This week we thought it would be nice to take a step back from the topic of mushrooms and discuss another type of mushroom that is near and dear to us here at Quality Spores, and that is Morel mushrooms.

For the love of Morel

As someone who has spent countless hours hunting and foraging wild morels mushrooms, I can attest that morel mushrooms are one of the most sought-after culinary delicacies. Their unique flavor and texture make them a favorite among chefs and foodies. However, finding these mushrooms in the wild is challenging, and growing them is even more difficult. As a result, people often enquire about the possibility of purchasing morel mushroom spores. Today, we’ll explore the world of morel spores, including what they are, where to buy them, and how to use them for cultivating your own morels mushrooms.

What Are Morel Mushroom Spores?

Morel mushroom spores are tiny reproductive cells produced on the underside of the mushroom’s cap and released into the air to fertilize other fungi and maintain the lifecycle. These spores are crucial for growing healthy morel mushrooms and are used in different ways, including as a substrate, creating a liquid culture, or making spore prints for study.

Can You Buy Morel Mushroom Spores?

Yes, you can buy morel mushroom spores. However, morel spores aren’t widely available as other mushroom spores and are costly because they’re notoriously difficult to grow, and the cultivation process is highly unpredictable.

Types of Morel Spores for Sale

Knowing the right one for you can be challenging with different types of morel mushroom spores for sale. Here are some of the available options for purchase:

  1. Morel Liquid Culture: This spore has been sterilized and suspended in a liquid medium containing nutrients that promote spore growth, making them easier to cultivate. Morel liquid culture is famous for home gardeners and mushroom growers as it’s easy to work with and produces consistent results. The spores thrive in a temperature range of 65 – 75°F and humidity levels of 70 – 90%.
  2. Morel Mushroom Spore Print: Morel mushroom spore prints are made by collecting spores from a mature cap placed on a sterile surface and left overnight. As the cap releases its spores, they settle onto the sterile surface, forming a pattern used to identify the mushroom species and for cultivation purposes. These spore prints are popular among collectors and researchers studying the spores and their characteristics. Similarly, they require a temperature range of 60-70°F and humidity levels of 80-90%.
  3. Morel Mushroom Spore Syringes: Morel spore syringes have a concentrated suspension of spores in sterile water and are used to inoculate substrates. They offer a convenient way to transport and store spores and are particularly useful for small-scale farming projects. Additionally, these syringes thrive in temperatures of about 70-80°F and humidity levels of 70-90%.
  4. Sawdust Spawn: Sawdust spawn is a morel spore mixed with sawdust used to inoculate wood chips or logs. This spore is useful for outdoor cultivation projects and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Furthermore, it requires temperatures of about 60-70°F and humidity levels of 80-90%.

Where to Buy Morel Mushroom Spores

There are several options for buying morel mushroom spores, each with pros and cons, and choosing the option best suited to your needs is important. Here are some options for those interested in where to buy morel spores:

Local stores selling morel spores:

Many local stores, including gardening centers and nurseries, sell a variety of mushroom spores and plant supplies, making them convenient for in-person shopping. However, the quantity and selection of morel spores in stock in local stores may be limited, and the quality isn’t always guaranteed.

Online marketplaces:

Amazon spores are popular options for mushroom cultivators. Etsy also offers a search for a wide selection of morel mushroom spores from reputable vendors worldwide. Customers can read reviews and compare prices before buying, making it easier to find high-quality morel spores.

Specialty garden morel spore vendors:

These vendors offer a wide range of high-quality morel spores. They specialize in mushroom cultivation and offer knowledge and resources to help customers choose correctly.

How to Grow Morel Mushrooms From Spores

Morel mushrooms are unique because they need specific environmental conditions to grow. These fungi thrive in soil rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. Similarly, they grow well in cool and damp environments, with temperatures between 55 – 75°F. Here are the steps involved in growing morel mushrooms from spores.

  1. Mix equal proportions of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite in a large bowl and slowly add water while stirring until it’s damp. Fill a container with the damp growing medium, leaving a small space at the top, and sprinkle morel spores evenly over the surface while wearing gloves.
  2. Cover the container with plastic wrap or a lid to create a humid environment, and place it in a cool, dark place like a closet. Wait for the mushrooms to grow, which takes months, while keeping the medium damp but not soaking wet.
  3. Once the mushrooms are mature, they’ll look like small, cone-shaped mushrooms, and you can harvest them using a knife or scissors.

Tips for Successful Morel Mushroom Cultivation

Preferred Conditions

Morel mushrooms prefer slightly acidic soil with good drainage, lots of organic material, and filtered sunlight. Cultivating and spreading the spores growing morels in a site with deciduous forest and coniferous trees is ideal.

Use Spawns

These fungi are challenging to grow from spores alone. For this reason, using a spawn kit increases your chances of success. You can buy the spawns online or from a reputable mushroom supplier.

Prepare Your Soil Correctly

Before planting morel spores seed, prepare the soil by removing weeds and rocks to loosen it to a depth of 6 inches and amend it with compost. Additionally, planting the spores in the fall or early spring keeps them warm and maintains the moisture required for growth.

Cultivate Your Own Morel Mushrooms

The spore quality greatly impacts the success of these mushrooms. High-quality spores are more likely to produce healthy and strong morel mushrooms, while low-quality spores have poor yields. Similarly, always choose a reputable vendor or seller when buying the spores and read the product descriptions carefully to make an informed choice. With the right resources and techniques, anyone can grow their own delicious and unique morel mushrooms using good-quality spores.