom; we offer several strains. Grows in clumps and shelf-like. Contact us for which varieties are currently available. Golden brown, same shelf like clumps but a bit more perishable, great flavor! Dowels can also be used to inoculate other substrates as well, straw, grains, newspaper and of course junk mail! We ship with a detailed instruction sheet; click HERE to view it now.

For a wide range of mushroom related questions, discussions and forums, visit our friends at Myco-Tek.org

Golden Oyster Mushrooms Shiitake Mushrooms Yellow Oyster Mushrooms

Reishi Mushrooms (Medicinal)

Shiitake Mushrooms

Oyster Mushrooms

 

Growing Shiitake and other Gourmet Mushrooms Frequently Asked Questions.

What kind of wood should I use for my logs?

Normally oak wood is used . Laurel Oak, Water Oak and Live Oak are the most commonly used but other hard woods will work as well such as Hickory Pecan,and Walnut and Alder. Soft woods are fine to use, but lack the density of cellulose, so they won't produce as high as hardwoods. No Pine or Cedar. Use logs that are fresh cut. They should be no older than 3 months old. If you inoculate older logs, there will be competing fungi in the wood. You do not need to soak log before or after inoculating, fresh cut trees have high water content. Only soak when fruiting or if they have dried out.

How long will it take for the log to produce mushrooms?

The average time to production is 6 to 9 months, but it really depends on the spawn rate. The more spawn you use in the log the faster it will take over and produce mushrooms. Some types of mushrooms take longer and will vary with type of wood used

How often do I have to water logs?

After you inoculate, you should water the logs 2-3 times a week to maintain the moisture level in the wood. After log is taken over by the mycilium, they will start to fruit.You can also force fruit the logs by completely soaking them in water for 12 to 24 hours every 5 weeks. This works well with Shiitake, but others vary in results, depending on time of year. You can also force fruit the logs by completely soaking them in water for 12 to 24 hours every 5 weeks. This works well with Shiitake, but others vary in results, depending on time of year.

What time of year will it produce?

In Southern States the inoculated shiitake logs could produce in all months of year. Oysters and most other varieties will pretty much do as they please, It's a good idea to visit your logs , look them over and maybe have a talk with them. This also can depends on type of spawn was used. Most often the logs produce in the cooler months. In other areas the times will vary according to type and strain of mushroom.

How many pounds of mushrooms will come from an average size log per picking?

Shiitake mushroom logs are very efficient. They will produce up to 95% of the dry weight of the log in mushrooms. If the log weighs 10 pounds dry, it can produce up to 9.5 pounds of mushrooms. Most types of mushrooms are equally effective.

Should I keep the log in shade or sun?

In order to keep moisture in the logs, store them in the shade. Sun will dry the logs out and you will not get mushrooms. The logs can get can get some morning sun as long as you water them regularly. If there is too much wind, they will dry as well. You can always cover with a shade cloth.

How deep should I put the spawn in the log?

The drilled hole should be a little deeper than the spawn dowel, and dowel should be flush. If it is raised above the level of the log that won’t harm the production but it is not ideal.

How long does the log need to be?

The standard shiitake log length is 4-5 feet. It could be as short at 6 inches or as long as 40 feet. The log length should be manageable size for you to handle

There are other mushrooms coming out of my log what are they and what should I do about them?

Different fungi such as Turkey tail may appear on your log. Some of the volunteer fungi may be edible (with positive ID). Let them share the log, as it
would have no impact to take them off.

How long will the log produce?

The logs will last 1-2 years if you have force fruiting (Soaking log for 12-24 hours every 5 weeks) and up to 4 years if you do not soak them regularly.

Can I re-inoculate an old log?

No, once it's in the log it is good for the life of the log.

How do I know when they are ready to pick?

You may pick the mushrooms at any time, you will get the same amount over the life of the log whether you pick them young or fully mature.

Should I stack the log or should I lean them?

It depends on how much shade and space as well as amount of logs. Logs can be stacked in layers like "log homes" or buried a foot in ground,standing up, will wick moisture from the ground .(the mushrooms will only appear above ground, so you are not losing any).

Is it ok for the log to touch the ground?

It is ok for the logs to touch the ground, it may even help wick the moisture from the ground.

I bought too much spawn can I store it and for how long?

You can store spawn in the refrigerator for several months.

What about the stump?

You may inoculate the stump of a fresh cut tree by girdling the bottom of the stump. This just means you score the bark deep enough to keep it from healing and growing again. You can use a chainsaw , hand saw , etc. You will then wait about 2 weeks from when the tree was cut down or girdled. Place plugs around the edge of the cut face and fill in the rest of face with plugs. You also may put plugs into sides of the stump if you left it high enough.Some chose to wax the cut to keep moisture from being lost. It doesn't hurt to do this in dryer areas but in high humidity areas this is skipped.

What about waxing?

In lower humidity areas, it is worth the effort to wax the CUT end of the logs. Higher humidity areas it is optional.

A brief history of Shiitake Cultivation

In the 1930s the Japanese developed a cultivation method using saw cuts, and eventually developed the methods used today, drilling holes in cut wood, inoculating with shiitake spawn, incubating the logs until they are colonized, then harvesting during the spring and autumn rainy seasons.

A new, faster, easier method of production involved inoculating sterilized sawdust blocks. It's popular with commercial growers because they can grow many times the amount of shiitakes in the same time it takes to grow on logs and increase their profits tenfold and more. However the mushrooms aren't as meaty or tasty and not as supportive to optimal health. In Asia, sawdust-grown shiitakes sell for about half of the price of , log-grown shiitakes.. Many people and chefs don't know the difference until they see, handle, and taste shiitakes grown on logs.

Donko shiitakes, mushrooms that dry out faster on the surface than on the inside, have white splits, in the dark brown caps. Asians consider donko shiitake to be a powerful aphrodisiac. While the healing power of shiitakes has been documented and ongoing the aphrodisiac power of shiitakes is a matter of ages-old legend. "Donko" shiitake are believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. A "donko" shiitake has white streak marks on the cap where the skin has dried, but the body of the mushroom has continued to expand, splitting the skin. The splits and streaks create beautiful designs on the caps. Where even sawdust-grown shiitakes may sell for $20 a pound or more in the US and log-grown shiitakes sell for $40 a pound and up in Asia, "donkos" may sell for $40 a pound in the US and $80-$100 or more in the Orient.

Shiitakes are a decomposing fungus native to China and other parts of Asia. The Japanese syllable Shii refers to the type of host tree, no one is sure, perhaps oak or another hardwood tree.Take means the fruit of the mushroom. Shiitakes are more like animals than plants. Shiitake logs fruit more generously when they are with another log or in a group of logs. They love the negative ions from rain and they respond to thunder and lightning.

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