I recently had the opportunity to give mushroom growing a try – as a way of understanding how they grow with the hope that I may be able to shock them in such a way that I can increase their yields. I was given a four mushroom logs to grow at home, and boy was I excited to give this a try! So in this post I’m going to share with you my experiences with giving mushroom growing a try.
On arrival, I received 4 “logs” comprised of a combination of sawdust, rye, millet, water, and shiitake spawn. As you can see in the photos below, they are brown, bumpy ovoids. They weigh approximately 6.5 lbs each and have a slightly musty smell to them.
Without having done much research, I was given some simple instructions:
Day 1: Soak for 2-2.5 hours (completely submerged, they do float…you will need a weight to keep them down)
Day 7-12: Look for mushrooms
Day 16: Soak for 8-12 hours
Day 24: Mushrooms
Day 32: Soak for 16-24 hours
Day 40: Mushrooms
Day 50: Log is done, trash it
Ideal temperatures 62-65 degrees F.
Keep the logs moist or damp if your grow room is not humid enough, we run 90%-99% humidity at all times. Maybe try a spray bottle on a log, spritz it every day or twice a day. Also maybe try sitting a log in a dish or plate in a puddle of 1/4 inch of water. This is in addition to the soak every 16 days.
I started off with soaking the logs for 2 hours in a medium size tub filled with water. The buoyancy of the logs made me hold them down with a heavy wooden box.
Once we got them out of the soak tub, I started off placing them into my grow container, a large plastic tub. I put some wooden crates on the bottom, knowing that they would help isolate the bottom of the logs from any water build-up on the bottom.
As you can see, I also placed a small plastic container in there that was filled with water and a drop-in nebulizer (atomizing ultrasonic mister) that created a cool smoke of water vapor necessary for keeping the logs moist.
At the same time, after running the box for a few hours, I found that the box and water got kind of warm, so I put it on a timer to allow the system to cool down every other hour.
Amazingly, right on schedule, after about 12 days we started getting some major mushroom growth:
And from that, we realized our 1st harvest:
Next time, I’ll continue and tell you more about the subsequent soak and fruiting cycles.
Have you ever grown shiitake mushrooms before? How did it work out for you?