Morels grow in the filtered light of forests. They grow under and around deciduous trees such as elm, ash, alder, apple, and oak, frequently appearing before these trees have leafed out. Unlike plants, fungi species such as morel mushrooms do not make chlorophyll.
While we were writing we ran into the query “What is the best way to grow morels?”.
Going to China and getting the strain and substrate mix would be the easiest and best way to start growing morel mushrooms. And even then the mushrooms are not being fruited constantly. Even if someone comes up with a consistent method to produce the mushrooms many consumers will still prefer the wild foraged mushrooms.
Growers in China were even so successful that they could grow 6,000 morels in an acre of land. While we suggest that you start with a much smaller area, here is how to plant, grow and cultivate morel mushrooms in your backyard. Planting is the hardest part in learning how to grow morels.
Morels need loose soil with lots of organic matter to grow. Loam, a nice mix of clay, sand, and silt makes life easy for morels. Find loam plus dead trees that are 1-2 years dead and you may have a morel jackpot. Yards Next to Streams and Creeks Streams and creeks flood and cause disturbance.
Why do morel mushrooms grow around dead trees?
It’s no coincidence that groups of morel mushrooms grow around dead, decaying, and burned trees. The nutrients released by dying trees and the leaf litter of the forest create the loamy soil that morel mushrooms thrive in. Wood chips, wood ash, peat moss, and sand are also desirable soil additives for growing morels.
Eagle Rock’s Dave Garland is one of the many Virginians who regard this fungi as a treasure. “The black morel is probably the most common variety in our state, and I have found them as early as late March and as late as mid-May,” he said.
Are morels dying in Virginia due to ash borer?
“People who gather morels are really concerned about the emerald ash borer killing off the ashes in Virginia. We’re losing some of our best places to find this mushroom because of the ashes dying. ” Garland adds that morels also often thrive under one shrub in particular – the spicebush which typically form thick copses.