Mushrooms: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I lost my instructions, can i get a replacement?
A: If you have misplaced your mushroom growing kit instructions, you can download them here:
Download Lion's Mane Mushroom Block Instructions
Download Oyster Mushroom Block Instructions
Download Shiitake Mushroom Block Instructions
Download Mushroom Plug Spawn Instructions
Q: Are mushrooms good to grow for profit?
A: The Mushroom Patches are designed for personal use and consumption and cannot sustain enough to make a profit. One can expect 2-3 pounds of fresh mushrooms off one patch before it has exhausted its available nutrients.
Q: I want to plant some wine caps this year, this is my first time. Does it matter of what species of wood chips, or will any fresh chips will do? I have access to older chips that have composted a bit, also I can get pine. Does it matter?
A: Wine Caps are another name for the Garden Giant mushroom.Wine Caps require mainly fresh hardwood chips. They shouldn't be older than 6 months from the time the tree was fell. Any longer and they are void of the main nutrients needed and if they are decomposing already it means another fungi is already in there doing the decomposing process.You do not want to use Pine as it is very rot-resistant. You can use a degree of conifers like fir, spruce, or hemlock, but the wood needs to be primarily deciduous, non-rot-resistant wood.
Q: Can you tell me if the spores will grow where i live? Without winter, we only have 3 days below 32 degrees
A: That really depends on what species they are talking about. If it is for the Lion's Mane, it will produce when the daytime temps are between 60-75 degrees for at least a month. When the temps are below that during the day they will remain dormant until the temperature rises again.
Q: We are thinking of harvesting our plug spawn mushrooms in the Fall, so I am thinking a Spring or Summer planting?
A: Remember that mushrooms from inoculated logs can take 1-2 years to begin producing. So next Fall may be a little early to expect any mushrooms. However the following fall they can begin to expect seeing mushrooms.
Q: Should I keep my plug spawn refrigerated until we "plant" them in the logs?
A: The Plug Spawn can be held at room temperature for 30 days before they need to be used or put in the refrigerator. In the refrigerator the plug spawn can stay viable for up to 6 months.
Q: Should plug spawn be waxed over in logs?
A: But we do suggest for all species of mushrooms to wax the logs anywhere the wood is exposed or the bark has been removed. This helps retain moisture and it helps to protect the mycelium from bugs and other competing fungi.
Q: When is the best time of the year to start growing plug spawn mushrooms?
A: The best time to inoculate any mushroom is in the Spring or Fall, when one has a clear 30 days of good weather (no extreme heat or ground freezing temperatures). After 30 days the mushrooms are able to over winter or withstand high temperatures (given they have moisture).
Q: How many times will my mushroom block produce mushrooms before it is done?
A: The lifespan is approximately 3 months. It will produce multiple crops to equal 4-5 pounds of fresh mushrooms over its lifespan.
NC State Mushroom Cultivation How-to
Mushrooms by Wikipedia
University of Alaska Fairbanks - Morel Mushroom Guide
Mushroom Nutrient Data from the USDA
National Institutes of Health - Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms
CDC - Respiratory Illness from Inhilation of Mushroom Spores
CDC - Guide to Confirming a Foodborne Illness