Morel mushroom growing conditions | Mushroom farming | Biobritte mushroom farming

Morel mushroom growing conditions | Mushroom farming | Biobritte mushroom farming

Morel mushroom growing conditions

  • Wild morel mushrooms (Morchella spp.) are a favorite among chefs and dining connoisseurs who crave the delicious meaty flavor. 
  • There are as many as 70 species in the genus, but the ones more commonly gathered in the wild are the black morel (Morchella elata), the common morel (Morchella esculenta), and the late morel (Morchella deliciosa).
  • Hunting for morel mushrooms in the spring becomes a sort of mythical quest for those who crave these forest dwellers. 
  • The netted brown caps of the low-growing fungi are perfectly camouflaged in their woodland habitat, blending in with the leaf litter and decaying wood that nourishes morels from one season to the next. 
  • You don't need to have access to large tracts of forestland to enjoy morel mushrooms if you grow them at home.
  • Morel mushrooms, like other fungi, have different cultural needs from traditional vegetables. 
  • The visible mushrooms are simply the fruiting bodies of a large underground network of mycelium filaments. 
  • It can take three to five years from the time you "seed" the soil with spores until a good colony of mushrooms appears. 
  • This is why wild patches of morel mushrooms are so highly prized. But once the mycelium is established, it can take as little as six days from the time shoots appear until full-sized mushrooms are ready to harvest. Careful observation is a must.

How to Plant Morel Mushrooms

In the classification of living organisms, morel mushrooms fall under the Fungi kingdom, not the Plantae kingdom. 

Mushrooms don't have roots and don't produce seeds. In some ways, they are as different from plants as they are from animals. 

Growing morel mushrooms indoors is nearly impossible for all but experts with access to the strictest laboratory conditions and equipment. 

To grow morel mushrooms at home, you must try to replicate their favorable growing conditions outdoors. If you don't experience success one season, try again, as morels have an unpredictable growing habit.

There is any number of commercial kits available that purport to allow you to grow your own morel mushrooms, each with detailed instructions. 

But there are also a number of quite successful home formulas that have been developed. 

The key conditions for growing morels include carefully prepared soil with plenty of decaying wood matter in it (an actual dying tree is ideal), the proper amount of shade and moisture, and a source of morel fungi spores.

Morel mushroom growing conditions

One well-known home formula for a spore mixture involves first boiling one gallon of distilled water and adding one tablespoon of molasses and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 

The molasses will provide energy for the mushrooms to grow, and the salt will prevent bacteria from growing.

Let the water cool to room temperature, then add in some full shredded morel mushrooms. 

Let the mixture sit for about two days, then strain it through cheesecloth and collect the liquid, which will contain the microscopic spores. 

As the mixture sits, you can prepare the soil in the planting area.

To plant the spores, sprinkle the liquid over the prepared soil area. Cover the area with about 1/4 inch of compost and watch daily for the growth of mushrooms. 

Do not be discouraged if you do not grow mushrooms in the first year. 

You may get a few mushrooms, but the process of establishing a colony can take several years in most cases.

If you choose to use a commercial morel spore kit, make sure to follow the instructions exactly.

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