Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Mushroom Log Growing:
Q. Can I use old deadwood or rotting logs?
A. No, the logs need to be freshly cut (within 6 weeks) from disease-free healthy living trees.
Q. What is the best size of log to use?
A. Logs can be either 50 cm or 1 metre in length with a diameter from 10 to 30 cm. Some mushrooms prefer wider logs, some prefer narrower ones. This information can be found in the product description and is also provided in the instructions.
Q. Which is the best mushroom for beginners?
A. We recommend Shiitake or Oyster mushrooms for beginners.
Q. Are tree stumps suitable?
A. As long as the tree was felled within 3 months and it was healthy then it is suitable. This is described in the instructions that come with the plugs.
Q. Are tree trunks too big?
A. No, tree trunks can be used if they are cut into discs. This is described in the instructions that come with the plugs.
Q. Can I use split logs?
A. Yes, split logs can be used, but extra care must be taken to prevent them from drying out.
Q. Which trees species can I use?
A. Most commonly found hardwood tree species are suitable. Conifer and Fruit trees can be used but are restricted to certain mushroom species. The preferred tree species for each mushroom is listed on the product page and is covered in the instructions. We are happy to give advice on the best mushroom to choose for the trees you have available.
Q. When is the best time of year to plug logs?
A. Logs can be plugged any time of the year.
Q. How many plugs do I need per log?
A. We recommend 30 plugs per 50 cm length with a diameter up to 20 cm. For wider logs 25 cm and above we recommend 60 plugs per 50 cm length.
Q. Do I need to use Wax to seal the plugs?
A. Sealing the plugs with wax is a helpful step but not absolutely for some species. Waxing protects the plug from drying and also discourges climbing pests, such as snails and woodlice, from feeding on the mycelium. We definitely recommend wax for: Chicken-of-the-woods, Nameko and Reishi. Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms are very hardy and logs can be plugged without sealing with wax.
Q. Can I put more than one mushroom species in the same log?
A. No, it’s one mushroom per log. If more than one are put into the same log they will compete for resources.
Q. How do I best care for my log?
A. The log should be cared for like a shade-loving plant. It can be kept indoors (like a shed, garage or out-house) or outdoors in a shaded and sheltered location which is easily accessible to allow for watering. The basic idea is to keep the log moist and prevent it from drying out. This is covered in the instructions.
Q. How long will it take for the mushrooms to grow?
A. It usually takes 12 to 24 months before the logs are ready to produce mushrooms. This is highly dependent upon the mushroom species and also the size of the log – wider logs take longer to produce their first crop, whilst narrower logs take less time to produce their first crop.
Q. How may mushrooms can I expect to get from a log?
A. This is dependent on the size of the log and also the mushroom species. As a general rule 300g to 1 kg per log per year.
Q. Will I get more than one crop of mushrooms?
A. Yes, most mushroom species will produce bi-annually, and this will continue for a number of years. How many years is dependent upon the size of the log and also the type of tree. Usually you will get a minimum of 2 years worth of crops (or flushes) from a narrower log, and a minimum of 3 years from a wider log. Also, the denser the wood the longer the flushes will continue; for example, a 12 cm wide Oak log can produce for 5-7 years, whereas the same size Poplar log will produce for 3-5 years.