Morel mushrooms are highly popular with chefs and food connoisseurs because they have a unique, meaty flavor. These mushrooms are so popular that individuals that grow them do so on a secret part of their land.
Morel mushrooms aren’t easy to find, and they are extremely expensive. If you are interested in growing your own morels to save time and money, you can, but it’s not an easy task.
Morels grow best in shady areas with little sunlight. They should receive no more than three hours of sunlight every day to grow properly.
Morels also grow best in cooler weather, but not cold weather. In between winter and spring is when these mushrooms will thrive!
What Do Morel Mushrooms Look Like?
If you are hunting for morel mushrooms, it is important that you know what they look like. If you don’t, you can accidentally end up with mushrooms that aren’t safe to eat.
Morel mushrooms have a pretty distinct look that is easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. They have caps that are shaped like a cone and have several crevices that resemble a sponge. When you cut them open, morels will be hollow.
Do Morels Prefer Shade or Sun?
Morels are worth a ton of money, so it makes sense that you would want to try to grow your own. These mushrooms are very picky and will only grow under certain conditions.
Morel mushrooms prefer to grow in shade with just a little bit of sunshine. They should get a maximum of about three hours of sunshine each day. Any more than that can prevent them from growing properly.
It is best to find a place that is mostly shady with just a bit of sunshine. The perfect spot would be under a tree that is dying or in a forest-like area. If you don’t have any areas like this,
How to Grow Your Own Morel Mushrooms
When you are trying to grow your own morel mushrooms, the hardest part is planting. You need to pick a spot that is mostly shady with just a little sun exposure.
If you happen to have a dying tree, the best possible place to plant morels is on the side of it. If you don’t have a dying tree, study your yard and track sunlight to see which space gets the least.
Morels also thrive in day temperatures between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit, so the best time to plant them is between winter and spring. After you figure out where you are going to plant your morels, you need to prepare the soil.
No matter where you decide to plant your morel mushrooms, you need to prepare the soil. Start with wood chips and burn them until you only have ashes left. Next, mix the same amount of peat moss, ashes, and whole wood chips to create a mixture in the soil.
Dig into the soil only one quarter of an inch deep and as wide as you want the morel area. Most morel growers will dig a four-foot by four-foot area to grow.
Morel Growing Kit
It is essential that you have a morel growing kit. You can buy one or you can make your own. If you decide to make your own, follow these instructions.
Get about one gallon of filtered or distilled water in a pot. It is important to avoid unfiltered tap water because it contains chlorine.
Bring your gallon of water to a boil and add one tablespoon of molasses. This will help provide the morels with plenty of energy to grow. You will also want to add in one quarter of a teaspoon of salt to prevent bacteria from growing.
Bring the water back to a boil, then take it off the heat and let it cool back down to room temperature. When cool, add the spore of some morel mushroom and mix.
Let the mixture sit in a corner of your home for about 44 hours, then drain it through a cheesecloth. Take the drained liquid to your prepared soil and pour it over the peat moss mixture.
Cover your growing area with one quarter of an inch of leaves and wait for the morsels to grow. If you aren’t seeing any growth in ten days, try again.
What Can Happen If Morels Get Too Much Sun?
If morel mushrooms get too much sunlight, you can run into a few severe problems. First, the morels might not have the necessary moisture to grow. These mushrooms need to grow in moist soil, and too much sunlight can evaporate the water and make it too dry.
Another issue that can be caused by too much sunlight is the morsels getting too warm. The ideal temperature for morsels to grow is between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. Too much sunlight can make the morels too hot and prevent their growth.
When is the Best Time to Hunt for Morel Mushrooms?
Since morel mushrooms thrive in shade and moisture, the best time to go looking for them is the day after it rains. This is because it gets cloudy and shady when it rains, along with providing moisture to the soil.
The best months to hunt for morels are March, April, and May. As morels do most of their growing overnight, it will be best for you to hunt for morels in the morning. This will be helpful because there will still be dew on the ground and they will not be exposed to any sunlight yet.
Can It Be Too Cold for Morels to Grow?
It can be too cold for morels to grow properly. If the temperature falls below 50-degrees Fahrenheit, the morels will freeze and stop growing.
When the morels freeze and the weather starts to warm up some, it can cause the mushrooms to fall over and rot. This means they are no longer edible, and you will need to start over.