Morels begin to grow under normal climatic conditions with the end of winter and the beginning of spring. But that doesn’t mean that morels can’t grow in other months as well if you are willing to put in a little effort.
Morel mushrooms, unlike other types, are difficult to grow indoors. In order for morel mushrooms to grow, you must adapt the indoor environment to meet the ideal outdoor conditions.
What Do Morel Mushrooms Need to Grow?
What you need to do is provide the soil with plenty of dead trees and plants, enough shade, and moisture.
You can also grow indoor morels within a greenhouse and with homemade kits. Although morel breeding is a laborious and demanding job, the results you will get will be worth the effort.
What Should Be Considered When Growing Morel Mushrooms?
Morels grow in nature by taking in the beams of light that are passing through leaves and branches in the woods. Morels, which you can often see at the base and around the trees, do not synthesize chlorophyll, unlike plants.
Although morels do not need much sunlight to thrive, light plays an important role in keeping the soil warm.
Soils, where dead trees and plants are often found, are of great value to morels. Morels are often found in wooded areas and the edges of forests. They are especially fond of leaf litter so adding wood chips, twigs, and broken tree branches to your soil will provide your morels with the nutrients they need.
Morel mushrooms need moisture to grow, in both the air and the soil. The amount of moisture should be so high that morels can grow quickly, but not so high that they ‘drown’ or ‘suffocate’ morel growth.
When growing morels, irrigate them with collected rainwater instead of watering them with chalky tap water.
Rainwater is also full of valuable nutrients and it provides a balanced diet for your morels. If growing n a greenhouse, you could provide a little heat to the area just after watering to encourage the humidity levels to rise.
Temperature and Humidity
Morels do not like very hot or very cold weather. Since very hot weather brings drought and dry soils, morels generally do not prefer to grow in this season.
Cool seasons with light rain create the ideal climatic conditions for morels, while high humidity accelerates their growth.
Morel mushrooms grow best with quality soil. If you add plant molds and pieces of wood, the soil will become enriched and morel growth will be stronger and faster.
How Do I Plant Morel Spores at Home?
- First, boil a gallon of water and add a tablespoon of molasses and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. If you wish, add a tablespoon of molasses and mix.
Molasses will give the necessary energy to the mushroom, while salt will prevent the formation of various bacteria.
- Cool the boiled water at room temperature and add the morel mushrooms. Let the mixture sit for two days.
- Filter it well to get rid of any morel debris, and pour the liquid in which the spores have been collected into the soil you have prepared.
Even if you don’t get very successful results on your first try, if you wait a few months (or even years!) a good morel colony can thrive.
How Do I Harvest Morels?
It is very difficult to tell whether morel mushrooms have reached maturity just by looking at their size.
While a long morel mushroom may be ripe, the same can be said for a short morel. Likewise, an older morel can be just as delicious and robust as a younger morel.
The most important thing to consider when harvesting morel mushrooms is to cut close to the bottom and be careful not to damage the roots. If the roots are not damaged, it means you have a good chance of another batch regrowing next time.
How Do Morels Spread?
Morel fungi reproduce by spores. The spores are transported by the wind and can travel over long distances.
Before the spores turn into fungi, they form roots, which are called mycelium. Mycelium spread underground and the mushrooms are the fruit of the network of mycelium.
After the formation of the mycelium, the fungi will appear and grow on the soil surface within a few days each season.
What are The Common Problems When Planting Morels?
Growing morels is a little more difficult than other types of mushrooms. Of course, it is inevitable that some problems will arise. Here are some common issues that morel growers encounter.
- Lack of moisture
- Too much light exposure
- Too little humidity
- Wrong temperature
- Lack of nutrients in the soil
- Contaminated ovulation
What is the Spawn Method in Morel Planting?
Mushroom spawning is a technique of growing morels on materials such as grain or sawdust. This method is found in morel growing kits.
- Sprinkle some burnt wood and wood chips that are often found with the pack, into the soil and mix.
- Add some hardwood shavings on top of my mix and mix again and add then add the spores.
This is a simple method but It may take several years for the mycelium to take hold in the soil.
This is a job that requires patience and good timing. The spawning method works best when started in autumn, to give the mycelium time to grow to maturity and start fruiting in spring.
What is The Spore Slurry Method in Morel Planting?
The spore slurry method involves adding one gallon of water, one scoop of salt, sugar, and morel mushrooms together for a few days. The water will encourage the morels to release spores.
- prepare your soil beforehand and mix burnt composite and wood chips. It is ideal to let the soil sit for a day or two.
- Add the slurry on top of the soil and let it drain downward by itself. Make sure to pour the mixture evenly over the soil surface.
- Leave the mixture for several weeks, watering occasionally. You should start to see morels grow in the spring.
If you do not see morels in springtime from this method, then wait until the following year. Mycelium can take a while to germinate, patience is always key when trying to grow morels.