Found a morel in recently disturbed soil in hoophouse!

ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)March 31, 2012

I was harvesting kale this evening, and what a surprise!

I didn't dig that patch of ground this spring, but I'm sure that I dug or hoed there last year. I wasn't aware that these could spring up in recently disturbed soil.

Now I'm afraid to dig the area for fear of destroying the mycellium.

Is this a sign that my hoophouse soil has happy fungal life?

Any ideas on how to encourage more of this? We're pretty crazy morel fans in this house.

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Wow! You're so lucky -- I've gone morel hunting several times and never found any, and here you've got them growing at home :)

An elderly woman I sometimes trade gardening tips with wants me to dig her some ramps so she can plant them in her raised beds because she says they carry the "seeds" of morels with them, and what she really wants to grow is the morels. I'm going to do it for her, but I wondered at her assumption. Just thought I'd share that in case it sheds any light at all on how to encourage home grown morels.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 10:00AM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

A couple years back I went through a rather involved process to try to collect the spore.

I gathered some morels and set them on a table between two clean window panes that I had. Then I placed a small light bulb under the panes.

Within a day or two, some of the mushrooms had produced spores, evidence by the "clouds" of haze on the glass near the morels.

I prepared petri dishes with agar and swapped some of the spores into the center of each dish, put the top on, sealed with tape, and set aside. I can't remember how long it took, but after a while, several of my dishes began to grow the beginnings of mycellium colonies.

Got some ryegrass seed, soaked that with water and a little gypsum, and then processed mason jars with half of the soaked seeds in a pressure cooker to sterilize (and kill the seeds). Then cut the successfully grown agar from the petri dishes into pieces and planted 3 pieces each in the ryegrass seed mix jars, covered with a lid with a hole poked in the middle and stuffed with pillow batting to act as a filter, and set that aside in a dark place.

After a few weeks, a few of those mason jars were showing the tendrils of mycellium growth.

But after that I couldn't figure out how to prepare some beds to throw the colonized ryegrass into, and ended up throwing them all in the compost.

Hmmm. I wonder if some of my experiment ended up in the hoophouse....

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 11:51AM
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We bought a colony from a guy at the farmer's market.

Oh wait. What day is it?

Sorry, It's my birthday. Feelin' kinda foolish

Seriously -- that would be awesome if you created you own personal morel patch.

Unfortunately you made a mistake. You told us where you found it!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:31PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I have found them in soil disturbed by logging. In fact, sometimes I wonder if the selective logging - may have stimulated the shrooms... more sunlight plus a little bit of disturbance and a lot of limbs and debris left to rot.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:36AM
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toxcrusadr(Zone 6a - MO)

That's really cool! I've heard that no one has figured out how to grow them on purpose, but you may have.

Also heard they like dead elms and, oh, what was that other tree, that I don't have any of on my property... :-[ Anyway the logging may indeed help by leaving dead stumps and root systems for them to feed on.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:29PM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

Unfortunately you made a mistake. You told us where you found it!

Oh, nay, no, no, no no! Breath of moose! You don't believe that I actually accurately described my location while indicating the location of even a single morel, do you?

B'sides, these morels look poisonous. I'd better just keep 'em and not put anyone else at risk. ;-)

Actually, we have patches on this site that have sprouted MULTIPLE morels in previous years. These morels are in the general vicinity of Omaha, but that's just a really vague hint. We's got lots of acres in Nebraska!

But I'd be willing to share a couple.... :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 11:29PM
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