Lion’s Mane and Comb Tooth on Logs

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Video growing lions mane on logs

Lion’s Mane and Comb Tooth mushrooms are cousin species within the Hericium group. They have the same preferences, planting instructions, and similar fruiting conditions and flavors. These mushrooms can be inoculated using the standard Drill-and-Fill Method or the Totem Method. Details for each are below. Maintaining and managing logs after planting is a matter of moisture management and patience. Before you begin, please be sure you have good quality logs to make the best possible Hericium experience. Follow the steps below for inoculating and managing your Hericium logs.

1. Cut the logs Healthy, living trees should be cut during the dormant season and rested a minimum of 2 weeks prior to inoculating. This allows time for the tree’s defense system to die back. Protect the logs from drying out by storing them low to the ground (but out of the soil and leaf layer), out of the sun and wind, and where they can receive natural rainfall. Logs can be rested until inoculation for longer than 2 weeks, however there is increased risk of contamination and losing vital log moisture beyond 6 weeks.

*Logs can be cut to size for either the Drill-and-Fill Inoculation Method using standard log sizes (3-8˝ diameter x 36-40˝ length) or the Totem Inoculation Method using larger diameter logs (6-12″ diameter x 6-12″ length).

NOTE: Logs can be cut to size for either the Drill-and-Fill Inoculation Method using standard log size (3-8″ diameter x 36″-40″ length) or the Totem Inoculation Method using larger diameter logs (6-12″ diameter x 6-12″ length).

Drill-and-Fill Method

2. Drill the holes Drill the holes to a 1˝ depth following the diamond pattern (Figure below) for roughly 80 holes per log. Plug spawn requires 8.5mm (5/16˝) drill bit, and sawdust spawn typically requires 12mm (7/16˝) drill bit.

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3. Inoculate, seal, and label Plug Spawn: Use a hammer and gently tap in one plug per hole so it is flush with the surface of the log. Sawdust spawn: Break apart the spawn and inject in into each of the holes, typically with use of a tool.

Wax the holes as the logs are inoculated to protect the spawn and the log from drying out and reduce the risk of contamination. Be sure the hole is completely sealed. Waxing the ends of the logs is not necessary. Plug wax is an easy alternative to melting cheese wax and is easily applied using your finger as if you’re applying lip balm over the end of the plug and hole opening. Hot wax is faster to apply and works better with sawdust spawn. Consider using wax daubers or the Okuda wax applicator. The flash point of cheese wax is 450°F. Do not overheat the wax! Turn down the heat if the wax begins to smoke. Consider labeling your logs using aluminum tags.

4. Incubate logs and manage for moisture Once inoculated, place your logs in a shaded area, protected from the sun and wind, low to the ground or directly on the ground, and where they can receive natural rainfall. Maintaining moisture during this phase is the most critical step to mushroom production success. We recommend your logs receive 1˝ of rain per week. If it is dry, you may need to sprinkle your logs. Logs will produce mushrooms in the fall typically a full year after planting when the conditions for fruiting are ideal. Harvest mushrooms by twisting them off the log once the spines reach ¼˝. Store them in the refrigerator until you enjoy your bounty.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>