The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How long does it take mushroom logs to fruit?

Snow cap shiitake
"Alas, my mushroom logs apparently are not going to do anything. We plugged them early this year, set them in a shady spot under a tree, and waited. And waited. Nothing so far." --- Deb

I wouldn't give up hope yet, Deb. If you plugged your logs with shiitakes, they can sometimes take up to eighteen months to bear, with the longer periods being due to slower strains or harder trees (like oak).

Plus, different types of shiitakes fruit in different seasons. All of the mushrooms we've harvested so far from the logs plugged this past spring are the Snow Cap variety, which (as the name suggests) fruit deeper into the winter than most other types of shiitakes. So, for all I know, our WW70 and Native Harvest logs might be fully colonized and just waiting on the right weather cues to fruit. Yours might be too!

Mushroom log setupThat said, "under a tree" isn't really the best place for mushroom logs. In my experience, there's too much sun beneath a typical fruit tree to protect mushroom logs, especially once the leaves fall in winter. The result can be split bark, dried out wood, and the rapid proliferation of weed fungi. So, if you've got a shadier, damper place (but one raised a foot or so off the ground), you might want to move those logs over. We currently have our logs up against the north side of the trailer, and it's definitely the best arrangement we've found for them yet.

Now, if we can just get their sprinklers going next year to keep the logs hydrated during summer droughts, we might just have happy mushrooms...and husbands. I think shiitakes might be Mark's favorite crop!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Ah, so maybe there is hope. Good. These were green oak logs. They are on planks under a huge maple, but also on the north side of the barn, so its mostly shady. Fingers crossed. Thanks....

Comment by Deb Tue Dec 15 07:51:03 2015
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