How to Replant Morel Mushrooms

Miss Chen
Picky morel mushrooms require exact soil, temperature and moisture levels in order to produce the edible fruiting bodies that mushroom hunters consider delicacies. For this reason, it is often difficult to propagate morel mushrooms to encourage larger yields in hunting grounds and to propagate additional morel mushroom patches nearer a hunter's home. Though successful yields depend upon specific, strict and somewhat mysterious conditions, spreading morel mushroom spores to encourage those higher yields and development of new patches is relatively easy.

Step 1

Collect wild morel mushrooms from their natural locations to use spores from those mushrooms to propagate additional mushrooms. Search the woods near your home, or at state and national parks that allow mushroom hunting. Morel hot spots include the vicinities of ash trees, fallen and rotting logs, and in areas recently burned in forest fires.

Step 2

Cut the fruiting bodies -- the stems and caps -- of the morel mushroom at the ground, leaving the underground root system of the fungi intact. Interconnected root systems of the morel mushrooms may spread over large areas of the forest and will reproduce more efficiently if you leave them intact when harvesting the fruiting bodies.

Step 3

Place harvested morel mushrooms in mesh grocery bags or make your own breathable bags from the red mesh sacks used to contain potatoes and onions on grocery store shelves. The open design of the bags prevents morels from sweating as they would in plastic grocery bags and allows morel spores to fall to the forest floor as you continue morel hunting. This will encourage higher yields of morels in your hunting site.

Step 4

Spread morel mushrooms on old towels, sheets or newspapers to dry. Space mushrooms so they do not touch. As the mushrooms dry, spores will fall onto the towels, sheets or newspapers, creating yellow and brown spots.

Step 5

Remove and bag the dried mushrooms for storage. Take the towels, sheets or old newspapers outdoors and shake the morel spores off, over an area you intend to use as a new morel patch. Newspapers printed with soy-based ink that does not contain chemical additives may be spread on the ground and covered with a layer of forest soil and rotting leaves. This layer of rotting leaves is full of the nutrients and minerals necessary to encourage growth and mimic the morel's natural habitat.
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