*Your blocks are meant to be opened immediately for best results. Ready-to-fruit blocks will begin producing mushrooms quickly after arrival.
Shiitake ready-to-fruit blocks are a fast and easy option for mushroom production. These blocks are meant to be fruited in a controlled growing room and perform best with ideal temperature and humidity conditions. Depending on the size and format of your growing space, you may also need to supplement lighting and provide fresh air for proper mushroom development.
Fruiting Shiitake Mushroom Blocks
1) Select a growing space
The growing area should support conditions ideal for mushroom growing. There are several factors: 1) Have indirect sun or supplemental lighting (at least 8-12 hours/day) 2) Temperature control ideally kept 55-70°F 3) Humidity kept between 80-90% 4) Regular fresh air exchange. Shelving or other surfaces are ideal for organizing blocks, and the space should be kept clean. Controlling all of these factors will lead to increased mushroom growing success.
2) Setting up your Shiitake blocks
Cut open the filter patch bag and remove the shiitake block. Do this over a basin to reduce spillage or any excess liquid. Place it on a shelf.
3) Maintaining and monitoring
Your grow room should be a controlled area. Shiitake mushrooms require light and fresh air to grow successfully. If the humidity is lower than recommended, mist the blocks daily with fresh water to keep the mushrooms succulent. Mushrooms will start developing 4-7 days after opening depending on temperature. If conditions are too dry (the mushrooms will appear leathery), increase the humidity or misting frequency otherwise they may stop growing and abort. Clear plastic can be used to form tents over the blocks to create a humidity chamber, but be sure to lift up the plastic and spray with water underneath the tent. Without sufficient fresh air exchange, mushrooms can appear malformed or long stemmed from excessive CO2.
4) Shiitake Mushroom harvest and storage
Shiitakes are fully developed and ready for harvest when the cap is almost fully open and flat (only the edges remain curled down) and the gills on the underside of the cap are about 80% exposed. The caps on overly mature mushrooms will curl upward and quickly release spores which show as white powdery dust or flakes. Mushroom quality, shelf life, and flavor is better if they are picked before this happens. Use a pair of scissors to cut the mushrooms off of the block. Mushrooms need to be stored in the refrigerator until consumed or sold. A breathable container is ideal for reducing condensation and excessive wetness that will diminish the shelf life of your bounty.
5) Second and subsequent crops
After harvesting, lower the humidity, discontinue misting, and let the blocks rest and dry for 7-14 days. To stimulate another mushroom flush, the blocks need to be rehydrated. Do this by soaking them in cold water for a minimum of 6 hours. The dried blocks are buoyant, so keep them submerged with something heavy. The block should feel heavier (about 4 lbs) after soaking. This weight will decrease with each fruiting. Remove blocks from the water and place back in the growing room. Repeat steps 3-5. Shiitake yield will decline with each fruiting. The number of fruitings (typically 1-3) is dependent on many variables. If green molds develop on the block surfaces, add 2 capfuls of bleach per gallon of soak water. The bleach will evaporate quickly and cause no harm to the mushrooms. Finished blocks can be buried outdoors or tossed onto the compost pile for potentially more fruitings - eventually it will turn into rich compost.
*We only guarantee the first fruiting.
Ready-to-Fruit Mushroom Blocks are available for discounted prices in larger quantities. All mushroom varieties (Shiitake, Pioppini, Grey Dove Oyster, Chestnut, Lion's Mane, Reishi, King Oyster, and Black Pearl) can be mixed. A deposit is due upon order placement. Please inquire if interested.