Shitake log care


How to care for your shitake (she-TAH-kee) mushroom log

These instructions are on how to care for a log that has been inoculated with shitake mushroom spawn.  Providing you treat it right your log will produce mushrooms over the next 4 – 6 years during warmer months starting from summer 2014.

The spawn in your log are living organisms and need to be looked after in the same way that a plant does. It needs air, moisture and (indirect) light. You need to:

  • Keep the log damp but not saturated
  • Do not let your log dry out
  • Keep it in the shade
  • You can bury one end in the ground so it draws up most of the moisture it needs itself.

You will see white patches of the spawn spread to the ends of the log.

In 12-18 months time the log should be ready to fruit. The ends of the log will be chocolate brown in patches with a white creamy section in the middle. This is your trigger to soak your log overnight in water as it is ready to fruit. Ensure it is completely immersed for 24 hours. Drain the water out then leave it in the container with a lid on and stand in the sun. This will create a damp and humid environment inside. Mist if necessary. Within a few days small mushrooms will begin to protrude from the bark.

Stand it back in the shade. Keep it damp/misted. Harvest and enjoy the mushrooms.

Once mushrooms stop appearing, water the log and rest it in the shade for two months. It can then be soaked again which will cause more fruiting. This cycle can be repeated whilst temperatures remain warm enough. The spawn will become dormant when temperatures drop below 7 C but will spring into life again once the temperature rises.

Enjoy those healthy tasty mushrooms!!

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