|Mushroom Cultivation in Thailand (Peace Corps, 1987, 85 p.)|
|6. Wood ear mushroom cultivation in wooden logs|
With all materials gathered, the planting of wood ear mushroom spawn can proceed. The first step is to punch or drill holes in the logs where spawn will be planted. The holes should be 1.3-2.5 cm deep (the hole should be punched or drilled through the bark and into the hardwood section of the log, see Figure 33) and 12-15 cm apart. Make the holes in lines or a zigzag pattern all around the log. It is not necessary to make holes in the ends of the logs.
Figure 33: Log Preparation for Planting Spawn
Once the holes have been made, fill each hole to the top with spawn. Do not press the spawn into the hole too tightly. Simply place the spawn in the hole and pack gently, making sure that the hole is completely full.
Figure 34: Planting Wood Ear Mushroom Spawn
After placing spawn in the holes, seal the holes with bark, hardwood, plastic or wax plugs. If a hammer-punch is used, it will be possible to use bark or hardwood plugs as the hammer is sold with a removable head attachment designed to make cover plugs. Use a "trash log" to make the plugs, punching plugs out of the logs until it is impossible to punch anymore. Notice that the attachment makes plugs larger in diameter than the hole punched for spawn planting. This is to ensure a snug fit and to compensate for plug shrinkage as the wooden plug dries out. Hardwood plugs are usually better to use than bark plugs since the former tend to shrink less and are more likely to stay over the hole for a longer period of time.
To secure the plug in place, position the plug over the hole and strike the plug with a hammer or other hard object, driving it into the spawn-filled hole until the plug top is even with the surrounding bark. If a drill is used, and bark or hardwood plugs cannot be made, plastic plugs (available at most spawn outlets) or wax can be used to seal the hole. Plastic plugs are used in the same manner as bark or hardwood plugs and work well, but must be purchased, increasing total input costs. Wax also works well as a plug and can be purchased cheaply at most village temples. To use wax as a plug, first melt the wax, then allow it to cool before applying to the log. Hot wax should not be applied to the log as it will kill the mushroom spawn. While the wax is still soft, seal the holes, filling each with wax to the level of the surrounding bark.
Figure 35: Placement of Holes in Logs for Spawn Planting2
2 Adapted from Deeprom Chaiwongkeit, p. 76.
Figure 36: Storing Logs During Incubation