Shiitake mushrooms have become extremely popular and have spread from distant Japan to the whole world thanks to the fact that they have many beneficial and healing properties that have been proven in both traditional and modern medicine.
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Shiitake mushrooms, as well as many preparations made from them, are not cheap, and the sale is going great, so growing this type of mushroom can bring you a great income.
Shiitake is traditionally produced in nature on wooden forms, most often oak. In Japan, a local species from the beech family called shi is used, hence the name of this mushroom.
The tree is cut just before the mycelium is sown, although it can be aged for 15-30 days beforehand. It is usually in spring and autumn, when the most suitable conditions for growing. Summer inoculation is not recommended, because there is less sugar in the trees, and the bark is drier, so it is easier to separate from the tree. In that way, the entry of pathogens is facilitated, and where there has been a complete separation, no fertile bodies will be formed.
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There is a possibility that the trees will be felled in the fall and left to winter in the open, and in the spring, before adoption, they will be cut into shapes about a meter long. The best results are achieved when their diameter is from 7 to 15 centimeters.
In markets where this method of production is present, the mycelium is sold in bulk, ie mixed with sawdust or in the form of compact plugs. Before installation, holes are drilled in the shapes with a drill. In the case of plug-shaped mycelium, their diameter should correspond to the diameter of the holes.
The size between the openings in the row is 15, and between the rows 2.5 centimeters. They are drilled alternately so that the distance between them would be equal. After installation, the plugs are hammered and finally covered with warm wax.
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The sawdust with mycelium is inserted into slightly larger openings, into which it is then additionally pressed with a special tool. Even after this procedure, it is necessary to water with warm wax, which protects against moisture loss. It is considered that suppositories are better, because they are easier to install and release moisture more slowly, so in wetter regions, waxing is not even necessary.
Mycelial germination lasts from 6 to 18 months, which depends on the type of tree, the size of the shape, environmental conditions and the quality of the mycelium.
At the end of this period, the forms are transferred to the place for fruiting, which is colder and wetter. This change in environmental conditions accelerates the development of fungi. It has also been found that stress, for some reason, has a good effect on increasing yields, so producers resort to hitting shapes with a hammer.
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The highest yields are obtained during spring and autumn, when the conditions are most favorable. On the same tree, shiitake will bear fruit for several years, until it is completely exhausted, but the highest yields are the second and third. After that, wood can be used for firewood.
It is possible to produce mushrooms on forms in greenhouses.
Trees for this purpose are pre-soaked with water to expel carbon dioxide and provide the necessary moisture. In this way, up to 5 production cycles can be obtained. The advantage is that mushrooms contribute at a time when there are not enough of them on the market, so the price is much higher.
Source: Better Country / Farmer
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