Looking at starting shiitake mushrooms and a few other kinds that will grow well in the oak logs. My question is the oak logs I'm getting are being cut now and this morning it was -1 and gets colder will I still be able to start the mushrooms in these logs when spring comes.
Shiitake is very used to freezing temperatures. -1 is pretty cold. They can have a setback if it's too cold before they really are inoculated, but they still generally work. Most people in cold climates like yours inoculate after March 1st, when it might freeze, but it won't get really cold. On the other hand, if you keep your logs on a pallet and away from the soil, there probably won't be a lot of other growth happening on them til later. Some have wrapped them or brought the logs into a garage or basement, so it won't be so cold as well. You have several options, all of which should work. You are very lucky to have oak logs, something most mushroom cultivators would love to have.
I'm really glad they can take the cold because there is no way I'm going to dodge the one . I'll be keeping them covered up under a tarp until snow breaksThen introduce the spawn. I'm also looking for a trusted mushroom spawn supplier that is trusted. Been looking for a book or two, any ideas which one is a good reference.
Both shiitake and cold-weather oysters worked great for me last year inoculated directly into oak logs. Tarping the cut logs to prevent them from drying out is key. As is waxing the butt ends to similarly prevent desiccation. Otherwise, in my first year growing mushrooms on oak logs naturally, it was easy and rewarding. I used sawdust spawn from Field and Forest Products, which was the most economical source I could find. I used a wide-range Shiitake strain, and a cold weather oyster strain (Grey Dove). I have the logs in a shade house, with a sprinkler daily in the summer. I am very happy with the results thus far.
Derek Willson wrote:Cj- is shiitake the only one you grow? Just wondering what other options I might have down the road. I ran into an endless amount of oak least it seems anyways.
Shiitake is the only type I used Oak for. I had to take some down because they were blocking my southern exposure. Thin your Oaks but think about leaving some for Acorns which are really valuable for livestock feed.
Since you're in NY, you could try Beech (which is related to Oak) and I had great results with Hickory last year.
I did inoculate a few different types of oysters which looked good but didn't fruit. I used Poplar & Willow.
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Paul Stamets is the most widely cited author for growing mushrooms. "Growing GOurmet and Medicinal Mushrooms" is a classic. "Mycelium Running" is also a great one.
I also highly recommend Tradd Cotter's book that came out in 2014. I think it's called "Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation". They are generally considered the best books for the large area of cultivating mushrooms. There are a couple of smaller ones about shiitake that are good.