How to Grow Morel Mushrooms 101
Method #1: Grow Kit and Spawn
1. Buy a Grow KitOne of the easiest ways to learn how to grow morel mushrooms is through the grow kit and spawn method. You simply need to buy some spawn, which is the mycelium, the vegetative growth on the plant, together with the area where it grew. You can find it available online as woodchips, sawdust, grain, etc. The material that is infused with mycelium should be used for creating a mushroom bed.
2. Create a Mushroom BedYou should follow this step sometime between summer and autumn. Obviously, this applies to people who live in an area with an obvious change of seasons. Keep in mind that morel mushroom kits will not thrive in a tropical environment where there’s no real winter or spring.
3. Choose the Right SpotThe perfect spot if you want to know how to grow morel mushrooms is a shady one. Measure the dimensions and check if it’s right. Always check the instructions you get on the package, but generally, a square that measures 4×4 foot should be just fine.
4. Prepare the SoilIdeally, you should use a sandy soil mix. Don’t use too much rock or clay, since you need to have an adequate drainage. Use a soil tester to see what type of soil you have. Go for a sandy soil with peat moss and gypsum added to it. Extra tip: add ashes from some burned wood to the soil. Morels usually appear after a forest fire takes place. As such, ashes bring some extra nutrients, simulating a natural habitat after a fire.
5. Plant the SpawnMix the morel spawn into the bed you prepared. Remember to respect the instructions on the package. The process is not complicated, you must spread it on the top layer. When you’re done, add some hardwood chips on the spawn bed. Morels grow naturally next to tulip, old apple, elm, and ash trees, so it’s recommended you choose chips from these species.
6. Wait for It to GrowPerhaps the hardest part of knowing how to grow morel mushrooms is to wait until you can enjoy your own mushrooms. In general, the mycelium is a fast colonizer, but it’s still going to take a couple of years until it grows any product. Even though the next spring you see that nothing happens, keep maintaining the area nutritious and moist. If you’re lucky and provide the plant with the right morel mushroom growing conditions, you can enjoy them quite soon.
Method #2: The Spore Slurry MethodIf you know how to hunt morel mushrooms, then you don’t need to buy a kit like the one we mentioned above. In this case, you should use the spore slurry method. You will need some wild morels to make the slurry. Make sure they are mature, but not rotting or mushy. You just need a couple of mushrooms for a gallon of water.
1. Prepare the WaterThe water you need for the slurry should be non-chlorinated. Make sure it’s clean and place it in a food-safe container.
2. Add Salt and MolassesTake a tablespoon of molasses and a pinch of salt and add them to the water. Stir it all well. The salt is used for preventing any bacterial growth, while molasses brings some sugars for the spores that are germinating.
3. Add MushroomsAdd the mushrooms to the mixture and let everything sit for 1-2 days. Make sure the area where you leave it is a temperate one. Don’t leave it too much, otherwise, the mixture will be contaminated with bacteria.
4. Remove the MushroomsAfter 1-2 days, strain the water and remove the mushrooms. What’s left is a liquid that contains millions of spores. Spread this liquid over a bed that you previously prepared just like in the method #1. Alternatively, you can spread it in a natural habitat, such as next to an elm tree. You might like this because it’s simpler, but truth is that this method is not as reliable as the first one. This happens because the slurry doesn’t live as much as the mycelia in spawn, which means your chances decrease. However, since it’s cheap and easy, you can always try it.
Can I Use the Same Techniques to Grow Artichokes and Morel Mushrooms?
Can I use the same techniques to grow artichokes and morel mushrooms? Many people wonder if these two plants require similar methods. While artichokes thrive in well-drained soil and full sun, morel mushrooms have different requirements. Morels grow naturally in forests and are difficult to cultivate intentionally. Therefore, growing artichokes and morel mushrooms necessitate distinct processes. However, with the right conditions, patience, and expertise, you can successfully grow artichokes: a complete guide.