While the “ideal” time to plant your mushroom logs is early spring, you can plant anytime up until a month or so before winter freeze sets in. That’s great news because opportunities to gather logs can present themselves year-round.
Is there a wooded areas nearby soon to be cleared for housing development? Did hydro crews come through cutting trees to keep the lines open? Will your neighbour be removing a hazardous tree? Become an opportunistic log scavenger.
The key is to plant into fresh logs as soon as possible (2-4 weeks). The longer the log sits, the more time for wild fungus to start growing inside – gaining a head start before you’ve even planted your gourmet edible mushroom variety.
Life is busy, and sometimes we just don’t get around to planting our logs in a timely manner. In fact, I have a stack of hemlock logs out back that I have been intending to plant for weeks now…..
Not to worry if your logs have been sitting for a few months. A heavier planting with mushroom plug spawn will help your gourmet species out-grow the competition, and compensate for the later start. If your logs have been sitting for more than several months in warm weather, you may still have success but a reduce yield. There is no harm in experimenting!
Planting logs is super simple using “mushroom plug spawn”. Plug spawn contains the fungal mycelium of gourmet mushroom varieties growing on wooden dowels. We offer a wide selection of edible and medicinal varieties, including shiitake, oyster and lion’s mane.
To “plant”, simply drill holes about 10 cm apart in staggered rows, use a hammer to tap plug spawn into the holes, cover with melted wax and place log in a shady location open to the rain.
Then it’s a waiting game. It can take from 6 months to two years before your log is ready to produce your first mushrooms. How long exactly depends on which type of mushroom, the diameter and species of log, and the length of your local growing season.
From then on, your logs will fruit mushrooms seasonally for years to come. Generally they will fruit in the rainy periods of spring and/or fall. You can help them along by watering the log surface during the weeks following a heavy rain.
See our tips on caring for your mushroom logs.
The bottom line is, whether you inoculate in spring, summer or fall, you log will eventually produce delicious and nutritious mushrooms for your family to enjoy!
Check out our video on log inoculation to learn how to get started with your food forest today!