The ever elusive morel


Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
33
Reaction score
7
Location
South East Iowa
Hardiness Zone
I have a PHD in handiology
Country
United States
So. When we first moved into this house and I started my job here I knew my time would be limited. Mushroom hunting is something we've enjoyed forever. But I knew I wouldn't have time. So after much reading a few years ago I went with the slurry method and tweaked it a bit.

I dug in a half foot or so and buried some rotten elm branches packed the soil in and dumped the slurry along my fence line. Last year had a few tiny ones pop up and see em growing again. Hopefully they're even bigger this year.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,445
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Love morels! I'm curious...can you expand more on your method? Did you start out with some fresh morel spores?

Michigan morel hunting season is fast approaching and I have a very mushroom-friendly property (lots of trees and damp areas.)

Edited to add...growing up my family often foraged for mushrooms. My stepfather actually had a little growing operation under a bed in the spare bedroom. o_O
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2015
Messages
3,917
Reaction score
3,610
Location
Southern Chester County, PA, USA
Hardiness Zone
4 to 5 best for success.
Country
United States
my dad was good with mushroom hunting. sadly, never paid attention. he is gone now. I do live just 20 mins from Kennett SQ., PA, mushroom capital of the world. So I get plenty cheap.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
33
Reaction score
7
Location
South East Iowa
Hardiness Zone
I have a PHD in handiology
Country
United States
10108796.jpg
My hunting property is very fungus friendly and I always find ten to twenty pounds on that 30 acre plot of land. But my brother and I got into a debate a few years ago. He said that morels can not be grown on purpose year after year. Bla bla bla and the urban gardeners on YouTube are full of it. So I set out to prove him wrong.

Like every other living thing, if you give it what it wants it will grow.

The property we live on isn't exactly fungus friendly. Every little corner gets some direct sunlight, so along the southern side of my fence I built a little overhang a foot above the ground that hangs out three foot and covered it with camo netting. That area gets great shade in the afternoon. But gets about 3 hours of direct morning sun. The camo netting shades it just like tree leaves. I'll post pictures of the setup sometime soon.

I took a pound of fresh morels from multiple locations (for greater genetic diversity) let them sit in my slurry for 4 hours. Making the slurry was about the simplest part of the process. I took five gallons of rainwater mixed in 5 tablespoons of molasses and 1 teaspoon of salt. The salt is supposed to control the growth of bacteria that would otherwise eat the protine rich spores.

Bring your rainwater to a boil then let it cool. Once it's cooled add your mushrooms. Let sit for four hours. After that I mashed up the mushrooms and mixed them in hopes of not only giving the spores more food but also maybe adding a few more spores to the mix. The site I originally got the mix from said to pull the mushrooms after four hours and let it sit in a dark warm corner of your house for 24 to 48 hours so the spores can germinate. Then pour it about 4 weeks before mushroom hunting season. I poured mine in early May cause that was when the argument between my brother and I happened.

I only let the slurry sit for 24 hours before pouring.

There are a variety of sites with different ingredients and ratios for the slurry. But I haven't tested them all. One thing they all agree on is that you don't want to let your spores sit for more than 48 hours as the oxygen in the water will be used up and turn it into an anerobic environment. Killing your spores.

In retrospect I should have collected some soil from where I picked the morels and tested the ph. But didn't. Might do that this year so I can better prepare the soil here at home. They say that the roots (is that the proper word?) of a morel can live for a decade so ya don't have to pour a slurry every year. All the sites say that it can take up to five years for them to finally grow. Didn't take that long for me so I guess your milage will vary.

I've always been told that they love the dead roots and leaves from elm trees so that's why I buried those branches.

If they don't start getting bigger within the next year or so I might compost straight elm leaves and branches. Then try it all again.

Y'all are a lot more experienced with gardening than I am. So I reckon y'all know about using vinegar and baking soda to check ph. The site listed below details how to do it for those that don't already know.

http://preparednessmama.com/testing-your-soil-ph-without-a-kit/
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top