Mushroom plug spawn, also referred to as dowel spawn, are hardwood dowels inoculated with mushroom mycelium. Mushroom plugs are most commonly used to inoculate hardwood logs and stumps in an outdoor growing environment. In most cases, mushroom plugs are used to grow Shiitake mushrooms, but plug spawn is also a great way to grow other types of mushrooms, such as Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Oysters, and more.
Generally speaking, hardwood logs are the optimal choice for growing mushrooms. You’ll want to make sure that your logs are healthy and freshly cut – aim to use logs cut within 0-2 months of intended use for the best growing environment.
Selecting a type of hardwood often comes down to what types of trees grow naturally in your local area. We recommend using Oak, Ash or Chestnut for best results.
In the UK, the most common types of hardwood include:
- English Oak
Applying your mushroom dowels is a simple process, but should be done with proper precaution, safety equipment and care. Using an 8mm drill, drill to a depth of between 5-6cm into your log. When placing multiple plugs, ensure a spacing of 10-15 cm between holes to allow for optimal growth. To prevent competing organisms from entering the hole and to retain moisture, we would recommend applying a natural food grade wax sealant to the plug entrance.