How to Inoculate Your Shiitake Or Oyster Logs
Growing shiitake and oyster mushrooms in your own backyard
**Put spawn in refrigerator until use**
- Fresh cut oak logs that have rested at least three weeks. Gum trees can be used right away. Bark needs to be fully attached. Oysters spawn work best in popular trees (Most hardwoods are acceptable to use. See this chart for more information.
- Shiitake or Oyster spawn
- Drill & Drill Bit of 5/16” – for dowel spawn
- Cheese Wax – or Beeswax if you have access
- Nail Punch (to drive the spawn into the wood the last little bit)
- Small Crock Pot or double boiler to melt wax.
Keep spawn in the sealed bag, in the refrigerator until ready for use. Any spawn remaining after you are finished can be kept in fridge for up to six months.
Drill holes in the log you will inoculate. The holes should be a little deeper than the dowel is long. You will want to make several rows of holes. Space the rows about 1 to 2 inches apart, and space the holes in each row about 5 inches apart. For example, a log that is 2 feet in length and 5 inches in diameter will require about 30 dowels of spawn.
Insert spawn into each hole. Take one dowel of spawn and push into each hole. Take your hammer and tap the dowel into the wood as far as it can go. You don’t want to have any of the dowels sticking out of the log. This is where a nail punch comes in handy to drive the dowel that last 1 or 2 millimeters.
Wax over each and every drilled and filled hole. Once all the spawn has been hammered into the logs, you will then get a dauber, get wax on said dauber and cover each hole that you have created. This is one of the most important steps of the process. The wax will seal the hole that was drilled. That will help to prevent the log from drying out too quickly!
Hurry up and wait! The last step is to find a nice shady spot in your yard. Place your log in this location, and wait! The mycelium takes anywhere from 6 to 12 months to colonize the log. Once the log is fully colonized and the environment is favorable, you will see the mushrooms popping out of the holes that you made. Harvest, eat, and enjoy! Your log will produce for many years with proper care.
If you have any questions, please contact us!