mushroom mushroom
January 20, 2009 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Making my own mushroom plugs?

So I'm about to start my oak log mushroom garden by putting colonized mushroom plugs in a fresh oak log. I had to buy all of my plugs, which appear to be a wooden dowel that has been colonized by fungi of my choice.

Can I make my own mushroom plugs by putting a fresh dowel in a previously colonized log, or is there more to it than that?
posted by Pants! to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There's more to it than that. It's my understanding that you have to soak sterilized wooden dowels with grain spawn to make mushroom plugs. The same places that sell inoculated plugs should also sell the plain kind along with the other supplies you'd need.
posted by bcwinters at 1:23 PM on January 20, 2009

Strongly suggest you look into books by Paul Stamets, the bottom line guru of mushrooms. Short answer is you can do just about anything yourself with mushroom cultivation (as with Orchids, much technique in cultivation has pioneered/improved/perfected by amateurs and home-hobbyists in fact) but in general getting to the spawn state is a tricky process where sterility issues are important. There is also a factor with mushrooms where if spawn is carried over too many times on the same medium it loses its capacity to fruit. I never tried shitakes (as I assume you're cultivating) but I know Stamets has covered them.
posted by nanojath at 2:13 PM on January 20, 2009

Seconding Stamets. And sterile conditions are more important than you might think.
posted by ryanrs at 4:26 PM on January 20, 2009

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