How to Grow Morel Mushrooms
Wild morel mushrooms are quite delicious and a favourite among most chefs. In fact, they are so tasty that anyone who has them growing in their backyard will try and keep them a secret to even their friends. Unfortunately, these tasty fungi are not so easy to find in the market. And on top of that, finding fresh morel mushrooms is another uphill task.
That makes the morel mushroom expensive to buy. Luckily, with a little guidance, you will learn how to grow morel mushrooms anywhere in the world.
Conditions Necessary for Growing Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are in the fungi kingdom meaning that they don’t have roots and they cannot produce seeds as well. That being the case, they are very different from plants in the Plantae Kingdom.
Therefore, if you are planning on growing the morel mushrooms, you must replicate growing conditions that the morels find favourable. Some of these conditions include;
Morel mushrooms will mostly grow where there are dead, burned and decaying trees. And this is no coincidence. The nutrients that these dead trees release, as well as the rotting leaves, create the ideal loamy soil that morel mushrooms will best thrive in. Other desirable additives that create favourable growing conditions for the morels include; wood ash, wood chips and sand.
To facilitate the ideal growing condition for the growth of morel mushroom you need adequate moisture. These morel mushrooms will best grow in an area that is as moist as a sponge that has been dipped in water then wrung out.
On the same note, it’s advisable that you water your morel mushrooms with rainwater rather than using chlorinated tap water. That is because tap water tends to contain a lot of chemicals and minerals that may interfere with the growth of the mushrooms.
A good way to deal with your water problem is by using water-catchment areas to store rain water. That way, you will be able to irrigate your plants all year round without necessarily waiting for the rainy season.
Morel mushrooms will best thrive in the filtered forest lighting. With that in mind, these mushrooms will mostly grow either under or around some of the deciduous trees. Preferably the oak, elm and ash trees. Also, the mushrooms appear before the trees start producing leaves.
However, morel mushrooms do not make chlorophyll, unlike other plants. This means light produced by the sun is used in warming up the soil instead of aiding the growth of these morel spores.
The only fertilizer morel mushrooms need is healthy soil. Yes, that’s right. Morels do not need a lot of nutrients to start popping out of the ground. However, you could still add some compost, wood ash, leaf mould and composted manure as these make good enrichments for the morel mushrooms growing beds.
Humidity and Temperature
As mentioned earlier, morel mushrooms grow best in areas that are moist and very cold. In fact, the morels growing season will extend for longer periods when the weather is cool and cloudy. These mushrooms like it when the temperature gets to around 60 degrees in the day and 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
On the other hand, the mushrooms will wither away more quickly during dry and hot months. Generally, morel mushrooms will do well in areas that have high humidity as this helps with minimizing water loss. The fact that mushrooms have no skin, they tend to lose their moisture very easily.
Varieties of Morel Mushrooms You Can Grow
Morchella genus has a few edible varieties of mushrooms that have a similar taste, look and growing requirements. The black morels (Morchella elata) is one of the most common varieties. This morel mushroom will majorly grow around ash trees in very large colonies.
In a few weeks, the Morchella esculenta or common morels if you like start growing in smaller groups. The last pick of the growing season always is the late morels (Morchella deliciosa).
However, these mushrooms tend to grow in very small sizes. This in most times is always a disappointment to the people who appreciate the fine flavour these mushrooms have.
How to Grow Morel Mushrooms indoors and outdoors
As you can see from the above section, growing morel mushrooms is not a simple walk in the park. And sadly, for a long time, scientists believed that it was not possible to grow morel spores indoors or outdoors. So, the only way to get a kick of this tasty dish was by foraging the plants in the nearest forests.
Luckily, we have a solution for you. With our Morel spores pack, you will be able to grow morel mushrooms at the comfort of your backyard. These bags have the highest number of spores hence ensuring that the mushrooms grow healthy.
That’s not all! The spores are packed with perlite as well as natural booster foods which helps them to multiply easily. These foods also create a simple micro-climate that helps the mushrooms by providing high humidity necessary for growth.
Additionally, the spore pack contains enough nutrients and food to speed up the growth of the mycelium. And in case the conditions are favourable, the morel spores will likely grow to full strength within less than 12 months. But that depends entirely on temperature and rainfall. Most of the patches will grow by the next spring and they will soon proliferate and expand annually.
Using the Spore Pack
The spores come in bags that are filled with nutrients. Each bag will easily cover an area of about 6 by 6. However, the area might be smaller or even larger depending on the spread of the spores. More to that, you can also spread the mycelium in the same area but the one with the best condition will thrive.
Caution: You should only water the plants if only you are sure of the water company in your area. The chlorination of the water that happens in major cities affects the growth of the morel spores hence it might reduce your yield.
The best course of action is to wait until the raining season so you can grow your mycelium. The rainwater will carry the morel spores into the cracks of the soil hence giving them a chance to develop. The water will also wash the nutrients directly into the soil together with the spores.
Even as you do this, you need to remember that the morel spores will remain dormant until the rains fall or they are watered. You can also add mulch or grass clippings to increase the water retention capacity of the soil.
It’s always a good idea to spread the spores around just before the rains so that you can let nature do its thing. That means you won’t have to water the morel spores. More importantly, the outdoor growing of morel mushrooms will take longer as compared to indoors. That’s because the plants will only grow once they have all the nutrients necessary and the energy to support their development.
How long will the morels be viable in their packs?
In most cases, the morel spores will remain healthy for years on end as long as they are in their dry packs. You should also ensure that they are stored in a dry environment since any amount of moisture or rupture of the bags will cause them to start growing even within the bags. This will, in turn, ruin their development.
How to Harvest Your Morel Mushrooms?
In most cases, we have to wait for the fruits of certain plants to get to a certain size so that we can say they are ripe or ready. However, this is not the case with the morel mushrooms. They do not necessarily have to achieve a certain specific size for us to say that they are ripe.
When it comes to morels, the older ones are just as tasty as the younger ones. Despite that, these mushrooms have to be picked as soon as they are ready as they have a greater chance of being damaged by animals or withering if they are left too long in the garden.
The best way to harvest the morels is by pinching them off the ground. This is a good tactic as it will not only minimize the amount of dirt that gets to your harvest but also ensures that the spores return to the soil.
Once you’ve taken your morels out of the garden, you can store them for up to one week in your refrigerator between lightly moist paper towels.
To wrap it all up….
Morel mushrooms will increase your variety of foods. Above all, these mushrooms offer a great range of appetizing recipes that are worth every penny. So, what are you waiting for? Get the spore packs and start your morel mushroom garden today!