How to Grow Reishi Mushrooms on Sawdust Substrate
This way to grow reishi outside is easier, way faster than the traditional log culture, and it is a lot of fun. It involves taking a completely inhabited sawdust fruiting unit and planting it into soil for harvesting.
Step 1: Make Reishi Mushroom Fruiting Block
To create the colonized fruiting mushrooms unit, follow steps one through four of the above detailed guide on growing reishi indoors. When completely colonized, small fruiting bodies called antlers will begin growing within the block. Now is when you should bring the block of reishi outside and “plant” it.
Step 2: Plant The Reishi Fruiting Block
You can grow fruiting blocks directly into the soil, or into raised beds or planting boxes. Reishi requires indirect light, heat, and humidity for growth. If your reishi antlers are drying, it will not grow. If you do not have a hot, shaded, protected spot in your garden, you are going to have to cover your reishi with something and set up a miniature greenhouse so that the sun and wind cannot dry them out.
Once you’ve chosen your spot, pull the reishi blocks out of their bags, dig a hole, and plant the blocks into soil, covering the tops with a thin layer of soil. The soil helps to hold the moisture, but is not necessary for growing reishi, since all of the nutrients that the reishi needs are already contained within the hardwood wood shavings block. But, mycelia can take a few nutrients from the soil too. Once you have “planted” the reishi blocks, saturate the soil thoroughly with the hose to ensure that it has adequate water.
Step 3: Fruiting Time
The needles that begin to grow in your lock when you are holding a bag can be killed. But, after a week or so of planting your reishi blocks, you should start seeing new pins begin growing.
Moisture levels are crucial in growing mushrooms, particularly during the initial stages, when the pins are developing. We recommend misting reishi with a spray bottle every day during this phase to make sure it stays moist. Your reishi will continue to grow and flatten out to ripe, shiny red fruiting bodies, and may be ready to harvest in about six weeks.
Step 4: Harvesting Reishi
You can harvest your reishi at any point in its growth, but the best time is when the mature reishi is harvesting, right before they drop the spores. Try to stand as close as you can to the blocks, then cut reishi from their fruiting blocks with a sharp knife blade or serrated blade.
When to Plant Reishi Mushrooms
If you are growing your own Reishi outside, on logs, the best time to plant is spring, but you can plant all summer. If you are growing reishi outdoors using fruiting blocks, you can plant throughout the spring and summer, just keep in mind that reishi grows best between 75-85F (24-29C). Outdoors, reishi will ripen early to mid-summer, and if you get an extended period of cold weather, you might want to protect your mushrooms pin. When growing reishi mushrooms indoors under controlled conditions, you can grow them all year long.