How to grow Shiitake mushrooms

Welcome Future Mushroom Farmer!

Are you ready to grow the best shiitake mushrooms you’ve ever tried?

Hopefully if you are on this page that means you ordered one of our Shiitake Mini Mushroom Farm Kitsor Shiitake log by itself. If not… then maybe this will inspire you to order ;) 

The purpose of this page is to give you an overview of how to properly grow your shiitake mushrooms.

We’ve boiled down over 20+ years of mushroom farming experience into a few EASY steps that anyone should be able to replicate!

** If you ordered one of our kits then you should have received a Farmer’s Handbook with the same instructions. Click here to download.
** Down below is a video version of these instructions. Growing instructions have changed slightly from the time of recording this video.

Anyways… Let’s get right to it!

Shiitake mushrooms have grown in the wild mountainous regions of Asia for thousands of years and our goal as mushroom farmers is to help replicate those conditions in order to help them grow.

3 most important factors to remember are:

  1. They love temperatures between 60°F - 75°F. If it’s too cold or too hot it will cause issues with the growing process.
  2. Water is the lifeblood of most living things and that includes shiitake mushrooms! The more water that the mushroom log and the spores inside have access to the better.
  3. The higher the humidity the better! 70% and above is great.Here at the farm we have an average of 80%-85%.

Ahh! I almost forgot about this detail...

IMPORTANT: Put your log into the refrigerator as soon as you get it!

The reason why we do this is to mimic the winter season which allows the mushroom spawn to remain dormant until it’s ready to grow.

It must be in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours before starting the growing process - it can last from 1-2 weeks in case you don’t want to start yet. If left any longer it will probably start to grow on it's own or spores will die out.


Step #1: Take the log out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

This will shock your mushrooms into thinking that the season changed from winter to spring so they will be excited to start growing.


Step #2: Soak and submerge the mushroom log for 4-6 hours.

The mushroom spawn needs plenty of water in order to grow. By soaking the log for several hours it allows the log to fully absorb the water and gives a great initial boost of water needed for growing. It’s easier if you place a pot or something on top of the log to keep it fully submerged.


Step #3: Take log and place into your box or growing container

After the soaking process - your log is ready to find a home. If you are using the mushroom kit box you can fill up the black trays with water and place the log on top of those trays.

(Visit MK.FARM/HOME for examples of other growing setups if you want to experiment)


Step #4: Spray the log multiple times everyday! At least 3-4 times a day.

You’ve made it past the hard part! All you have to do from now on is spray as much as you can. This will prevent the log from getting dry, gives the shiitake spawn the water it needs to grow and it will keep the environment surrounding the log more humid which all combine into giving your mushrooms a better chance of growing stronger!


Step 5: Pinning & Pruning

Within 5-10 days (if not sooner) you will reach the “pinning” stage. This means that you are doing a great job! These little “pins” are baby mushrooms that will start to double in size everyday until they are ready to be harvested! 

Now it’s time to decide on how you want your mushrooms to grow and look. In simple terms, the growing energy is spready evenly throughout all the mushroom pins.

We recommend “pruning” which means removing some of htep ins from the log (usually you start with pins that are clumped together or on the bottom part of the log so that the remaining pins have room to grow. All you have to do is pinch and pull them off the log to “prune” them.

More pins = more mushrooms, but smaller

Less pins = less mushrooms, but bigger

At the farm we leave about 12-15 pins and do our best to space them out so they have room to grow nicely, but it’s totally your call!


Step #6: After several days of growth; it’s harvest time!

Congratulations on becoming a successful mushroom farmer! Now it’s time to harvest and enjoy the mushrooms of your labor.

Here are examples of when it’s a great time to harvest your mushrooms:

In order to harvest - you want to make sure to pinch firmly at the base and pull the mushrooms off completely and make sure to remove some of the left over stem if any is left on the log.

Once you complete your harvest - you are ready to eat the freshest mushrooms you ever had!

Check out some of our favorite recipes and ways to prepare them!