Marvellous Mushrooms, Gourmet Mushroom Grower, Mushroom Grow Kits, Angus, UK

Growing mushrooms on logs - the ultimate guide

Shiitake mushrooms growing on oak logs
A fresh crop of log grown Shiitake mushrooms
A handful of the freshest log grown Shiitake mushrooms

Why grow mushrooms on logs?

Growing mushrooms on logs is an ancient technique that humans have been using to cultivating mushrooms, like shiitake, for more than 1,000 years. The earliest known cultivation dates back to 960 A.D.! You don't need a lot of fancy equipment and as long as you have an electric drill you will be able to do it too. 

What types of mushrooms can I grow in the UK?

All of the plugs we sell can withstand the winters we get in the UK which means they will survive even the harshest of winters and continue to produce mushrooms year after year. Tropical mushrooms like Pink Oyster mushrooms do not like cold temperatures and are not suitable for log growing in the UK and as such we don't sell these strains as inoculated plugs. We stock some native UK strains as well as high yielding commercial strains. 

What equipment do I need to inoculate logs with mushrooms?

You will need an electric drill, an 8mm drill bit, inoculated plugs, wax to seal the holes /log ends and something to melt your wax in.

What types of logs are best to grow mushrooms on?

> Hardwood is best (oak, beech, birch, alder, ash, elm etc).

> Fruit trees (apple, plum, cherry etc) are also good but will take longer to fruit.

> Soft wood / pines / conifers must be avoided due to their natural anti-fungal properties.

It is of great importance that the logs you use are freshly cut from a living tree somewhere between 2 to 8 weeks when you use them. Using them earlier than 2 weeks can result in residual antifungal components of the tree stopping your plugs growth and older than 8 weeks risks that other mycelium present in the wood and environment take over the log. 2-8 weeks after cutting is the sweet spot. Logs should be around a meter long and between 15-20cm in diameter - any bigger and they get difficult to handle. Only inoculate one type per log.  

When is it best to inoculate my logs with mushroom plugs?

You can start logs at any time of the year but spring and autumn are slightly better as the increased rain helps the mycelium get established. If you start in the summer extra weekly watering should be applied to stop them drying out, especially when the weather is hot.

When can I expect mushrooms to start growing?

The mycelium needs to grow all the way through your log and that can take anywhere between 1 and 2 years, Once the log is fully colonised mushrooms will grow after rain for 3 to 5 years. It's a bit of effort to start with but well worth it in the long run.

Be patient and enjoy home grown mushrooms over the coming years!

Available to order via our web-shop...