Shiitake Mushroom Production;

It is also called black forest mushroom or log mushroom (Lentinula edodes).

Traditional method of growing shiitake in Japan is growing it on wood logs but in USA and China they found it easy to grow it on synthetic logs due to environmental conservation.

Synthetic Log Method:

Synthetic bag can be made using substrate placed into plastic bags.  Substrate + supplements + buffers

a) Substrate formulations

i) Substrates-Sawdust (cured if not from broad leafed tree varieties), cottonseed hulls, coffee hulls, corn cobs, sunflower seed hulls

ii) PH buffer use calcium carbonate or calcium hydroxide.

iii) Supplement with brown sugar

N.B. Keep bags on cemented floor for better results

Substrate preparation is done same way as oyster.

Incubation stages

1. Spawn run or mycelia growth stage- stage during which digestion of food takes place

2. Mycelial coat formation – mycelia will thicken and become dense forming a coat on the outer side of the sawdust or substrate

Environmental factors triggering coat formation are:

Carbon dioxide: – the higher the CO2, the more the coating and the better the crop.

3. Bump formation on the substrate coat:  This stage can be called the blister stage, popcorn stage.  Too many bumps will increase chances of contamination so reduce the number of bumps by lowering CO2 levels on bags by cutting slits on the polythene bags.

4. Browning\pigmentation\coat hardening

Oxygen stage and Diffused light-.  In the presence of oxygen and light, oxidation occurs and the white Mycelia turn reddish brown on the surface of the mycelia while middle of the bag remains white.  When one third of bag turns brown, they are ready for fruiting.


Is triggered by changing the environment:





Ways of triggering fruiting

Spraying cold water

Physical shaking

Soaking in cold water

Electrical stimulation


Shiitake mushroom will be ready for picking after 8 days.  After 14 days you can get another flush.  First flush of shiitake mushroom comes 3-4 months of incubation.  There can be a total of 4 flushes.

After harvesting separate harvested bags from the rest to reverse the environment as it was in beginning


Most common species;

Ganoderma luciderm.

Other species are

Ganoderma applanatum

Ganoderma oregonense

It is not an edible mushroom but most important medicinal mushroom.  It has been documented in material medical and classified as a superior herb 2000 years ago.

As a medicinal mushroom, it is used in small\low doses and costs US$500/kg

Has similar production process as oyster mushroom but incubation takes place at 85% RH.  It forms a wide primordial (pin heading) margin which disappears when the mushroom is ready for picking.

Primordial formation to picking takes 3- 4 weeks.

Utilization of Ganoderma:

Dry the ganoderma mushroom (this will keep for long), grind.  Boil powder in water.  Let it simmer for 30-60 minutes. It is used in manufacturing of mushroom tea/ coffee