How to Care For Your Logs
An indoor environment is not the ideal environment like nature provides outdoors. Please follow the below instructions carefully. Follow step #1 to start your logs indoors, and begin on step #10 to start your log outside.
MUSHROOM LOG CARE AND FRUITING INSTRUCTIONS
LOG CARE FOR INDOORS
- Take your 2FunGuy mushroom log out of the box and remove all packaging around the log, but leave the silver tags with the type of mushroom and date of inoculation on it. The log also has wax covering the ends and the inoculation points. Please keep the wax on the log; it will fall off over time, but its needed to retain moisture in the log. The log will be ready to attempt fruiting in about 4 to 6 months from the date of inoculation on the silver tag. Regardless of the date on the log, please follow step #2 immediately after unpacking.
- Completely submerge the log in non-chlorinated (well, rain, river, filtered, creek, distilled, etc.) water for 24 hours. You can use any container you like, for example: a bathtub, a 5-gallon bucket, a rectangular potting tray, etc. The container only has to be large enough to cover the log with water by about 6 inches. You can use tap water; however, you will need to let the water sit for at least 1 day before placing log in container to allow the chlorine to evaporate. If the log floats, place an object on top to keep the log submerged completely for 24 hours. Be creative in your submerging, and don’t forget about the log! Soaking for much longer than 24 hours will make the log lose its pants to soon, and nobody likes a pants-less log! Yes, we are referring to the bark!
- If the inoculation date on your log is over 4 months old, then proceed to step #3, and begin the fruiting process.
- If your log is younger than 4 months, proceed to step #4 and repeat soaking the log every 6 weeks until the log is old enough to fruit.
- Once the log has been hydrated (submerged for 24hrs), pat the log dry with paper towels or a clean rag. We recommend placing the log in your refrigerator overnight. By placing the log in the fridge, you are creating a temperature difference simulating a cool fall/spring night. Most houses have conditioned air, which translates to relatively constant temperatures and humidity. Mushrooms need temperature fluctuations and moisture/humidity to grow and produce fruit. You must provide these ingredients to the log. By soaking the log, you are giving it moisture, and by placing the log in the fridge, you are creating the temperature change of nightfall. These changes will kick the mushroom into gear to fruit! You only need to place the log in the fridge for one night after each soak. Just one night. Another way to create the temperature change is to add several cups of ice to the soaking process. The ice or the refrigerator will not hurt the log.
- Find a nice dark spot in your home to place the log. The log should be resting on a plate or in a tray. You can stand the log on its end or lay it flat. Preferably you would like the area out of direct sunlight and away from any vents that blow conditioned air. The log can be in the same room as vents and sunlight, just not in the direct path of either. Ideally this room will be between 65 and 80 degrees. Lower and higher temps will slow the fruiting process dramatically.
- What is the other thing mushrooms need to grow? Yeppers, moisture! You have just soaked the log and taken it from the refrigerator, placed it in a tray or on a plate. Now you will need to make sure that moisture will not escape to quickly. This step will take some trial and error on your end to determine what works the best for your situation. The trick is to keep the environment moist, but without keeping the log dripping wet with water. To create a microclimate that is humid, we have used plastic bags tented over the log leaving space at the bottom for air flow, and remember to “tent” the bag over the log and not wrap the log in the bag. The least amount of the bag should be touching the log as possible. Use a spray bottle to spray the plate or tray on a consistent basis to keep humidity levels high. You will need to take the bag off once the log starts to pin with little shiitakes. These pins (primordial stage) should start to appear between 4 to 10 days after soaking depending on your specific conditions. Continue to spray the plate and tray while the mushrooms are growing, and it’s best to avoid getting the mushrooms wet.
- Anywhere from 5 to 10 days after the pins first appear, you will be ready to harvest. To harvest your delicious homegrown mushroom, grab a sharp knife and cut the stem of the mushroom flush with the log. That’s it! Nothing else needs to be done at this time EXCEPT: eating your delicious mushrooms!
- After you have harvested and enjoyed your mushrooms, let the log rest for 8 to 12 weeks before you start the fruiting process again.
- If your log did not produce mushrooms this time, allow it to rest for 8 to 12 weeks, and repeat the above steps to try again. Please read the FAQs at the end of these instructions.
- Keep in mind this is an all-natural product and each log has different nutrient contents and can fruit at different rates. The initial fruiting can be as quick as 4 months and some can take over a year. Once you see the first mushrooms, your wait is over! The log should fruit several times over its lifetime!
LOG CARE FOR THE OUTDOORS
- Remove all packaging from your 2FunGuy log! Leave the silver date tag and the wax on the log. The wax is used to retain the moisture in the inoculation sites. Completely submerge the log in non-chlorinated (well, rain, river, filtered, creek, distilled, etc.) water for 24 hours. You can use any container you like, for example: a bathtub, a 5-gallon bucket, a rectangular potting tray, etc. The container only has to be large enough to cover the log with water by about 6 inches. You can use tap water; however, you will need to let the water sit for at least 1 day before placing log in container to allow the chlorine to evaporate. If the log floats, place an object on top to keep the log submerged completely for 24 hours. Be creative in your submerging, and don’t forget about the log! Soaking for much longer than 24 hours will make the log lose its pants to soon, and nobody likes a pants-less log! Yes, we are referring to the bark!
- Once the log has hydrated for 24 hours, choose a nice shady spot in your yard for your mushroom log. You can lean the log against a shady fence or tree. The end of the log should be elevated off the ground a few inches. Check the log for moisture content every few weeks to make sure it is not drying out. If the log feels light, soak it for 24 hours and return the log to the shady spot in your yard.
- When the spawn run is complete, the mycelium takes 6-12 Months from the inoculation date to start fruiting. When you can see fine white fibers (hyphae) running through the ends of the log they are ready for fruiting.
- To initiate fruiting, shock the logs by knocking one end of the log sharply on hard ground and submerging the log in cold water for 24hrs. The water should be non-chlorinated. Please refer to steps 2 or 10 for options.
- Pins (beginning stages of a mushroom) should appear in 4 to 10 days after the soaking. The time frame depends on your unique environment.
- The mushrooms will be ready to harvest in 5 to 10 days. You can harvest at any time by taking a sharp blade and cutting them flush with the log at the base of the mushroom; however, it is best to harvest them just after the gills are exposed and the caps are still concave.
- Let the logs rest after each fruiting for 10 to 12 weeks. This resting period is for the mycelium to extract more nutrients from the log for more mushrooms. Then repeat the above steps to “force” fruit the log again. You can expect several great flushes of mushrooms over the lifetime of the log.