Growing Shiitake Mushrooms at Home

Shiitake mushrooms have an upscale, smoky flavor that creates mushroom dishes more exciting. once you grow your own you get the freshest mushrooms possible, and with no pesticides. Since shiitakes are relatively easy to grow, they’re an honest choice for the start home mushroom grower.

If you’ve got a little amount of land with protection from sun and wind, you’ll have success growing shiitake mushrooms right in your own back yard.


Shiitake are native to China and other parts of Asia; they are doing not grow within the wild within the U.S. Where they are doing grow naturally, spores release from the caps of fruiting mushrooms in spring, flow through the air, and choose tree limbs, both live and dead. The spores eat the cellulose of the wood and grow, emerging subsequent year, able to be harvested.


In commercial cultivation, shiitakes are typically grown on sterilized blocks of sawdust. Some say this faster method produces shiitake that aren’t as meaty or tasty as those grown on logs. Most home shiitake growers grow their mushrooms on logs, using any of the spread of methods.

You can purchase a kit for growing shiitake outside or maybe indoors otherwise you can grow your mushrooms from scratch employing a method just like the one described below. In most areas of the country, inoculation is best wiped out in the spring.

1. to start out you would like freshly cut hardwood logs, preferably oak, poplar, or alder. The logs should be about forty inches long and four-to-six inches in diameter. Logs got to rest for about three weeks after they’re cut so as to let the natural fungicides die out but must be used before they dry out, usually within six months of cutting.

2. Purchase mushroom spawn (the mushroom tissue used for propagation) within the sort of plugs, thimbles, or sawdust. variety of online sites sell mushroom spawn, offering a spread of strains of shiitake spawn with different characteristics. you would like about 25 shiitake plugs per log.

3. Drill quarter-inch holes around the circumference of your logs, starting two inches from either end and drilling every six-to-eight inches. Drill holes about one inch deep.

4. Plug the holes with spawn.

5. Melt beeswax or use food-grade paraffin (called cheese wax) and, employing a brush or turkey baster, cover the holes with the wax to guard the spawn against contaminants.

6. Stack your logs sort of a tipi against a fence or freestanding, or lay them on the bottom on a bed of straw. they have to be during a shady, damp place with good air circulation. If there’s not much rain you’ll dunk the logs in water or give them an important watering (four to 6 hours per week). Keeping the logs moist but not wet is that the only tricky a part of the operation, and should take trial and error to urge right.

7. In six-to-twelve months, after a time period, shiitake will emerge from the logs and still produce in spring (and maybe fall) for 3 to four years, until all the log’s cellulose is employed up. Reports of average yield range from one pound of shiitakes for each linear foot of log to eight pounds over the lifetime of the log. If you grow quite you would like you’ll sell them, give them away, dry them, or freeze them.

Growing Shiitake Mushrooms at Home

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