We have the info on the best spots to get mushroom dowels for sale so you can grow an array of edible, gourmet mushrooms on your property
This post goes over:
- where to purchase Mushroom Dowels to use in spawn production
- what mushroom dowels are and how to use them. If you want to be colonized mushroom dowels check out our selection here
- how to make your own mushroom dowel spawn
There are several places to find mushrooms dowels for sale to use in spawn production
Regardless of which supplier you go with, you will want to use 1 inch 5/16 dowels. These are the standard-size used in the industry, both the fluted and spiral grooved work great, you can get either one. Providers that sell in quantity are
- Industrial Wood Products based in CT has the best pricing we have found but they sell in larger quantities
- Wood-dowel has pretty good pricing good for small spawn providers and home growers as they sell in 1000 quantities.
These two providers seem to have the best pricing on the internet. If you want mushroom dowels for sale that are fully colonized, learn more about them and how to use them.
Mushroom dowels for sale
Mushroom dowels are simply furniture dowels that have been inoculated with the mycelium of a gourmet mushroom. These plugs are created from birch trees. Through a process of heating and pressurizing the wood dowels are created. The dowels are then hydrated, sterilized, and inoculated with a certain species of mushroom like shiitake, oyster, or lion’s mane. What is great about buying mushroom dowels for sale is you do not need any specialized tools to inoculate and you can buy small quantities of different species to inoculate.
Mushroom dowels typically come in several amounts; 100, 500, and 1000. Of course, buying 1000 is the most economical but if you just want to try a log or two, you can buy 100 plugs and see how they grow. You can assume a single mushroom log that is 4 inches in diameter and 4 feet long will need 50 plugs to inoculate. When you are growing 20 or less logs it is more economical to buy mushroom dowels for sale. If you start inoculating 30+ logs year after year it becomes worth it to buy a palm inoculator tool and sawdust spawn instead of the mushroom dowels. One draw back to plug spawn is it is slightly slower to colonize than sawdust spawn, but there is little to no different in yield.
Mushroom dowels for sale are very resilient and can last for over 6 months. Ideally you want to use them within 2 months of receiving them, but if you don’t store them in fridge in a sealed bag. Stored like this mushroom dowels will be good to use for over 6 months. The dowels have so much food in them that the mycelium can remain dormant for quite some time before being introduced to a new food source.
How to use mushroom dowels for sale
You will be inoculating logs with mushroom dowels. This post reviews the complete process of inoculating logs with mushroom dowels. The basic concept is outlined below.
- Cut logs and gather materials. The first step is to gather all materials you will need. If you are using plug spawn you will need a hammer. Cut the logs being used for cultivation between December and March.
- Drill holes into the log. The holes should be about 1 inch deep and spaced 6 inches apart in the row. The log should be rotated 2 inches to start the next row, drill all the way around the surface of the log with 2 inches in between rows and 6 inches in between holes in the row. The rows can be off set creating a diamond pattern.
- Fill the holes with mushroom dowels. If using plug spawn place each dowel on the hole and hammer it in until it is flush with the surface of the log. If the dowels are not flush likely you need to drill the holes slightly deeper.
- Once the holes have been drilled and filled with mushroom dowels, the next step is to wax over the holes. The bark of the log acts as an armor, keeping unwanted fungi out and moisture in. By waxing over the inoculation holes the plug spawn will not dry out as it grows into the log.
- Lastly, stack the logs in a shaded area. Conifer works best for the year-long incubation of logs. Logs that are inoculated in April will begin their fruiting period the following June. Be sure to maintain moisture around 45% during the incubation period. It is critical to water the logs every 2-3 weeks if there is no rainfall. To water, either soak for 4-5 hours (although this can be very labor intensive) or place a sprinkler on for 4-8 hours.
How to make your own mushroom dowels
Making mushroom dowels at home can be very easy. Let’s go through the step by step process.
- Order grain spawn or source some other type of spawn, like cardboard from stem butts or even stem butts themselves from oyster mushrooms. One bag of grain spawn can inoculate up to 10,000 mushroom dowels, but feel free to inoculate at a higher rate and create less mushroom dowels.
- Boil the dowels for 30 minutes. This removes any spores or contaminants that might be on them.
- Place the dowels into a jar which has just gone through the dishwasher. 1/2 gallon jars are great for this as they can hold around 500 dowels. On top use a lid with a hole and polyfil filling the hole.
- Ideally in front of a flow hood or in a still air box, transfer the grain spawn into the plug spawn containers. If you don’t have either of those simply spray 70% alcohol in the air, on all the materials, and on your hands before doing the transfers.
- Place the lid on top of the plug spawn jar and shake to distribute the myceliated grain throughout the plugs
- In two weeks you should find well colonized mycelium throughout the plugs. Now use as instructed above.