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Mushroom logs! Innoculating shiitake logs with whole caps from the grocery store

 
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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Last week my friend told me he got a good flush of shiitake mushrooms from the logs he inoculated. The logs he inoculated in 2009.

My ears perked up, because I really like shiitakes. I went looking for spore plugs, and didn't find a quantity and price I liked. So I'm trying an experiment, folks. Mushrooms drop spores out of the gills when they mature. If I put some whole caps with their intact gills into a log and seal it up, shouldn't it colonize?

I'll let you know next year.

I got these four logs:



I chainsawed a slot into them:




I stuffed the shiitake mushroom caps into the slot:



I need to seal these with wax, but if I just pour hot wax on them, I think it might cook the spores. So I'll block up the slot with these candle stubs first:



And then melt a pot of wax:



And then pour it over the slots to seal them. Good luck, little spores!

 
pollinator
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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If that doesn’t work, try the Facebook group Mycology and Botany Classfieds to find plugs.

I don’t mean to imply that your experiment won’t work. I really don’t know.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Don't forget to wet those logs, that is what gets the spores sprouting.
Also don't worry if they don't fruit next year, it might take those logs 2 to 3 years to get to the point of fruiting.

Redhawk
 
Mike Cantrell
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Thanks! I soaked them for two days, and now they're leaning against the north wall of my office, stayng in the shade and getting splashed by the eaves when it rains.
 
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Location: Reno, NV
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Your method should work, especially if you used hardwood. Yup they look pretty dry to me, those logs might need more than two days to soak. Keep em covered with sand and make sure they don't dry out.
 
master steward
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An inoculation strategy that I like, is to puree mushrooms in a blender, and pour the liquid over logs or chips. I expect stuffing mushrooms into slits in the logs will work fine. I'm not a fan of pouring wax into the logs. I just inoculate, and leave them alone.

 
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How freshly cut were your logs? Your shiitakes may have some competition from "wild" fungi if they have been laying around for a few months.  I try to get my logs inoculated within 2 or 3 weeks of cutting the tree.  Interested to see how this turns out!
 
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