Q: How do I stack my Shiitake logs after inoculating?
It depends! The photo on the top right illustrates a very low stack in the Great Lakes region where annual rain fall is less than 30 inches. Logs are laid on pallets to avoid competitor fungi. In regions with more precipitation and higher humidity levels, logs can be elevated higher to give them more air circulation (Low and High Crib Stack).
Q: How do I stack my Shiitake logs for fruiting?
A: A wire or rod stretched between two fence posts allows the logs to be A-framed and gives good access to all surfaces for mushroom harvesting. Elevate logs to this configuration after spawn run is complete (Fruiting Stack).
Q: What do I do with my Shiitake logs after fruiting or during winter?
A: Logs that have been stacked in an A-frame can remain in that configuration for the summer and be soaked in cold water in 8-10 week intervals to stimulate another big flush. For laying yards with lots of logs and little space, stack the logs in a crib stack between fruitings. Use the low stack for winter storage as well, especially in areas that receive substantial snowfall.
Q: How do I know when it's time to soak my Shiitake logs?
A: Logs that have completed one season of spawn run can be soaked to encourage a big flush at the end of the summer if spawn run is complete. A good indicator is if the logs are starting to fruit on their own. You can start soaking in the spring (Wide Range strains only) after the daytime temperatures have been at least in the 70's for three weeks.
Q: How long can I store spawn before inoculating?
A: If refrigerated, plug and sawdust spawn can be stored for up to 6 months, grain spawn for 3 months, and thimble spawn for 1 month. Do not freeze! (Note: Pink Oyster and Almond Agaricus should NEVER be refrigerated).
Q: Do I need to soak my logs before plugging them?
A: Not typically, as the wood is at the ideal moisture content when cut. If you desire to soak the logs, do it a day or two before inoculation. A 24 hour soak is sufficient.
Q: Can I plant different strains of the same species into one log?
A: Best not to; strains are often antagonistic to one another.
Q: How should I store totems that have fruited during the growing season in the upcoming winter?
A: Like colonized smaller diameter mushroom logs, totems are best wintered outdoors in a protected location. Cold and windy locations warrant knocking the totems to ground level.