Growing mushrooms like morels appears to be a complex symbiotic relationship. Scientists haven’t figured it out but have noted a few circumstances. Morels most often appear in abandon orchards or where trees have rotted and after a fire.I have never considered the pH of mushroom growing, but composting materials are neutralizing themselves and ashes are alkaline, emphasis on lye. I wonder if the potassium in ash helps. I could easily inoculate along walking paths here in the woods. There is a forest floor of leaves already. This will be a lot to learn. I cannot say I have had a morel. Now I am wondering about seasonal mushrooms.
I’ve had a few appear after laying cedar bark for paths 3 times but never in quantity and never the following year. This years bounty is at the base where we removed a rotted cherry, apple and Japanese maple ( rotted root systems may be important) and where I’d thrown ash (replicating fire) and layered cedar bark (source of morel spores). Morels have never appear where I’ve used fir bark. This years bounty is an area that has been largely un disturbed for decades with naturalized bulbs, ferns, hellebores and heathers under a current Japanese maple. The area is only 25x25 feet in my front yard. Yet I’ve harvest enough to give away, have three big meals, dry a half gallon of morels and leave many for spore.
Since mushrooms are the fruit of extensive underground fungal structures it will be interesting if I can duplicate this harvest next year. I have heard of mushroom pickers having areas they return to year after year. I have one other undisturbed area on my lot that I am going to try to replicate but .... we’ve lived here for for 38 years and this is the first year the fairies granted me morels in abundance and in the recently renovated front yard not in the back woodland garden where I’ve had them appear in the past. Nature appears to be rather fickled.