Reishi mushroom Culture and Harvest
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Dave
Posted on: February 02, 2010

I bought a reishi mushroom plug from you and would like to know how and when to harvest or crop it. It is about 20 inches (50cm) high.

We send a culture sheet with all of our mushroom cultures. I wonder if we forgot to do so with your order or if you overlooked it?

I am not sure what you mean by "it" being 20 inches high....

The reishi mushroom comes as a sawdust block inoculated with the mushroom’s spores, with the whole enclosed in a plastic bag. The bag ensures that the block stays moist and the concentration of carbon dioxide inside the bag stays high, all simulating conditions under the soil or in the damp forest duff. Once the mushroom forms antler- like growths -usually in 3-4 months- you take out the plug in the bag- or if there is no plug , cut a small 2cm hole at one end over the greatest concentration of "antlers". This hole will allow the carbon dioxide to escape and make the antlers think that they have pushed through the soil to the air. They will now grow caps. When the caps show no more new lighter coloured growth on the edges, they can be harvested. Make sure the room you keep the culture in has 90-95% humidity . The block is most rapidly colonized at 70-80F (21-27C) (10-20 days) Antlers form best when temperatures are 65-75F (18-24C) and light is 200-500 lux for 4-8 hours per day (14-28 days) Caps form best at 70-80F (21-27C) and light of 500-1000lux increased to 750-1500 lux when caps actually form, for 12 hours per day.(85-90 days)

I would suggest an aquarium with a top and a a thermostatically controlled heater as your culture "room". Have water on the bottom and prop up the block above the water. Use the light to give the required illumination when fruit body formation is to start.

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