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Shiitake in buckets?

 
Posts: 12
Location: Central IL, zone 6b
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Has anyone grown shiitakes in 5 gallon buckets? Could I use the same method for growing oysters but substitute wood chips for the straw? I can't find anything about it online and I'm still waiting for my copy of Mycelium Running to come in the mail!

This is my first time growing mushrooms. I'm going to try oysters on straw bales and in buckets. I'm sure I'll find some, but right now I'm having a hard time sourcing hardwoods branches to grow anything in logs so I'm looking for alternatives.

 
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Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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hi rebecca! the mycelium of shitake isn't as aggressive as oysters. you would need to sterilize sawdust in a autoclave in a spawning bag w/ a filter patch on it so air can escape but not go in. if you leave it open to the air it will contaminate w/ mold before the mycelium can establish itself. trust me . i tried . the only way is inoculating in a sterile enviroment to a sterile sawdust medium. you could try the totem method if you can get some oak or maple logs. they establish and fruit in half the time whole logs do. google it. plenty of info. there. good luck!
 
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I agree with Steve. Drilling dowels into logs is often called "The Shiitake Method" because it works for shiitake.
John S
PDX OR
 
Rebecca Butler
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Location: Central IL, zone 6b
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Ah I see. Thanks for the replies!
 
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Hey Rebecca,

Firstly I am by no means an expert at mushroom cultivation but have been playing around with some ideas since last summer. Shiitake seems to prefer hardwood logs or sterilized woodchips/saw dust, 'tried, tested and true'. I have done quite a few logs and a couple of totems outdoors with meh results which is my fault for not caring for them 100% in the extremely dry hot summer.

I have had luck using straw to grow shiitake in sterilized straw using 'LE-straw from Aloha Culture Bank' strain, albeit not great results using lime soak/cold pasteurization i have used for Oysters. This specific culture is extreme fast growing but prefers fine shredded and heat sterilized straw. Sadly not the same results in straw with couple of other shiitake strains but have known others who have had better luck with them. I used Wood chipper shredded straw pressure cooked at 15 psi for 1 hour minimum, inoculated with 5% grain spawn and 3% gypsum in a clean glove box, saw full colonization under 20 days and browning a little later in rough desert summer in 60-95 degree indoor temperature(shitty 60's trailer with no insulation) with loss of 2 out of 12 bags to signs of mold.

I have linked below the cultures and if you read their website they have some great DIY and professional tips and techniques.

http://www.alohaculturebank.com/LentinulaedodesStraw.html#.VuIynkIrLIU
http://www.alohaculturebank.com/Lentinulaedodes75.html#.VuI6v0IrLIU
http://www.alohaculturebank.com/grain-spawn.html#.VuI7J0IrLIU

http://www.fieldforest.net/Shiitake-West-Wind-Plug-Spawn/productinfo/DWW/
 
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