Mushroom

Raintree offers kits and dowels for several types of mushrooms!

Growing Mushrooms Using Dowel Spawn

Grow delicious mushrooms in your yard! Just follow the directions included with each package of dowel spawn. For those of you with patience and access to fresh cut logs or firewood from hardwood trees such as alder, oak, birch or cottonwood, you can grow lots of mushrooms at home. Using our "dowel plug spawn" you can inoculate hardwood logs with shiitake, maitake, lion's mane or oyster mushroom culture.

The logs are then stacked in a cool moist and shady location where you can water them so they won't dry out. Mushrooms should begin to appear in from 6 months to 2 years. Mushrooms will continue to appear on the logs for several years. Shiitakes take longer to appear than the Oysters.

Softer woods like alder or cottonwood will produce fewer mushrooms than denser woods like oak, but may start producing sooner. Oak may produce more and for a longer period of time. Logs or firewood with the bark on is necessary for shiitakes, but stumps or logs are acceptable for oyster mushrooms.

We also offer Chicken of the Woods mushroom that can be grown on conifer logs.  It is important that the logs are fresh cut, not dried out and are free of rot.

It is best to cut the logs in winter or early spring before the buds break and leaves appear. A 4-6" diameter and 4 foot length is convenient, but not essential. Using a drill bit 11/32" in diameter, drill holes about 7/8" deep. Space holes 5 or 6" apart. A 4' log will need about 30 holes. More will result in faster colonization and perhaps quicker production.

These dowels can also be used on freshly cut stumps. Simple instructions are provided with the dowels.  Hammer a plug in each hole and seal with paraffin or a grafting compound like Doc Farwell’s tree grafting seal (see supply section). Further directions are provided with each order of dowel spawn.

Growing Mushrooms on Hardwood Chips or Straw

Garden Giant Mushroom can be easily grown in your garden on a bed of hardwood chips or straw and they will produce for many years.

Note of Interest

Our spawn is safe and correctly identified when we sell it. However, when you expose edible mushroom spawn to the environment, other wild fungi already in the environment may grow too.

Some of these "volunteer" mushrooms could be poisonous. Before you eat any mushroom that appears to come from your logs, match it carefully to the description in the package. Be safe.

If in doubt, don’t eat it. Many communities have mushroom clubs (Mycological societies) that will gladly help you identify your mushrooms and there are many excellent field guides. You can locate both through your local library or Agricultural Extension Service.