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  • Materials and tools needed


    1. Mushroom spawn and sealing wax. Most dowel spawn should be white and fluffy when you receive it but Chicken of the Woods spawn is a faint yellow; Shiitake dowel spawn is a chocolate brown. If the spawn bag is broken, damaged or have blue/green patches, then you have contamination – you should contact the supplier for a replacement.
    2. Growing instructions – often, mushroom spawn suppliers provide this.
    3. Substrates – this will be dependent on the mushroom spawn/s selected. Possible local sources of logs include tree surgeons, Council Parks Departments, farmers, forest managers and fire wood merchants. The source of compost is the local riding stables – the ideal compost is the bedding cleared out of horse stables, which has been left to rot for around three weeks.
    4. Tarpaulin – useful for mixing mushroom spawn with a compost substrate.
    5. Polythene sheeting – for covering logs after inoculation.
    6. Gardening gloves (leather), goggles and a first aid kit.
    7. A fridge – mushroom spawn must be stored in a fridge or a cool, dark and well ventilated environment until ready for use. Do not freeze or expose the spawn to strong sunlight.


    1. Electric or cordless drill (if cordless, ensure fully-charged spare batteries are available).
    2. Drill bits of size ten mm.
    3. Bow saws of twenty one inches and twenty four inches.
    4. Carpenters saw – sometimes useful when used in conjunction with bow saws.
    5. Hammer and nails – use two-inch nails, particularly for nailing a wood wedge into the log.
    6. Spades and shovels – for inoculating humus-inhabiting mushrooms.
    7. Wheel barrow – useful for transporting logs to the storage area (under existing trees and shrubs).
    8. A work bench.
    9. Scissors – to cut the polythene to size.
    10. A pan and stove for melting the wax.
    11. A small brush or large cotton bud to apply the melted wax – care must be taken as hot wax is highly flammable and can cause serious burns.

    Thanks to Clifford Davy of Forest Foragers.

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