When you grow your own morel mushroom patch, you are guaranteed a steady supply of these tasty mushrooms in the springtime after your patch is established. Even if you don’t get the chance to go out foraging for them every year, this is a wonderful way to take advantage of morel mushrooms’ short season.
During their first couple of years, morel mushrooms require minimal attention and can make a great addition to any shady part of your garden. While this will not produce for more than a few months growing morels is worth the space.
How to get morel mushrooms to plant
The majority of people who grow morel mushrooms do so after foraging and harvesting wild morel mushrooms. You get the freshest mushroom spores, which will give you a better chance of preparing morel mushrooms at home than with a commercial kit.
Fresh morals may be available at a local farmers market in the spring when foragers and growers are selling their fruits and vegetables.
How to plant morel mushrooms
The roots and seeds of mushrooms are not present, so they cannot be planted. Mushrooms reproduce by means of spores found within the mushrooms themselves.
For this reason, one is encouraged to pack a basket or bag with holes to facilitate the spread of these spores during a foraging trip. It might be a good idea to transport your morels in a sealed container if you plan to grow them at home.
Adding one tablespoon of molasses and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to one gallon of boiling distilled water is the best way to make spore mixtures for propagation. You will increase the chances of your spores growing by doing this.
As a result of molasses and salt, mushrooms will get energy and will be protected from bacteria.
Add some full-shredded morel mushrooms to the water once it has reached room temperature. Allow the mixture to sit for two days, then strain it through cheesecloth and collect the liquid. The soil can then be prepared for planting once the mixture has sat. Microspores will grow into your mushrooms from the liquid
Till in fresh compost and any decaying matter like old wood ships, sticks, and leaves that are present in the soil area. You can use this to create the ideal conditions for growing morals mushrooms.
Set out a marker sign and garden edging around your mushroom beds to stop anyone from digging through them or adding plants at a later date.
A liquid can be applied over prepared soil to disperse the spores. Compost about a quarter-inch thick over the entire area. Do not be discouraged if you do not grow mushrooms the first time. It is possible to grow a few mushrooms, but the process of establishing a colony can take several years.
Once morels become ready to forage in early spring, you will likely see your first mushrooms within a year or two. If your mushroom bed has not yet grown, you can replicate this process following planting in the spring to help accelerate its growth.
Use only commercial morel spore kits according to the instructions inside the package. In contrast to wild morel spores, these kits tend to have less success than wild morels. However, they are a good option for those without access to local morels.
How to care for your morel mushroom patch
Make sure you plant your mushrooms in the right place. Under trees like elms, ash, alders, apple and oaks, morel mushrooms grow naturally, often appearing before the trees have formed a leafy canopy that shades them from the sun.
Because mushrooms do not use photosynthesis to make their own food, they do not need a sunny spot to survive. Making use of the base of a tree is an excellent way to make morels grow.
Mushrooms like loamy soil that has plenty of organic matter. Whether you want to dispose of old leaves and compost, or reuse old meat moss used to start plants, your morel mushroom bed serves your needs. Observing where morels grow in the wild, you’ll see these are the ideal conditions for morels to grow.
Maintaining a moist environment is essential for mushroom growth. If you water with tap water, your mushrooms will eventually die as chlorine kills the spores and kills your bed. If you have been looking for a reason to start collecting rainwater, this is just what you need.
As the spring approaches, the water temperature will be mild and cool, the days reaching the 60s and 70s and the nights cooling to the 40s. If you want to harvest the most morels before the heat rolls in and they die off for the season, harvest them regularly during this time.
How to harvest morel mushrooms
To pull them up, snap them at the ground level. There will be no damage to the underground base plant, which will continue to thrive and grow more morel mushrooms. It makes for a sustainable harvesting system even in the wild.
Morel mushrooms unlike many plants do not require the 1/3 harvesting method to help keep the plant thriving. However, you should shake your morels over the soil you grow them in after harvesting to spread the spores so you can get a larger harvest next year.
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