Growing Shiitake Mushrooms Indoors: Commercial and Enthusiast Options
If you are interested in growing shiitake mushrooms indoors, then you can learn about the process from us, and you can buy your shiitake spawn as well
Commercial and hobbyist mushroom farmers are growing shiitake mushrooms indoors because they are one of the biggest specialty mushrooms sold in the world.
The video below comes from my trip to Mycoterra farm in Western Massachusetts. You can see footage of beautiful shiitake blocks stacked on shelves throughout the farm area. Today I am sharing information on indoor shiitake mushroom cultivation, what to expect while doing it, and informing you that we have a variety of mushroom spawn for sale, including a variety of shiitake spawn.
How this commercial farm is growing shiitake mushrooms indoors
You can see really nice pinsets on many of these blocks. Many of these shiitakes are very close to being ready for harvest and will likely be picked off the blocks within the next day or so. Some of the others are about three or four days away. You know the shiitakes are ready to harvest when the cap and stem have become differentiated and the gills are visable on the underside of the cap. The outer edge of the mushroom will also have a nice curl to it when ready.
In the video you can see the new blocks starting and how they progress through the growing process. The blocks are placed on shelves that have wheels on them so they are easy to move. This also makes the area easier to clean because the shelves can be moved out of the way. These new blocks are sprayed once or twice each day until the mushrooms enter the pinning stage. Once the pinning starts the daily misting will stop and the humidity in the room will keep the moisture content high enough for the mushrooms to develop properly.
This is the style of growing that Mycoterra is using for growing shiitake mushrooms indoors at their farm in Deerfield, MA. The farm produces fresh, high-quality mushrooms so check them out if you’re interested in them.
Growing shiitake mushrooms indoors with straw
Straw is a great option for many growers because it can lead to higher yields and works well with faster substrates that needs a little more preparation. This method of indoor mushroom growing becomes more economical if you continuously cultivate mushrooms and produce a good yield that can be eaten or sold commercially. This is not the most effective way to cultivate mushrooms commercially, but it can be a good starting point.
- Treat the substrate with either heat or lime.
- Inoculate and pack the straw into plastic tubes that the mushrooms can fruit from.
- Wait three weeks and then place the mushrooms into the proper fruiting conditions.
- Harvest and then let the bags rest. Then harvest again in about three weeks.
Growing shiitake mushrooms with sawdust spawn on logs and totems
Many people associate log and totem cultivation with outdoor growing. Yes, logs and totems for shiitakes are often grown outdoors, but they can also be placed indoors.
Totems provide a fun and easy way of growing shiitakes. You begin by taking a one-foot section of a log and you put sawdust spawn at the bottom. Then you take another one-foot log section, put spawn between the two, and attached them together with nails. You put another lawyer of spawn at the top and a two-inch disk of wood to cap off the totem. Secure this piece with nails as well.
The first two months will be the incubation period. During this time we keep a paper bag over the top of the totem so the mycelium has a chance to grow over the logs. We allow the totems to stay in place and rest. If they are outside they will get wet when it rains, but there will be no need to shock them.
Totem growing is the quickest method to try outside. You don’t have to drill as many holes or close them up as you would with the log cultivation.
For log cultivation, we recommend using hardwood logs like oak, sugar maple, and beech. The best logs to use are between three to eight inches in diameter. One-inch deep holes should be drilled every six inches and shiitake plug spawn is then tapped into the holes with a hammer. Rotate the log two inches and continue to drill holes every six inches. It is best to offset the holes so your drilling eventually makes a diamond pattern. You should then fill each hole with shiitake plug spawn and wax the holes closed with beeswax. The wax ensures the mycelium will not dry out, and it stops other types of fungi from growing on the log.
June through October is when the main fruiting of shiitake mushrooms takes place on outdoor logs for the northeast. You can simulate these conditions indoors as well if you choose to grow shiitake logs or totems indoors.
Growing shiitake mushrooms indoors with a shiitake grow kit
Shiitake growing kits are easy to use and are very fast to fruit.
A shiitake kit only takes 10 days to fruit but will produce for about three months. Our kits offer are easy to use and affordable.
To start the growing process all you have to do is soak it in water for four to five hours and then place the block in the shade outside or under indirect sun inside. The block must be sprayed with a hose or misted two to three times each day, and the shiitake mushrooms will become ready to harvest within 10 days.
Buy your shiitake mushroom growing kit now and check out all of our other mushroom strain options.