Growing your own mushrooms is easy. There are several different types of mushroom to grow, from shitake and oyster to plan white mushrooms. Some mushrooms can be grown in a straw mix while others are supplied as dowels which you drill into logs.
To get started, choose the type of mushrooms you want to grow and then order a growing kit online. This growing kit involves using hardwood logs and small wooden dowels which have been impregnated with shitake mushroom fungus.
How to grow mushrooms on logs
Grow mushrooms in freshly cut, hardwood logs, with clean, intact bark. Remove any branches. Using a 9 or 10mm drill bit, drill holes every 15cm along the length of the logs. Tap dowels into the drilled holes, making sure they’re flush with the surface of the bark. Seal the holes with wax and wrap the logs in plastic to stop them drying out. You should be harvesting your home-grown mushrooms within six months.
More on growing mushrooms:
Follow our step-by-step guide to growing mushrooms in logs, below.
You Will Need
- Mushroom-growing kit, comprising dowels, wax and wax applicator
- Fresh logs - preferably hardwood
- Drill with 9mm or 10mm bit
- Camping stove (if not near to a domestic cooker)
- Pan for heating the wax
Choose logs that are preferably 30cm or more in diameter and are freshly cut (or have been cut no more than six weeks ago). They must also have their bark intact, as this provides part of the habitat. Drill 32mm-deep holes into the logs – one for each dowel – spaced 15-20cm apart.
Lightly hammer the dowels into the drilled holes, ensuring they’re flush with the surface and also in close contact with the surrounding wood so the spores grow into the log. If the dowels wobble, they’re not tight enough in the hole.
Melt the wax in a pan, then use a foam brush or cotton dauber to apply the hot liquid to seal each dowel in place. Take care to completely cover the end of each dowel and create a tight seal that won’t fall off – this prevents other fungi from entering each hole.
Wrap your inoculated logs lightly in plastic and leave in a cool, shady place for 8-12 weeks. Remove the plastic, then stack the logs in damp shade. Mushrooms should appear in autumn and spring after 6-18 months, and on larger logs they can return every few months for up to five years.