Shiitake Log - Care Instructions


Welcome to your Shiitake Mushroom Log!  This log is already innoculated and has gourmet mushrooms inside of it! If you follow the instructions, this log will produce mushroom “flushes” up to three times per year for at least two more years. The start time and the number of years depends on the innoculation date. If you forget these dates, email us and let us know when and where you got the log!



If kept in an area with full shade but that also receives rainfall, the log will “flush” on it’s own after rains and when temperatures have come within 60-75°C. Keep an eye on it for your mushrooms!


Alternately, if you want to control when the mushrooms are produced (still needs to be in the 60-75°C range, you can leave it in a shady, covered area and then:

  1. Submerge log in a container of COLD water overnight.

  2. Keep it submerged by placing a weight (ie: brick) over the log.

  3. Cover with a dark cloth in a shady spot.

  4. “Shock” the log. Remove from water and with a firm grip, smack both ends of the log either on a hard surface or with a hammer. One blunt blow.

  5. Stand the log on its end with ground contact on the shady side of your house. Keep the soil under the log moist, but not soaking wet.

  6. Within a few days, mushroom “buds” will start to appear on the log. In the first cycle, there may only be a few mushrooms. Afterwards, the entire log may be covered.  If no mushrooms appear the first time, let the log rest for 3 weeks and soak and activate it again.

  7. It is time to harvest your crop of mushrooms when the mushrooms are well rounded and the gills open 

  8. Pick the mushrooms by pinching the base of the stem and twisting or cutting them off with a sharp knife.

  9. Whenever a harvest season ends (Spring and Fall), leave the log in a shaded area where it is exposed to rain and earth. Let the log rest for 6 weeks before you soak and strike the log again. Be sure that the area the log is in does not get overly dry over the year.

Questions and Answers

Q. What if I skip a cycle and don’t shock the log?

A. If you skip a cycle there will not be any adverse effects. The log may fruit spontaneously if the conditions are right. If not, the mycelium will just continue to work inside the log and produce larger mushrooms the next time you shock the log.

Q. Can I grow the mushrooms inside?
A. It’s _possible_. But, because of factors including low humidity, lack of light cycles and rainfall, It’s not recommended.

Q. What happens after the log is “spent?”
A. The old log can be used as firewood or set to decompose in a wooded area. Who knows, maybe some more shiitake will pop up elsewhere years down the road! 🙂

Q. I think my log may have dried out. What can I do?
A. If you think your log has dried out, soak it more frequently with COLD water. (Once a week for 2-4 weeks)  

Q. How quickly will I get mushrooms after shocking the log?
A. The speed of the fruiting depends on the temperature and humidity around the log. 

Q. How important is the bark of the log?
A. The bark is the “skin” of your log, keeping moisture in and bad stuff out. Bark care includes keeping the log out of the sun avoiding constant dampness. This is why standing the logs on their ends is such a good idea so it doesn’t have an entire side constantly in ground contact. (This also keeps the mushrooms from getting squashed and dirty as they pop out. Handle the bark with care throughout your process.

Q. What if I live in an apartment or condominium (balcony or courtyard?)
A. For condo/apartment balconies or sunnier areas, consider placing a tarp, large cardboard box or other barrier around your log (but not touching) to further ensure that the log does not receive direct sun or dry out in the wind.

Awesome Mushroom Books


Farming the Woods

Chelsea Green Press

Ken Mudge & Steve Gabriel


Mushroom Cultivation for Beginners

Kris Rowsan