Shiitake Growing: Discover the 2 Most Popular Cultivation Methods
Discover what you need for shiitake growing at home, inside or outside, with the method you find more desirable
Many people turn to shiitake growing because they love the taste of this delicious mushroom. Today I’m sharing some information you need if you want to grow your own shiitake mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms are the second most cultivated mushroom in the world. They are also the primary mushroom eaten in Asia.
To begin, let’s get to the basics. There are two main ways these mushrooms are grown: on supplemented sawdust and logs.
Shiitake mushroom growing on supplemented sawdust
Supplemented sawdust we work with is in block form. In the video below you can see what these blocks look like and some shiitake mushrooms growing from the blocks.
This supplemented sawdust block is ultimately a mixture of sawdust and wheat bran. You can see the sawdust inside the block. The white is the mycelium of the shiitake mushroom.
Supplemented sawdust is the most common way of growing shiitakes commercially. If you find shiitake mushrooms in your local grocery store, it is highly likely that the mushrooms were grown on supplemented sawdust.
Some people may also refer to these supplemented sawdust blocks as synthetic logs or shiitake grow kits. Essentially what you receive if you buy a mushroom grow kit is this type of supplemented mass of sawdust that is held together by the mushroom mycelium.
Shiitake growing on logs
This method for growing shiitakes is great for outdoor growing.
In the video we show a natural log that would be a good option for growing shiitakes. We also have additional videos on our YouTube channel that show how to inoculate the log and drill holes into it properly.
The best way to do this is to drill holes all the way up log, lengthwise. Then you insert the shiitake mushroom mycelium into the holes. For logs like this we often use our plug spawn dowels. The holes are then filled up with cheese wax to prevent cross contamination of other fungus or bacteria.
The log we use in the video is three or three-and-a-half feet long, yet the entire thing is one whole shiitake colony once the mycelium spreads. The mycelium is connected throughout the whole log and will fruit mushrooms from it.
June through October is when the main fruiting of shiitake mushrooms takes place on outdoor logs for the northeast.
Growing shiitakes outdoors on logs is a great way to do it at home in your backyard. You don’t need too much equipment to do it and it can produce a significant amount of mushrooms. For instance, if you inoculate 20 logs with shiitake spawn, then you will likely have enough mushrooms for the entire summer.
I have been growing mushrooms for years and I never get tired of eating shiitakes. They have a great flavor and they are easy to grow, so check them out if you’re interest in growing more mushrooms at home.
Do you want to grow your own tasty shiitake mushrooms at home? Try using our shiitake mushroom plug spawn if you would like to try your hand at outdoor growing. If you would prefer an inside shiitake mushroom grow, then one of our shiitake mushroom growing kits will do the trick.
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