Growing morel mushrooms is an art form few commercial growers have been able to accomplish. Using the same basic methods of growing used in other mushroom varieties, you can start your mushrooms and hope that mother nature provides the exact conditions necessary for fruit production. When you luck into a crop of morels, you can add the delicacy to your farmer's market wares.
Things You'll Need
- Mesh bags
- Water-proof shoes
- Old sheets or newspaper
Hunt for morels to use as parents for your future crops. Head into the woods during the rainy spring, particularly during the months of April and May. Collect any morels you find and place in a mesh bag that allows the mushrooms to breath and prevents condensation inside the bag.
Spread the mushrooms out indoors on old sheets or newspapers to capture spores as the mushrooms dry and shrink. To keep mushrooms from becoming soggy and promote faster drying, use a dehumidifier to pull excess moisture from the air.
Remove dried mushrooms and place in bags or containers for storage, or place in the freezer. Fold newspapers or sheets in half to collect dropped spores so they do not disperse into the air inside your home.
Take the folded sheets of papers to your chosen morel garden. Ideally, you should choose places in your garden with partial sunlight, as morels most often grow in forested areas with thick canopies allowing little sunlight to reach the soil.
Apply finished compost on top of the soil to provide a nutrient-rich growing medium for the morel spores. Smooth the compost down to create a level layer measuring only one to two inches thick.
Unfold the newspapers or sheets and shake vigorously over the chosen mushroom garden plot. Many of the spores will deposit inside the garden, while others may travel several feet through the air and deposit elsewhere in your yard or other garden plots.
Tips & Warnings
- Leave the spores alone and nature will take its course.
- Morels may not appear the first year and may appear in different quantities each year, depending on weather conditions.
- Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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