How To Grow Maitake at Home

Embark on a journey to cultivate your own bountiful harvest of maitake mushrooms with ShroomSpy's comprehensive growing guides and expert tips. Delve into the fascinating world of 'hen of the woods' mushrooms and unlock their full potential as a powerhouse of nutrients and health benefits. From boosting your immune system to potentially reducing inflammation, maitake mushrooms offer a myriad of advantages for your well-being. Let us guide you through the rewarding process of growing and enjoying these flavorful fungi, bringing a taste of nature's goodness right to your doorstep.

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Natural Habitat

Ecosystem:

Deciduous trees (particularly oak)

Locations:

North America, Asia, Europe

Seasons:

Late summer to fall

Climate:

Temperate

Substrate:

Wood logs or wood chips

Growing Params

Difficulty:

Moderate

Total Time:

41 - 82 Days

PH Range:

5 - 6

Pref Suppl's:

Gypsum

Yield Performance

Units:

% Weight of Substrate

Poor:

10

Average:

20

Good:

30

Excellent:

40

Culture Instructions

Agar Cultivation

Supplies Needed

  • Agar Powder: Cellular medium for agar plates.
  • Petri Dishes: Containers for pouring agar medium.
  • Agar Jar: Narrow Mouth Jar with Sealing Lid is optimal.
  • Parafilm: For Sealing the agar after innoculation. Grafting Tape is also sufficient.
  • Scissors: Tool for cutting sealing tape to length.
  • Stir Plate: Optional: Thorough mixing with sagenetic stirrir improves results by distributing nutrients evenly
  • Nutrient Medium: Nutrition can be Light Malt Extract, Honey, Karo ext. For Mycelial Expansion.
  • Suppliments: Suppliments not required, but can sometimes be added to the liquid culture medium to increase growth rates.
  • Clean Environment: Flow Hood is optimal, but a still air box can be used.
  • Pressure Cooker: Equipment for sterilizing agar mixture and Petri dishes.
  • Scalpel or Innoculation Loop: Tool for transferring mycelium to agar plates.
  • Alcohol Lamp or Burner: Sterilization tool for flame sterilizing instruments.

Growing Params

Recipe: MEA

Temperature Range:70 - 75 °F

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:14 - 30 Days

Cultivation Notes: Maintain sterile conditions during agar preparation

Liquid Culture

Supplies Needed

  • Sterile Jar: Clean container for liquid culture inoculation.
  • Modified Lid: Lid should have a filter port for gas exchange. Syringe Port Optional.
  • Clean Environment: Flow Hood is optimal, but a still air box can be used.
  • Nutrient Medium: Nutrition can be Light Malt Extract, Honey, Karo ext. For Mycelial Expansion.
  • Suppliments: Suppliments not required, but can sometimes be added to the liquid culture medium to increase growth rates.
  • Pressure Cooker: Equipment for sterilizing liquid culture medium.
  • Scalpel or Syringe: Tool for transferring mycelial mass to growth medium.
  • Alcohol Lamp or Burner: Sterilization tool for flame sterilizing instruments.

Growing Params

Recipe: MHLC

Temperature Range:70 - 75 °F

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:15 - 30 Days

Cultivation Notes: Maintain proper airflow and ventilation in the liquid cultureStir Daily

Agar Cultivation

  1. Prepare the agar medium by mixing agar powder with water according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Autoclave the agar medium to sterilize it and let it cool to around 50°C.
  3. Pour the agar medium into sterile petri dishes, filling them about halfway full.
  4. Allow the agar to solidify in the petri dishes in a sterile environment, such as a laminar flow hood.
  5. Using a sterile technique, transfer a small piece of maitake mushroom tissue onto the agar surface in each petri dish.
  6. Seal the petri dishes with parafilm or tape to prevent contamination.
  7. Incubate the petri dishes at the optimal temperature for maitake mushroom mycelium growth, typically around 25-30°C.
  8. Check the petri dishes regularly for signs of contamination or growth of maitake mycelium.
  9. Once the mycelium has fully colonized the agar medium, you can use it to inoculate your substrate for fruiting.

Liquid Culture Cultivation

  1. Prepare a sterile work area by cleaning all surfaces with a disinfectant and using a flow hood or still air box.
  2. Gather all necessary materials including a maitake mushroom liquid culture syringe, sterile liquid culture medium, and sterile containers.
  3. Heat the liquid culture medium in a pressure cooker or autoclave to sterilize it and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Inject the maitake mushroom liquid culture syringe into the sterile liquid culture medium using aseptic techniques.
  5. Seal the containers with breathable lids or micropore tape to allow for gas exchange while preventing contamination.
  6. Incubate the liquid culture containers in a dark, warm area with temperatures around 75-80°F (24-27°C) for 2-4 weeks.
  7. Check the liquid culture containers regularly for signs of growth such as mycelium growth or cloudiness in the medium.
  8. Once the liquid culture is fully colonized with mycelium, it is ready to be used to inoculate substrate for fruiting.

Spawn Instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Mason Jars or Bags: Containers for sterilizing and inoculating grains.
  • Modified Lid: Lid should have a filter port for gas exchange. Syringe Port Optional.
  • Grains: Substrate material for spawn inoculation. (e.g. Rye, Millet)
  • Clean Environment: Flow Hood is optimal, but a still air box can be used.
  • Suppliments: Suppliments not required, but can sometimes be added to the grain medium to increase growth rates.
  • Pressure Cooker: Equipment for sterilizing grain substrate.
  • Inoculation Tool : Tool for transferring colonized spawn to substrate. (e.g. Scalpel, Syringe)
  • Alcohol Lamp or Burner: Sterilization tool for flame sterilizing instruments.

Growing Params

Spawn Material: Whole Oats

Temperature Range:70 - 75 °F

Moisture Content:49 - 55 %

Fresh Air Exchange:0 - 1 / Hour

CO2 Range:20000 - 40000 ppm

Growth Duration:14 - 30 Days

Grain Spawn Prep and Innoculation

  1. Prepare your grain spawn by sterilizing your grain of choice (such as rye, millet, or wheat) in a pressure cooker or autoclave.
  2. Allow the grain to cool to room temperature before inoculating with maitake mushroom culture.
  3. In a sterile environment, transfer a small amount of maitake mushroom culture to the cooled grain spawn using a sterile syringe or inoculation loop.
  4. Mix the culture into the grain spawn thoroughly to ensure even distribution.
  5. Seal the inoculated grain spawn in a sterile container, such as a mason jar or plastic bag, and incubate at the optimal temperature for maitake mushroom growth (around 75-80°F).
  6. Check the grain spawn regularly for signs of colonization by the maitake mycelium, which will appear as white, fluffy growth spreading throughout the grain.
  7. Once the grain spawn is fully colonized, it is ready to be used to inoculate your substrate for fruiting maitake mushrooms.

Substrate Instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Substrate Mix: Substrate material for mushroom growth. (e.g., Sawdust, Wood Chips, Fast Fruiting Mix, Brown Rice)
  • Suppliments: Suppliments not required, but can sometimes be added to the grain medium to increase growth rates.
  • Substrate Container: Polypropylene Bags or Plastic Containers for sterilizing and inoculating substrate.
  • Mycelial Mass: Typically Colonized Grain Jars or Liquid Culture for inoculation.
  • Clean Environment: Flow Hood is optimal, but a still air box can be used.
  • Pressure Cooker or Steam Sterilizer: Equipment for sterilizing substrate.

Growing Params

Substrate: Hardwood Sawdust

Sub to Spawn Ratio: 3:1

Temperature Range:70 - 75 °F

Humidity Range:95 - 100 RH

Fresh Air Exchange:0 - 1 / Hour

CO2 Range:20000 - 40000 ppm

Growth Duration:14 - 30 Days

Substrate Prep and Innoculation

  1. Prepare the substrate by mixing hardwood sawdust and wheat bran in a ratio of 5:1.
  2. Moisten the substrate mixture until it reaches a field capacity moisture level.
  3. Fill autoclavable bags with the substrate mixture, leaving some room at the top for expansion.
  4. Sterilize the substrate bags in an autoclave at 121°C for 2-3 hours to kill any competing organisms.
  5. Allow the substrate bags to cool down to room temperature in a clean environment.
  6. Inoculate the cooled substrate bags with maitake mushroom spawn using a sterile technique.
  7. Seal the inoculated bags with a filter patch or micropore tape to allow for gas exchange.
  8. Incubate the inoculated bags in a dark, warm (around 24-27°C) environment for 2-3 weeks.
  9. Monitor the bags for signs of mycelial growth, which should appear as white, fluffy patches.
  10. Once the substrate is fully colonized with mycelium, move the bags to a fruiting chamber with high humidity and indirect light.
  11. Maintain humidity levels around 90% and temperatures around 18-22°C for optimal fruiting conditions.
  12. Harvest the maitake mushrooms when they reach the desired size, typically within 1-2 weeks of initiating fruiting conditions.

Primordia Instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Fruiting Chamber: Controlled environment chamber for pinning and fruiting.
  • Control Automation: Optional. Controller and sensors for maintaining temperature, humidity, lighting ext.
  • Casing Layer: Optional. Species Dependant. Humidification material for maintaining humidity in the fruiting chamber.
  • Hygrometer: Instrument for measuring humidity levels.
  • Humidifier: Optional. Could be spray bottle or humidifer. Tool for misting and humidifying the fruiting chamber.

Growing Params

Casing Layer: None

Temperature Range:50 - 60 °F

Humidity Range:95 - 100 RH

Light Wave Length:370 - 420 nm

Light Intensity:0 - 10 Lux

Light Duration: 12 Hours/Day

Fresh Air Exchange:2 - 4 / Hour

CO2 Range:0 - 1000 ppm

Growth Duration:7 - 14 Days

Cultivation Notes: Maintain high humidity and initiate fruiting conditions. Block can be submerged in water for 24-72 hours to initiate pinning.

Primordia Initiation

  1. Prepare a clean and sterile growing environment for the maitake mushrooms.
  2. Ensure the temperature is around 55-60°F and humidity is around 90-95%.
  3. Introduce the maitake mushroom spawn to the substrate, such as sawdust or wood chips.
  4. Cover the substrate and spawn with a layer of casing material, such as peat moss or vermiculite.
  5. Place the trays or containers in a dark and humid environment to encourage primordia initiation.
  6. Monitor the temperature and humidity levels regularly to ensure optimal conditions for primordia formation.
  7. After 1-2 weeks, small pinheads should start to form, indicating the initiation of primordia.
  8. Continue to maintain the growing conditions until the primordia develop into mature maitake mushrooms.

Fruiting Instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Fruiting Chamber: Controlled environment chamber for fruiting.
  • Temperature Control System: Equipment for maintaining optimal fruiting temperatures.
  • Fresh Air Exchange System: System to provide adequate fresh air exchange in the fruiting chamber.
  • Light Source: Light source to provide required illumination for fruiting. (e.g., LED Grow Light)
  • Harvesting Tools: Tools for harvesting mushrooms without damaging the mycelium. (e.g., Knife, Scissors)

Growing Params

Temperature Range:59 - 68 °F

Humidity Range:85 - 90 RH

Light Wave Length:370 - 420 nm

Light Intensity:0 - 10 lux

Light Duration: 12 Hours/Day

Fresh Air Exchange:2 - 4 / Hour

CO2 Range:0 - 1000 ppm

Growth Duration:14 - 21 Days

Flushes:2 - 4

Flushing Schedule:14 - 21 Days

Cultivation Notes: Maintain proper humidity and provide adequate light

Fruiting Preparation and Conditions

  1. Prepare a fruiting chamber by cleaning and sanitizing it thoroughly to prevent contamination.
  2. Fill the fruiting chamber with a substrate such as sawdust or wood chips that have been inoculated with maitake mushroom spawn.
  3. Maintain the fruiting chamber at a temperature of around 55-65°F with high humidity levels (around 90%).
  4. Provide indirect light to the fruiting chamber, as maitake mushrooms prefer low light conditions.
  5. Mist the substrate regularly to keep it moist, but be careful not to oversaturate it.
  6. Monitor the growth of the mushrooms and harvest them when they reach the desired size, typically within 1-2 weeks.