How To Grow Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Whether you are just learning to grow mushrooms or you have been growing them for years, you’ll likely always have a problem deciding on a species.
Given that there are over 720 different species of mushrooms available to choose from, narrowing down your choice isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Of course, this is unless you are after a specific taste, look, or medicinal benefit. That’s right, certain species of mushrooms do come with medicinal benefits.
In fact, Japanese and Chinese cultures along with others have been using certain types of mushrooms in medicinal teas for a wide number of years now.
That being said, one mushroom that is highly popular and more than well known for its powerful and relaxing therapeutic benefits are the turkey tail mushrooms.
Depending on where you are located and the time of the year, you might likely have some of these in your yard right now. If not, you’ve likely seen them growing in nature somewhere, as they are pretty common.
Common as they might be, there is nothing common about the powerful medicinal benefits that they can potentially provide. Not only do they provide potential healing benefits, but they taste amazing.
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Growing Turkey Tail Mushrooms
While there are a number of ways that you can go about cultivating this mushroom, it will be the stump or log cultivation that is the easiest. You’ll want to start your grow in the late winter or early spring, right before these guys start popping up in your yard.
You want to start by looking in your yard for a tree stump from a hardwood tree like oak, maple, or pine. Choosing a stump for the growth will make the entire process much easier because the roots will provide water to the wood and reduce the need for watering.
If you don’t have a stump in your yard it doesn’t mean you can’t grow these species. It just means that you need to go out and get yourself a small 3 to 8-inch log of oak, maple, or pine. You’ll basically be going through the same process with both grows.
When choosing a stump, you’ll want to make sure that it is located in a somewhat shaded area, as this will help the mushroom thrive. Clean the area before beginning the grow, as this will reduce the possibility of other fungus inhabiting the area later on.
Once you have your stump with located in the ideal location, you’ll want to begin inoculating that stump with turkey tail spawn plugs. In order to do this, take a 5/16-inch drill bit, sterilize it with rubbing alcohol, and set it in the drill.
Drill a hole about 2 inches from the edge of the one side of the top of the stump while also making it right around 1 1/4 inches deep. When accomplished, you’ll hammer the plug spawns into the holes.
Continue to drill a line of holes into the stump at intervals of 4 inches apart, while inserting and hammering in your plug spawns along the way. You’ll now have to drill a new roll of holes 3 inches from the last row while also inserting spawn plugs in the same manner as you did before.
You’ll want to continue this process until you have the top of the stump covered with spawn plugs.
You are now going to take cheese wax and heat it two approximately 145 degrees F. With a paintbrush, you’ll want to apply the wax as it melts to each hole.
This will seal the spawn plug into the wood. 1 to 2 inches of water a week should be enough to keep your new grow satisfied.
Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits
One of the first things you are probably wondering is why you would want to choose the turkey tail species over the others. There are literally over 700 other options. What could make the turkey tail so desired or worth the effort?
It is simple really. Do it for the taste, the looks, the reward of the growth, and the powerful medicinal benefits. Not only this, but it can be one of the easier species to grow if you have the right growing environment and parameters.
The turkey tail is a species of mushroom that has been utilized throughout Asia for over a thousand years. It is believed by the locals that it has the power to reduce phlegm, increase energy, prevent and aid with pulmonary problems, and rejuvenate the liver.
And, this is not to even mention the beautiful look that it gives off. Couple this is the decadent taste, and it should be more than easy to see why this is a species to opt for over the other 700.
The name turkey tail comes from the mere fact that the mushrooms resemble that of a turkey tail. That’s right, they have overlapping layers that are set up in a similar manner to that of the turkey tail.
Given their unique properties, taste, and look, there are several studies and experiments that have been conducted on this species over the years. It is likely that someone is studying them right now.
They are highly known for their powerful medicinal benefits and have been used as the main active ingredient in Chinese medicinal tea for a wide range of years. These mushrooms are most commonly found in the woodlands of Europe and Asia, where they’ll be found growing in large colonies.
They generally grow multi-colored along with concentric bands of contrasting shades. These shades can appear in black, brown, gray, red, white, or blue. The body of the species is extremely thin with a velvety texture coupled with a fruiting nature.
Given their layered look and capability to form wavy rosettes, they have been dubbed the name turkey tail mushrooms.
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A Touch On The Nutritional Side
You can see all the potential health benefits that these mushrooms could offer. And, it is because of their nutritional content that they hold such a high medicinal value. They are rich in vitamins as well as minerals.
They are known for there potassium content and have an equal amount of riboflavin. There is also a high content of niacin as well as pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and copper.
While there sodium levels are reasonably low, they do not contain any fat or caffeine at all. On top of all of this, they are packed with 18 different amazing amino acids that anyone can benefit from.
[Related Article: Life Cycle Of A Mushroom]
You can clearly see that there is a lot more to the turkey tail mushroom than meets the eye. They not only taste great but they offer tons of potential health benefits.
If you want to take advantage of these benefits, you can grow your own mushrooms in your backyard. You really don’t need a whole for the grow and once you are past the first initial stages, it’ll pretty much just be watering and waiting.