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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › question on shitake mushrooms

question on shitake mushrooms

Larry
guildl
Sudbury, MA
Post #: 89

I innoculated 8 logs with shitake plugs something like 28 months ago and they have been on my land near Farmington Maine in amongst white cedar trees with lots of shade year round. Those logs had an extremely meager crop last fall for the first time and this 4th of July after all that rain I guess I had another meager crop that was just big enough to stir fry for 1 meal. I moved a bunch of the logs closer to my neighbors house in amongst white cedar so he can keep an eye on them as I am not always up there, but I have been up every 2 or 3 weeks mostly. I like to be able to call him and ask if there are any mushrooms showing up. I also moved 4 or 5 of those logs to my house in Mass. Oyster creek where I got the plugs told me that the weather has not been good for mushrooms as it has been hot in the spring and so on.

I started a second batch on 8 other logs not quite 2 years ago and I haven't gotten anything from them. I used maple logs for all these. I do have some oak trees I could try the next time.

I recently did 16 maple/poplar logs with oyster mushrooms hopping I would have better luck because those are supposedly an easier mushroom to grow. I would have tried those before but when I ordered the plugs they sent me more shitake plugs instead by mistake.

Any comments, ideas, or questions for me ?

David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 953
Larry,
The thicker/larger the logs the longer it takes. Anything thicker than 4 inches may involve a considerable wait but will last longer. They really only like to fruit in spring and fall when nights get colder. You can soak your logs in cold water 24-48 hours and that may force fruiting.

I don't think poplar is good. I tried it and got very unsatisfying results. I did very well with red maple. Your logs need to be clean and undiseased in any way. I lost most of my logs recently to turkey tails. The wood which I cut myself was apparently infected.

David Spahr
Anne G.
user 12559531
Portland, ME
Post #: 4
We have raised shitakes for the last 4 years. We always use oak, which seems to work fine. Another step we take that you didn't describe is to soak them for 1-3 days in a trough. This flushes them, much the same way that a heavy rain might, but you can do it to your schedule. Some people use an old bathtub- we built a wooden trough and lined it with the sort of thick rubber lining you might use in an ornamental pond.
A tip we learned this summer is that they respond better to soaking if there's a difference in the weather. I soaked a bunch of logs this spring and got nothing, much to my surprise. But the spring was cool and wet, so soaking them in cold water wasn't enough of a trigger. Then we went away in the first half of July, and there was that hot spell right before we returned. We soaked logs after that and have gotten a much greater response.
We did try oysters a couple of years ago and got one large flush last fall, but it was mostly pretty underwhelming. I prefer the shitakes- hope you can get yours going!
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 954
Many hardwoods can be used for shiitake. Other than oak I have used red maple, white birch, poplar, and alder. They all worked. Alder is thin and comes fast but doesn't last long. Since it is usually thin you have to be careful it doesn't dry out. Red maple is very good. I have had them last 6 years and fruit well. White birch made very few but very large fruits up to 8-10 oz. each. Poplar was not good but did produce a few. Shorter thinner logs produce faster. Harder woods last longer.

David Spahr
Larry
guildl
Sudbury, MA
Post #: 90

Thanks for the replies ..

Dave, I think my logs are maybe a bit bigger than 4 inches .. but I'd have to measure them

I have no running water on my land, though some of my logs are near my neighbors property and he has water. I have no troughs however either. If there's going to be a big storm and I am up there, maybe I can let my canoe fill up with water or I can create a mini pool with a tarp over a depression in the ground.

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