Plug Spawn Pack – Maitake, Hen of the Woods Mushroom, Grifola frondosa – 100 plugs
5 in stock
Pack of 100 plugs
What is mushroom plug spawn?
Mushroom plug spawn is spiral grooved hardwood dowels infused (inoculated) with a specific mushroom species, in this case maitake, or hen of the woods mushroom (Grifola fondosa). The mushroom mycelium (the white, root-like network of cells) colonizes and penetrates the dowels as it consumes the lignins provided by the wood.
Maitake logs and stumps are fun to make, require little maintenance, and will produce mushrooms for years. Inoculate your own prepared logs or stumps using our 5/16in x 1in spiral grooved colonized plug spawn.
Making maitake mushroom logs/stumps
Soak recently cut hardwood logs of two to three feet in length, four to six inches in diameter, in a tub of fresh water, or under a slow soaking hose for 48 hours. Utilize deciduous hardwoods similar to, or from among the following: oaks, elms, maples, honey locust, black gum, beech. Freshly cut wood can be used without soaking.
Unlike other wood-loving saprophytic mushrooms, Maitake can be used to inoculate stumps or wood that has not been freshly cut, although fresh wood is highly recommended to increase harvest potential. High inoculation rates (more plugs, closer together) is highly recommended for aged wood.
Prepare plug spawn inoculation sites by drilling 5/16in x 1 1/2in holes in a spiral pattern starting at one end of the log or stump and working towards the other. Space each hole approximately 4-6 inches away from the last. Number of holes will vary, for most logs and stumps 20-30 is good.
Inoculate the log by hammering colonized plugs into each hole. Using a small punch to sink the top of the plug 1/4in or so below the surface is recommended.
Seal the inoculation sites by dripping melted cheese wax onto each hole. Cheese wax is easy to work with and can be melted in a double boiler. We use a small 2.5 quart crock pot dedicated to this purpose. Wax can be dripped on with a brush, distributed with a large dropper, turkey baster, or easy to use 10cc B-D inoculation syringes. A markable metal write-on tag can be stapled or tacked to the end of the log for long term identification.
Caring for maitake mushroom logs/stumps
Logs should be buried underground slightly below surface level in a shaded area. Frequent and normal rainfall should keep them moist, but logs and stumps may require soaking with a sprinkler or soaker hose if things dry up.
Spring inoculated logs may produce mushrooms by Fall, but will typically take up to one year to mature. Once mature, Maitake logs and stumps will usually produce during the same 2-4 week period of time each year. Be sure to check your patches frequently to target this fruiting time, and mark it on your calendar for the future.
Properly maintained logs will continue to produce mushrooms for many seasons!
For information and pictures of log plugging and care please visit Cathy’s Lab, blog when-is-the-best-time-to-plug-logs-and-other-nitty-gritty-on-mushroom-log-cultivation
Check out the following titles from our Mushroom Bookstore:
- Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, Third Edition by Paul Stamets
- Mycelium Running : How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul StametsAvailable in 100 plug packs and 500 plug packs