Is mushroom growing a complicated process? It is not a complicated process at all. You may have come across various steps while browsing online for guidance. Do not be intimidated. It might sound a bit confusing in the initial phases but with trial and error, you will eventually learn the ropes.
This delicious fungus is nutritious and has numerous health benefits associated with it. The word shiitake is Japanese and is applicable for those mushrooms which are in the shape of a flattened umbrella. At the same time, it has the added advantage of being tasty too. Texture wise it is meaty and cooking helps them to present their smoky flavors. You can raise your mushrooms with shiitake logs.
1. Using the right medium
You may be involved in the cultivation of these kinds of mushrooms. Even if you are operating under controlled conditions, they can be harvested within three or four months. You can avoid using natural logs. You can substitute this medium with a combination of rice hulls and oak sawdust. In some of the regions however trees do not shed their leaves in the winter season, so you can cut and inoculate shiitake logs throughout the whole year.
2. Picking an appropriate time for harvesting
Those regions which enjoy prominent winter seasons, the best harvesting time are the fall, winter or spring. During these parts of the year, the leaves attain a brownish color and the sugar is accumulated in the branches.
3. Selection of trees
You should choose trees which have demonstrated good health. Ideally, the bark should be of medium thickness. You can choose from oak, ironweed, and sweet gum. Softwoods such as cedar, fir, and pine are not appropriate for this purpose.
4. Size of the logs
Log cultivation can be done mainly in the countryside where there is a steady supply of wood. The size of the logs is important because if they are too big, they will be difficult to handle. The ideal size would be a diameter of five inches and a length size of about four feet.
5. Source of logs
You have to search for suitable logs from farmers, land clearing sites or firewood cutters. Always ensure that they are not damaged due to manhandling.
6. Ways of stacking
It is a wise idea to keep the inoculated logs in an area which is exposed to both half shade and half sun. You need to examine frequently with the advent of the fruiting season. Use the lean-to stack method for prevention of any injury.
7. Drying of bark prior to inoculation
Downed trees have the capacity to stay fresh for approximately two months. However, temperature plays an important role. If you have to wait for a longer period then you should immerse them in water for at least a day. You have to let the bark dry out before inoculating.
8. Fruiting method
To ensure the highest quality during the fruiting phase, maintenance of optimal temperature is necessary. Apart from natural fruiting method, some people opt for forced fruiting too.
High success rate
The shiitake mushrooms grow best on logs. In fact, there is high success rate associated with this cultivation. Growing shiitake mushrooms is a good option for anyone who wants to take up a commercial venture. If you have a farmhouse and you want to earn decent money, then you can opt for this choice.