Morel mushrooms are difficult to grow and it may require a lot of patience before you start to see the desired results. However, it is still possible to grow your own. There are different ways to grow morel mushrooms ranging from the hard techniques to the easier ones. Some of the methods include the mushroom spawn and grow kit approach, the spore slurry process among others. With experimentation and practice, one of these methods should work for you.
The Grow Kit Method
This method involves growing morel mushrooms with purchased spawns. The spawn is simply the mushroom’s vegetative growth and the material that was used for its growth. Spawn is supplied in the form of sawdust, grain or wood chips. The material with the infused mycelium is then used in inoculating substrate in larger batches which later develop into a mushroom bed. The simplest way to acquire spawn is through buying. Your kit will be delivered with the spores or spawn together with planting instructions. Regardless of the company that has supplied you with the spawn, most will include the following steps.
Prepare Your Bed
The site should be prepared between summer and fall when seasons actually change. Kits for growing morel mushrooms do not do well in tropical regions which do not have real spring and winter.
Choose a spot that has shade, not exposed to direct sunlight and then measure the dimensions. A 4-foot by 4-foot square is enough to support most kits. This will also ensure that the spores will have enough spacing between them.
The next step involves preparing the soil. You need a mix of sandy soil that is well drained. It should not have too much rock or clay. A sandy soil that contains peat moss and some gypsum seems to produce good results.
The soil should then be mixed with ashes obtained from burned wood. Morels have been known to germinate sporadically after a forest fire. Therefore, the ash will add nutrients to the soil and create a forest-like environment.
Plant Your Spawn
Planting is the easiest part of the process. You just need to mix your morel spores with the soil in the prepared bed. This involves spreading the seeds in the bed and covering them with a light layer of soil.
It is advisable to mix chips of hardwood on the top layer of the spawn bed. Morel mushrooms have been observed to grow near tulips, old apple and elm. Therefore, use chips from some of these trees to increases the chances of obtaining the mushrooms. It might take quite some few years before the mycelium produces any mushrooms. Growing morel mushrooms is not something that can be done by someone who is impatient. You need to be patient and continue with your daily chores as you wait for your project to materialize.
Do not be discouraged when you find out that there is nothing that has happened the following spring. Stick to the instructions and keep the area nutritious and moist as advised. With the right conditions in place, you will wake up one day to find morels shooting up on your backyard.