Morels are prized mushrooms that have some distinct requirements. For example, they like to grow near oak trees and also like their soil to be made from oak wood. Location is important because they thrive in the shade of an oak tree on a north-facing slope. They also require a constantly moist mulch through all the layers. Even though morels have unique requirements, they can be harvested as soon as the next season rolls around. However, if conditions are not perfect, harvest can be delayed years.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Safety goggles
- Wrecking bar
- Wood chipper
- Old, oak pallets
- Morel mushroom culture
- Ash from burnt wood
- Watering hose or can
Take apart oak pallets and remove all nails, screws, and staples using a hammer and wrecking bar.
Run oak pallet slats through a wood chipper or strip pieces off with a hatchet.
Pick a shady location on a north-facing slope to build a 4-by-8-foot bed. Remove all grass and weeds from the area.
Mix the oak-chip mulch with wood ash. Moisten the mixture, then lay a thick layer of the mulch on the bedding area.
Sprinkle morel spores evenly over the prepared garden area. Cover the bed with 3 inches of premoistened oak-chip mulch.
Water the prepared bed until all layers of the oak mulch are moist. Check the layers with your fingers and water accordingly.
Tips and warnings
- Rent a wood chipper from a local garden centre or home improvement centre.
- Before planting morel spores, check to make sure they are still viable. If they are green, they are no good.
- Burn some of the oak planks and apply the aches to bed to mimic the natural growing conditions of morels.
- When planning the morel garden, make sure there is a water source nearby or enough hose to reach the bed.
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