Shiitake Mushroom Grow Block Kit
Congratulations, you are now the owner of a shiitake mushroom grow block. The “block” is composed mainly of hardwood sawdust and wood chips bound together with mushroom tissue or “mycelium” contained in a plastic bag. Mycelium is the white fluffy material covering the outside of the block. This will naturally turn brown as the block matures. The white mycelium is very delicate and you should avoid touching it as much as possible. When moving the block, hold onto the top and bottom to minimize damage. If you wish to delay the fruiting for a few days, place the block in the refrigerator without opening the bag.
Expose the block to fresh air by completely removing the plastic bag. Loosely drape the supplied humidity tent over the block. The tent is long and you may need to roll up the open end to shorten it. You can safely support the humidity tent with skewers, chopsticks or even wooden pencils poked into the block. You are trying to prevent rapid drying which will stunt or prevent mushroom growth.
Set your block on an uplifted platform such as an upside down pie pan on a dinner plate. This will allow any excess moisture to drain off and collect in the plate, preventing damage to furniture.
Locate a place where your block will receive light, but not direct sunlight. Light is necessary for shiitake mushroom development, unlike the common button mushroom which can grow in complete darkness. Mist the surface of the shiitake block and the inside of the humidity tent with water from a spray bottle as often as you think about it. Several times a day is not too much but at least twice a day is recommended. Avoid misting the developing mushrooms directly or they may become soggy and start to rot.
The shiitake block will start mushroom formation about one to two weeks after removing the plastic bag. Temperatures need to be cool, 55-65F. They will first appear as small bumps and then quickly mature into fully formed mushrooms. Harvest your mushrooms before the mushroom cap edges flatten and curl upward. Remove all mushrooms large and small buy cutting them at their base.
Your block should produce two to four cycles of mushroom crops before becoming exhausted. Near the final crop the block will be surprisingly smaller than its original size.
Everything Mushrooms – 1004 Sevier Ave. - Knoxville TN, 37920 865.329.7566 - http://everythingmushrooms.com