How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms on Logs


Growing oyster mushrooms can be a very rewarding experience. Fresh, organically grown mushrooms are very expensive and sometimes hard to find, making growing your own oyster mushrooms an economical choice. You can grow oyster mushrooms on straw or sawdust, but one of the best ways to grow oyster mushrooms is on cut logs. You can purchase the oyster mushroom plug spawn needed for growing the mushrooms on the Internet. The best time to start the process is in early spring after the last frost.

Step 1

Choose an appropriate log that is 3 to 4 feet long and a maximum of 14 inches in diameter. Pine or cedar logs are not recommended, but most hardwoods are a good selection. In winter or spring, find and cut a log with some small cracks in it to help propagate the mushroom mycelium. Allow the log to age for at least three months before plugging.

Step 2

Drill holes in the log about 2 inches deep and 4 inches apart in a diamond pattern. Insert the oyster mushroom plug spawn fully into the holes, tapping them into the log using a rubber mallet. Plug the full length and circumference of the log. On the ends of the log, insert some plugs under the bark all around the circumference.

Step 3

Place the logs where they will be exposed to rain. During a very dry period, water the logs every three or four days.

Step 4

Cover your logs with burlap, straw or other porous material to protect them in freezing weather. Make sure water vapor is able to escape. You can also move the logs inside a shed or garage in extremely cold areas.

Step 5

Pick your mushrooms after a period of nine to 12 months. When established, a log can produce for four to five years and will "fruit" from spring to early fall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not cover the inoculated logs with plastic, because the plastic will trap the moisture and create mold, eventually killing the mushroom mycelium. If you're using Alder logs, keep them off the ground, as they are prone to rapid decomposition when in contact with the soil. Don't use a freshly cut log, as it may continue to fight off fungus growth. Also, avoid using a very old, dead log, because it will lack sufficient nutrients for the growth of your mushrooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Hardwood logs
  • Electric drill
  • Oyster mushroom plug spawn (colonized by pure mushroom mycelium)
  • Rubber mallet
  • Burlap, straw or other porous material


  • Fungi Perfect, LLC: Products for Log and Stump Cultivation
  • Gourmet Mushrooms: Gourmet Woodland Mushrooms

Who Can Help

  • Oyster Mushroom Recipes
  • Everything Mushrooms: Pearl Oyster Mushroom Log
Keywords: grow oyster mushrooms, grow mushroom logs, oyster mushroom log

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.

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