Growing mushrooms in my yard, instead of having to go foraging for mushrooms, is a goal of mine. Mushroom growing is not rocket science, but for mushrooms to grow, the environment must be perfect for that particular kind of mushroom. On our hike yesterday, I came across a dead oak tree full of oyster mushrooms, but the mushrooms were way past their prime, they were falling apart.
I cut off about a third of the mushrooms and put them in a paper bag. Today, I went in the back yard-woods, and all while constantly tossing two tennis balls for the Labradors, I looked for a dead or dying deciduous tree.
I have a number of mature birch trees in my yard, a few of which are dying, they have large woodpecker holes in them. I leave dead trees standing, to allow cavity nesting birds to have homes. Woodpeckers peck out nests in dead trees, then other birds use those nests after the woodpeckers have left.
So today I had the paper bag of oyster mushrooms with me and I tried my hand at inoculating a dead birch tree with mushroom spore. My method was not very exacting, I didn't drill holes in the tree and put spore in the holes, I placed pieces of oyster mushroom in between the bark and the wood of the tree where the bark had split open.
What was really cool was inside the paper bag the oyster mushrooms has released a bunch of spores, so I took apart the paper bag and rubbed the spore on the wood of the trunk.
It will take a few years to see if our mushroom spore inoculation project is a success. If you are interested in learning more about mushroom identification, I have posted photos of mushrooms I have identified in our Mushroom Identification series here on the GardenFork.TV site.
Do you have some mushroom growing or mushroom spore inoculation suggestions? Please let us know below: