Grow Mushrooms
Privacy of your own home!




Click any link below and...


The commercial outdoor grower has used mushroom plugs for many years. Now the MUSHROOM MAN brings it home to you!

Log cultivation is usually done with logs 4 - 6 inches in diameter with a length of 3 to 4 feet. Oak is particularly good for the cultivation of most mushrooms though many other species work well also: poplar, aspen, sugar maple, willow, alder and birch, among others.


Perhaps the most delicious of all the edible medicinal mushrooms, shiitake is highly esteemed for its medicinal properties.

It has been found to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, stimulate the immune system and have anti-tumor properties.

A combination of different strains can allow for mushroom production through spring, summer and fall.

 See instructions

 Shiitake Mushroom

Lentinus edodes



The Reishi mushroom can increase the production of interleukin1 and 2, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. Studies show that Reishi can have a number of other positive effects on the body such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-viral (through its interferon production), lowers blood pressure. It also acts as a cardiotonic by lowering serum and increasing the production of interleukin 1 and 2, which results in inhibition of tumor cholesterol, expectorant, anti-tissue, liver protecting and detoxifying, protection against ionizing radiation, antibacterial, and anti-HIV activity.

  See instructions

"Reishi" or
 "Ling Chi"

"Reishi" or
 "Ling Chi"

Reishi Hemlock

Ganoderma tsugae


Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) may best be known for its cancer-fighting properties. It contains grifolan, an important beta-glucan polysaccharide (molecule composed of many sugar molecules linked together).

Grifolan has been shown to activate macrophages, a type of cell consider the " heavy artillery": of the immune system, explains Larry A. Walker, Ph.D., R.D., author of "Natural products update," published in Drug Topics, June 1997. D-fraction, one of the polysaccharides in maitake mushroom, also energized the cellular immune system.

Hen of the Woods




Lion’s mane and Conifer Coral are common name given to a group of mushrooms of the genus Hericium. Lion’s mane mushrooms have a coral-like shape, with spindly branches that shoot out from the stem. They are creamy yellow in color, and are noted for their lobster-like flavor and texture when cooked.

Conifer Coral




(Grows on Pine)


Lion’s Mane



(Grows on Hard Wood)



Health benefits of mushrooms have been investigated by Japanese scientists and reveal mushrooms may favorably influence the immune system. Possessing potential benefits in fighting cancer, glutamic acid, an amino acid present in mushrooms, seems to be instrumental in combatting infection. Every culture has used mushrooms as food, as well as medicine, and have been a longtime staple in Asian diets. Mysterious mushrooms have also served as stimulants or hallucinogens in religious ceremonies.




Grows on softwoods including spruce, true firs, hemlocks, and Douglas Fir.



Laetiporus sulphureus

Grows on hardwoods.



Reported Health Benefits: Oyster mushrooms are best known medically for their cardiovascular and cholesterol-controlling benefits. Oyster mushrooms contain mevinolin and related compounds which are potent competitive inhibitors of HMG CoA reductase (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductuctase), the major rate limiting enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis. In addition, they have been shown to have activity in the following:

  • Antitumor
  • Immune response
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiviral
  • Antibiotic

 See instructions


White Oyster

Primarily hardwoods, but sometimes on conifers!

Pink Oyster
Only warm climates
year round
Zone 5b - 10b

Pink Oyster natural habitat is usually tropical and subtropical hardwoods including palms, rubber trees and also found on bamboo.
Blue Oyster
Golden Oyster
Only warm climates
year round
Zone 5b - 10b

Phoenix Oyster

Will grow on the wood of virtually any hardwood, including aspens and cottonwoods.




Elm Oyster:  Usually growing from branch scar sites of living hardwoods, particularly elm or box elder; widespread at least though the eastern United States.  The Elm Oyster mushroom known medically for their cardiovascular and cholesterol-controlling benefits. 
Elm Oyster


Un-Inoculated Flutted Dowels

Birch dowels measuring 5/16 x 1 inch. Each dowel has spiral grooves (flutted), accelerating mycelia recovery from inoculation.

 To create spawn just soak for two days, sterilize, and inoculate with grain spawn.

Each 1/2 gallon of grain spawn can inoculate 20 gallons of dowels!
5,000 plugs per unit.


Natural Soy Wax FlakesSoy Wax Flakes

Soy wax is used to seal in the spawn plugs once the log has been inoculated. It can be applied with a small foam brush, baster, cotton daubers or other such applicators. The small soy wax is able to cover 500 plugs. 

Small Soy Wax ~1/2 lb
(Will cover approx. 500 Plugs)
Large Soy Wax ~1 lb
(Will cover approx. 1000 Plugs)

Tree Selection Guide



The logs that will produce the highest yields of shiitake are oaks, chestnut and ironwood. Many other species will produce yields that are still satisfactory though not quite as high, such as sweetgum, bitternut hickory, alder, aspen, hard maples (sugar and black), black willow, yellow birch and river birch. Trees to avoid for shiitake cultivation include conifers, fruit trees, elm, hackberry, sassafras, soft maples (red and striped), sourwood, tulip poplar, dogwood, black locust, *beech and most of the hickories.

*HOWEVER...beech may be used if you are careful not to harm the then layer of bark.




Will grow on a wide range of hardwood logs and some conifers: oak, elm, maple, sycamore, beech, plum, peach, hemlock, mimosa, and many others.



These mushrooms prefer tulip poplar, aspen, cottonwood, beech, willow, maple and sweet gum.



Consider growing on large diameter oak stumps or large diameter oak logs 2 ft. in length that are buried half-way standing upright to create a stump.


Chicken of the Woods

Like Maitake, these can be grown on large diameter stumps or large diameter logs 2 ft. in length that are buried half-way standing upright. It will also grow on large diameter logs laying on the ground, such as fallen tree trunks and butt logs. Chicken of the woods grows well on oak, spruce, fir and hemlock.


Lions Mane

This mushroom will grow on a wide range of hardwoods, including oak, walnut, beech, and elm.

You plugs will come with explicit directions. 

Wintertime Log Inoculation

It’s late Fall and the nights are getting cold. You live in an area of harsh winters, and you are concerned that any logs you inoculate now will be exposed to hard freezing before the spawn has colonized your logs.

In the Southern states you have more time, because an occasional freeze will not set back the mycelium. But when newly inoculated, the log is vulnerable to hard or prolonged freezing, which can retard the first fruitings for several months to a year.

So should you wait until Spring?

Or should you inoculate those great logs your friend gave you, and try to store them inside? But what if you don’t have indoor space to store a bunch of logs?

Here are three or four options of increasing degrees of adventureness:

1. Wait until early Spring to inoculate. If you have already cut your logs in the Fall, they will probably be too dry by Spring, and you will have to cut some fresh logs

2. You can store inoculated logs in a relatively warm (36º to 75º) and humid place. A solar-warmed greenhouse is ideal!

3. A basement or indoor room with a humidifier works fine, but requires either indirect sunlight or fluorescent lights – 12 hrs on & 12 hrs off – to kill any mold that may try to grow in the condensation on logs, walls, & ceiling. Stack or lean the logs slightly separated from each other, and cover them with plastic to slow down moisture loss. In about 3 months the logs are well-colonized enough that you can stack them outside. Follow the directions in How to Grow Mushrooms on Natural Logs in our website, or in page 6 of your catalog. Colonized logs can take minus 50º F without any problems, and the logs greatly benefit from Winter rains or a layer of snow on them. Even in Winter, if it’s dry, you will have to water your logs deeply but infrequently.
4. You can make a very small simple solar greenhouse from the logs themselves. Here’s how:

a. Choose a location sheltered from the North wind and facing the sun. The best is a South-facing wall.

b. Lay down a thick mat of straw on the ground, or on pallets, to act as insulation from the frozen ground.

c. Stack the logs in open log-cabin stacks, not more than about 1 m (one yard) high. (See our directions How to Grow Mushrooms on Natural Logs)

d. Insulate the N, E, and W sides of the stack with a thick layer of straw, but the top of the stacks more thinly with about 3” of straw, so some of the sunlight can come in, but the daytime heat doesn’t radiate out from the top too fast at night.

e. Then cover the whole thing with clear poly plastic, held down with rocks, bricks, unused logs, stakes, or dirt. Slant the plastic on the South side out a little (see picture below). Since you are leaving the South side open but covered with clear plastic, you are essentially making a mini solar greenhouse or cold frame with your logs.

Even in coldest weather, bright sunlight coming in through the south side could overheat the logs. Put a couple of thermometers near the top of the stack under the plastic to monitor the temperature. If it rises above 95∫, you can cover the South side and/or top of the stacks with 80% shade cloth or burlap bags. In very sunny spells, it might be a good idea to keep 40% shade cloth on the stacks all the time to prevent overheating.

The idea is somewhat experimental, so we would love to hear from folks who make this log mini-greenhouse. With your permission, we will post your comments here.

Mushroom Log Inoculation
(Spring / Summer / Early Fall)

Log cultivation is usually done with logs 4 to 6 inches in diameter with a length of 3 to 4 feet. Oak is particularly good for the cultivation of most mushrooms though many other hardwoods work well also, such as poplar, aspen, sugar maple, willow, alder and birch, among others. Conifers are to be avoided for the cultivation of most mushrooms with the exception of chicken of the woods.

To select the appropriate trees for the cultivation of different gourmet mushrooms, refer to the tree selection guide on the back of this sheet. The best times for cutting logs are either in the winter months for spring inoculation or from August through October for late summer or fall inoculation. When inoculating logs in the summer, it is best to do the inoculation in the morning in a shady place. When selecting logs for mushroom cultivation, choose living trees without signs of decay. If the tree is dead, it will certainly already have other fungi growing in the wood. Using logs from a dead or unhealthy tree will either lower your yields or prevent production altogether. It is best to inoculate logs in early spring if they have been cut during the winter.

You can usually begin to inoculate logs one month before the average last frost date as long as day-time temperatures are above 40o F. If you cut logs during summer, it is best to inoculate them within 3 weeks after they have been cut so that the logs will still have an adequate moisture content. After inoculation, the logs are placed in a shady location out of the wind. Logs generally begin producing 6 months to 1 year after inoculation; after which, they usually continue to fruit for 4 years producing 1-2 lb. per year.

Each log usually produces 2.5 lb - 4 lb over its lifetime. Reishi, chicken of the woods, maitake and oyster grow well on both logs and stumps. For inoculation, you will need a drill, a hammer and cheese wax. If you are using plug spawn, you will need a 5/16 in. drill bit to drill to a depth of approx. 1". If you are using sawdust spawn, you will need a 7/16 in. drill bit. Spawn can stay viable for up to 6 months in a refrigerator. 


Step 1

Drill 1¼ in. deep holes for plug spawn or 1 in. deep holes for sawdust spawn into the log spacing the holes about 6 - 8 in. apart within a row. Leave approximately 2 in. between the rows and offset the holes so that they form a hexagonal pattern. A 4 in. diameter log will need 6 rows; a 5 in. diameter log will need 7, and a 6 in. diameter log will need 9 rows. A 4 in. log usually is given about 40 - 50 plugs. A large stump usually requires 100 to 200 holes arranged in a similar hexagonal fashion around the trunk and with holes on the top of the stump as well. Spawn for all mushroom varieties are inoculated into logs and stumps in this manner.


Step 2

If using plug spawn, hammer the plugs into the holes flush with the bark. If using sawdust spawn, plunge the inoculator into the sawdust and then insert the spawn into the holes. Make sure the sawdust spawn is packed tightly into the hole flush with the bark.


Step 3
Cover the plugs or sawdust with cheese wax. To do this, melt the wax in a pan which can be maintained at 300oF. An electric frying pan with a thermostat control works well for this. If inoculating away from electricity, using a camp stove, make sure that the wax is hot when you apply it; otherwise, the wax will not create a tight seal and can easily fall off. The cheese wax will smoke lightly when it is adequately hot. The wax can be applied with a foam brush or dauber.


Step 4

Choose a shady location which receives protection from the wind. Shiitake, woodears, oyster, and Lions mane are usually grown on logs that are leaned against a rail, fence or other similar structure. You can also bury ¼ of the log so that it is standing upright or lay the logs on the ground. For Maitake and chicken of the woods, bury the logs halfway standing upright. For Reishi either lay the logs on the ground or bury the logs length-wise just under the soil surface for enhanced moisture. Larger diameter logs of Reishi in 2 ft lengths can be buried halfway standing upright as a stump.

Log Maintenance

It is very important to take care of your logs while they are colonizing or resting in between fruitings. The easiest way to help with keeping your logs healthy and happy is to cover them with a tarp to keep them out of direct sunlight and to keep the humidity in. Check on your logs regularly to ensure that they are moist. If your logs ever seem dry, water them. Although they obtain their nutrients differently from plants, your mushrooms need water to stay alive just like plants.