Mushrooms should appear sometime between 6-12 months after inoculation, usually after a day of rain in the spring, summer or fall. While it takes some time accompanied by patience to grow your own shiitake, in the end, the logs will continue to produce for up to 8 years!
One more inquiry we ran across in our research was “When are shiitake mushrooms ready to harvest?”.
Shiitakes may be harvested at any time during their growth ; however, it’s best to harvest them when the caps are fully expanded and have darkened in color. If you’re not sure whether or not your shiitakes are ready for harvest, there is an easy way to tell: gently squeeze the cap.
When to harvest shiitake mushrooms?
Dependent of Shiitake strain. The harvest period can be anytime from early Spring to late Fall 9-18 months . This is again dependent on several factors, including strain and log diameter Strong, bold, garlic flavored, meaty texture.
How are shiitake mushrooms grown?
Growing shiitake mushrooms takes place either on logs or in bags of nutrient enriched sawdust or other organic material, called bag culture. Bag culture is a complex process requiring specific conditions of controlled temperature, light and moisture. The inexperienced mushroom grower would be advised to start with growing shiitakes on logs .
Many strains of shiitake can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. It’s possible to successfully fruit them when it’s snowing outside and also in temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius . I’ve had success fruiting shiitake in containers in my house during very hot summers where temperatures reach over 40° C outside.
This of course begs the query “What is shiitake mushroom bags culture?”
Shiitakes are wood-decay fungus, meaning they grow on logs. Growing shiitake mushrooms takes place either on logs or in bags of nutrient enriched sawdust or other organic material , called bag culture.
Unlike many mushrooms which grow on compost or manure-based potting media, shiitake mushrooms grow on logs. You’ll need to obtain or cut logs (“bolts”) about 3 to 6-inches across, and 3 to 4 feet long. For ease of handling, consider the 3-foot lengths for the thicker logs.
How long do shiitake mushrooms take to fruit?
Other kinds of mushrooms have a much quicker turn around, vigorous strains of oyster mushrooms can fruit a week or two after the substrate being inoculated. Once colonised with mycelium, your shiitake block will initially be white and then begin turning brown over the next 4-8 weeks .
So, how do you know when shiitake mushrooms are ready to fruit?
The pins will usually form on the top of the block, signalling that it is time to fruit the mushrooms. Shiitake, on the other hand, will continue to “ consolidate ”, strengthening the mycelium and forming large bulbous knots of mycelium all over the outside of the block.
One more query we ran across in our research was “How do you know when to pick shiitake mushrooms?”.
The mushrooms should be doubling in size every day, once they stop growing it’s time to pick them! Harvesting shiitake mushrooms is fairly easy . I generally harvest all the mushrooms in a single session, unless there are clearly two pin sets at different stages of growth .
Can you put shiitake logs in compost?
Your shiitake log is completely organic , you can compost it, bury it or add it to your worm farm. Worms love mushroom mycelium, they’ll tear your block apart it a few days. The two biggest problems you’re likely to face is that your block will go mouldy or you won’t get many mushrooms.