How To Grow Turkey Tail at Home

Welcome to ShroomSpy's ultimate guide on growing turkey-tail mushrooms! Whether you're a seasoned mushroom cultivator or a beginner looking to harness the health benefits of these powerful fungi, our expert tips and resources will help you succeed. From understanding the ideal growing environment to mastering the art of substrate selection, we've got you covered every step of the way. Join us on a journey to cultivate vibrant, nutrient-rich turkey-tail mushrooms that will enhance your well-being and elevate your culinary creations. Let's grow together with ShroomSpy!

TurkeyTail3 1600

Natural Habitat

Ecosystem:

Deciduous and coniferous forests

Locations:

Worldwide

Seasons:

Year-round

Climate:

Temperate

Substrate:

Decaying wood

Growing Params

Difficulty:

Moderate

Total Time:

71 - 115 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: PDA

Temperature Range:75 - 85 °F

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:5 - 10 Days

Cultivation Notes: Slow growing mycelium

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: PDBLC

Temperature Range:75 - 85 °F

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:5 - 10 Days

Cultivation Notes: Slow growing myceliumStir Daily

Agar Cultivation

  1. Prepare the agar medium by mixing agar powder with water in a flask or beaker.
  2. Autoclave the agar medium to sterilize it and ensure no contaminants are present.
  3. Allow the agar medium to cool down to around 50-60°C before pouring it into petri dishes.
  4. Inoculate the agar plates with turkey-tail mushroom culture using a sterile inoculation loop or syringe.
  5. Seal the petri dishes with parafilm or tape to prevent contamination and store them in a warm, dark place to allow the mycelium to grow.
  6. Check the agar plates regularly for signs of contamination or growth of the turkey-tail mycelium.
  7. Once the mycelium has fully colonized the agar plates, you can use them 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 laminar flow hood or a still air box.
  2. Gather all necessary materials including a liquid culture syringe, sterile liquid culture medium, a pressure cooker, and a flame source for sterilization.
  3. Prepare the liquid culture medium by following the manufacturer's instructions or recipe. Sterilize the medium in the pressure cooker to ensure it is free of contaminants.
  4. Allow the liquid culture medium to cool to room temperature before inoculating it with the turkey-tail mushroom liquid culture syringe.
  5. Flame sterilize the needle of the syringe and inject a small amount of liquid culture into the sterile liquid culture medium.
  6. Seal the liquid culture container with a breathable lid or a self-healing injection port to allow for gas exchange.
  7. Incubate the liquid culture at the optimal temperature for turkey-tail mushrooms, typically around 75-80°F (24-27°C), in a dark and undisturbed location.
  8. Monitor the liquid culture for signs of growth, such as mycelium colonization, and shake or stir the culture periodically to distribute the mycelium throughout the medium.
  9. Once the liquid culture is fully colonized with healthy mycelium, it can be used to inoculate substrate for fruiting or stored in the refrigerator for future use.

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:75 - 85 °F

Moisture Content:49 - 55 %

Fresh Air Exchange:0 - 1 / Hour

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:14 - 21 Days

Grain Spawn Prep and Innoculation

  1. Prepare your grain spawn by mixing together 4 parts water and 1 part grain (such as rye, millet, or wheat berries) in a large pot.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the grains are fully cooked and have absorbed most of the water.
  3. Strain the cooked grains and allow them to cool to room temperature.
  4. Once cooled, transfer the grains to a clean, sterile container such as a mason jar or plastic bag. Leave some space at the top for air circulation.
  5. Inoculate the grain spawn with turkey-tail mushroom mycelium using a sterile syringe or inoculation loop. Make sure to work in a clean, sterile environment to prevent contamination.
  6. Seal the container with a breathable lid, such as a coffee filter secured with a rubber band, to allow for gas exchange during incubation.
  7. Incubate the inoculated grain spawn at around 75-80°F (24-27°C) in a dark, humid environment for 2-4 weeks, or until the grains are fully colonized with mycelium.
  8. Once fully colonized, your turkey-tail mushroom grain spawn is ready to be used for inoculating your fruiting substrate. Store any unused grain spawn in the refrigerator for future use.

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:75 - 85 °F

Humidity Range:85 - 90 RH

Fresh Air Exchange:1 - 2 / Hour

CO2 Range:5000 - 10000 ppm

Growth Duration:14 - 21 Days

Substrate Prep and Innoculation

  1. Prepare the substrate by mixing hardwood sawdust with wheat bran in a ratio of 5:1.
  2. Moisten the substrate mixture until it reaches a field capacity moisture level.
  3. Fill sterilized bags with the substrate mixture, leaving some room at the top for expansion.
  4. Sterilize the filled bags in a pressure cooker at 15 psi for 90 minutes to kill any competing organisms.
  5. Allow the bags to cool down to room temperature in a clean environment.
  6. Inoculate the sterilized substrate bags with turkey-tail mushroom spawn using a sterile technique.
  7. Seal the bags with a breathable filter patch to allow for gas exchange.
  8. Incubate the inoculated bags in a dark, warm (75-80°F) environment for 2-3 weeks to allow the mycelium to colonize the substrate.
  9. Check the bags regularly for contamination and monitor the growth of the mycelium.
  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 65-70°F for optimal fruiting conditions.
  12. Harvest the turkey-tail mushrooms when they reach maturity, typically around 2-3 months after inoculation.

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 - 75 °F

Humidity Range:90 - 100 RH

Light Wave Length:480 - 495 nm

Light Intensity:500 - 2000 Lux

Light Duration: 12 Hours/Day

Fresh Air Exchange:5 - 7 / Hour

CO2 Range:400 - 800 ppm

Growth Duration:7 - 14 Days

Cultivation Notes: Higher humidity and fresh air promotes pin formation. Avoid direct water contact.

Primordia Initiation

  1. Prepare a clean and sanitized growing area with controlled temperature and humidity levels suitable for turkey-tail mushrooms.
  2. Inoculate your substrate with turkey-tail mushroom spawn, ensuring even distribution throughout the substrate.
  3. Cover the inoculated substrate with a breathable material such as a filter patch bag or plastic wrap with small holes to allow for gas exchange.
  4. Place the covered substrate in a dark and warm location (around 70-75°F) to encourage primordia initiation.
  5. Monitor the substrate daily for signs of primordia formation, which will appear as small pin-like structures on the surface of the substrate.
  6. Once primordia have formed, adjust the growing conditions to promote healthy mushroom development, including increasing fresh air exchange and maintaining proper humidity levels.
  7. Continue to monitor the growth of the turkey-tail mushrooms, ensuring they receive adequate light, water, and nutrients for optimal development.
  8. Harvest the mature turkey-tail mushrooms when they reach the desired size and appearance, being careful to cut them at the base to avoid damaging the mycelium for future flushes.

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:65 - 75 °F

Humidity Range:85 - 90 RH

Light Wave Length:480 - 495 nm

Light Intensity:500 - 2000 lux

Light Duration: 12 Hours/Day

Fresh Air Exchange:5 - 7 / Hour

CO2 Range:500 - 1000 ppm

Growth Duration:45 - 70 Days

Flushes:2 - 3

Flushing Schedule:70 - 30 Days

Cultivation Notes: The fruiting phase requires a bit cooler temperature and more light exposure. The fresh air exchange should also be increased to support fruiting.

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 straw that has been pasteurized to kill off any competing organisms.
  3. Inoculate the substrate with turkey-tail mushroom spawn, making sure to distribute it evenly throughout the substrate.
  4. Place the fruiting chamber in a well-ventilated area with indirect light and maintain a temperature of around 65-75°F.
  5. Keep the substrate moist by misting it regularly with water, being careful not to oversaturate it.
  6. Monitor the humidity levels in the fruiting chamber, aiming for around 90-95% humidity.
  7. Allow the turkey-tail mushrooms to grow undisturbed for 2-3 weeks, misting as needed to maintain humidity levels.
  8. Harvest the turkey-tail mushrooms when they reach the desired size, cutting them at the base of the stem to avoid damaging the mycelium.