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!
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.
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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