Last Updated on January 4, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Shiitake mushrooms are a true high-value crop due to their woodsy flavor that adds a delicious factor to food. Do you wonder how to grow shiitake mushroom log? Keep reading!
Best Logs to Grow Shiitake Mushrooms
Growing shiitake mushrooms are best done in late autumn to late winter, this is when trees are dormant. This is because sugars and other nutrients are most abundant in live dormant wood, and this is what feeds shiitake fungi. Other wood can be used, however, the best one to use is an oak log. Oak trees have nutritious wood and they rot slowly, best to grow wood-rotting fungus.
Shiitake Mushroom Log and Plug Spawn
After getting your logs, it’s time to get a starter to culture to get fungi. Plug spawns are pieces of hardwood dowel impregnated with shiitake fungus. You can buy spawns, and a packet of 100 plugs is enough for 5 to 6 logs.
All you need to do is pound your plug spawn into deep holes that you would’ve drilled into your logs. Use a hammer to put your plug spawns into the holes and coat them with food-grade wax.
How To Grow Shiitake Mushrooms
Your logs are set to rest in a shady spot while white mycelium shows at its ends. This process would take 8 to 14 months, and make sure to water your logs during dry spells. Soak two to three logs in cold water for 24 hours to introduce them to fruiting, even if it would naturally fruit after rain. Give each soaked log a solid knock to excite the fungi. Within days, there will be rounded buttons or pins that will grow and quickly mature into shiitakes.
They usually fruit best in spring and autumn, these logs will produce in spurts for 3 to 5 years but production will stop once the fungi run out of food. Harvest the mushroom quickly before snails and little beetles beat you to it. Clean the debris out with a dry paintbrush.