Techniques for Buried Log Cultivation
Inoculated logs of Nameko, Reishi, Maitake, and White Elm can be buried after an incubation period of three to six months. Follow our instruction sheet for plug spawn inoculation, then stack the logs and maintain moisture throughout the incubation period.
Once logs have begun to show signs of colonization the logs can be incorporated into your garden or landscaping. Logs can be buried vertically or horizontally in soil, sand or other substrate. Horizontally buried logs can be laid out end-to-end or buried side by side in a “log raft”. The buried portion of the log still needs to be inoculated and will provide food and water for the mushrooms.
Maintenance and care of the logs can be greatly reduced by burying the inoculated logs in a moist location of your garden that will be watered throughout the summer. Possible locations include: a cultivated berry patch, a perennial herb bed, the border of a garden, near fruit trees, or a shaded forest area that stays wet or can be watered in the dry season.
Inoculating stumps is also an option for these species. Site location is key when inoculating stumps or creating artificial stumps. The log or stump must be in a moist location with some shade to prevent the wood from drying out.
Nameko – Pholiota nameko, will do best inoculated onto cherry or alder logs. Bury horizontally with half to one third of the log exposed after incubation period. Fruitings can occur 2-3 times a year in the spring and fall when moisture is high (from sprinkler or rains). Nameko are a delicious delicate mushroom with a nutty flavor.
Reishi – Ganoderma lucidum, prefers maple and oak logs and warmer temperatures. If daytime temperatures are below 70F, the logs should be placed in a greenhouse, hoophouse, or coldframe for incubation and fruiting. The other species we offer are Ganoderma oregonense and Ganoderma tsugae, which grow on conifers. These are both temperate species and can fruit in cooler temperatures. With all Ganoderma species, short inoculated logs can be placed vertically in plant pots and buried with sand and/or gravel. Another method is to bury the entire log horizontally and cover with sawdust, sand, and/or gravel. Reishi has been used for over 2000 years as medicinal mushroom.
Maitake – Grifola frondosa, is a slow growing species and can take up to 2-3 years to begin fruiting. Maitake will grow best on oak logs. The logs can be halfway buried in a horizontal position after the incubation period. Alternately, bury in a vertical position with less than half of the log underground. Maitake will also do well inoculated onto stumps. Maitake is a delicious culinary and medicinal mushroom renowned for its savory rich flavor and medicinal properties.
White Elm – Hypsizygus ulmarius, will grow best on elm or box elder. It is known to benefit vegetable gardens, and would be well placed around the border of garden beds buried horizontally. Logs can be mulched with woodchips or covered with soil/sand. White Elm is an oyster–like mushroom with a superior flavor and meaty texture.