SHIITAKE MUSHROOM KIT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
GROW ONE, GIVE ONE
Did you notice our Grow One, Give One campaign on your Shiitake Grow Kit Instructions? At Back to the Roots, we're a small, passionate team on a mission to reconnect families back to where food comes from. As part of that mission, for every Indoor Gardening Kit product you post a photo with, we'll donate the same product & a custom curriculum to an elementary school classroom of your choice! Learn more and send us your photo at BacktotheRoots.com/GiveOne
The log has already pre-fruited when I open the box. What do I do now?
- It’s OK if the log pre-fruited — shiitakes are an aggressive species — and it just means the mycelium is healthy and active, and your growing environment is perfect. If the pre-fruit pin size is larger than a dime, skip the soaking step, and start spraying water on the block or rinse the log directly under tap water. Then cover the log with the plastic bag for 2-3 days to keep moist until the mushrooms begin to grow larger.
I received the log, but it broke into a few pieces. Is the log still good?
- Yes, the log is still great and the mycelium is not damaged when broken. You may grow them as if you received two logs. Just soak them both per the instructions, place both in the bag, and remove them when you start seeing pinning.
I saw green mold on the log. What do I do now?
- Think of this as a mold that sometimes appears on fruit or bread. If the conditions are right (humidity + heat) it can show up as the block is nutrient-rich. It is ok to scrape off the mold and then rinse the log off under tap water. Continue growing as usual. If it is all over the log, please contact us for a replacement.
What shall I do if my log has not started fruiting after one week?
- Spray water more frequently or soak the block again until it weighs around 4 lbs to promote pinning. You may also rinse the log directly under the tap water for a few minutes to keep it moist. The alternative is to wrap the log in the plastic bag and put it in the fridge and take it out after 24 hours (repeat the process after 24 hrs if no pinning has started). The temperature change may promote fruiting.
Can I recycle the spent Shiitake log into my compost bin?
- Yes. It’s an excellent amendment to compost. Or, you may bury ⅔ of the log underground and leave ⅓ above ground in a shaded area in your yard. The log may fruit again in the future.
What is the substrate made from?
- The substrates are a mixture of fruitwood, sawdusts, brans, and gypsum.
What temperature is best to grow my Shiitakes?
Do I need to grow the log under direct sunlight?
- No need to put the log under direct sunlight. Indirect light from a window or artificial light will work great.
How do I decide when it’s ready to harvest?
- Harvest your mushrooms before the mushroom caps start to flatten.
If I don’t plan to grow the block immediately, how shall I store the log?
- Keep the log inside the box without wrapping it in the plastic bag. Put the box in the fridge until ready to use.
How do I lay the log after soaking?
- For best results, lay the log horizontally and place it on a shallow dish or tray.
My growing environment is pretty dry. Can I keep the log inside the plastic bag for the entire growing time until harvest?
- Yes, our 12-hole plastic bag has ample room to serve as a humidity tent to keep the log moist until harvest.