Inoculating store bought Chanterelle, Porcini and Morel Mushrooms with Oak, Elm and Ash
Inoculating store bought Chanterelle, Porcini and Morel Mushrooms are all difficult mycorrhizae mushrooms. They need a host tree or plant to evenly exchange nutrients for the mushroom to survive. If you want to grow these types of mushrooms, you need to inoculate your trees with the mushrooms. To this date there is no sure way to guarantee mushroom growth from “seeding” or inoculating trees. It’s a trial and error.
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Porcini and Morel Mushrooms can work symbiotically with trees and/or grow as a decomposing mushroom. These two mushrooms love to grow in compost. You can set up a site where the mushrooms can grow by adding ash and elm wood chippings.
- Pick a site that is shady. The best time to do this is between fall and winter in California.
- Add compost from your compost pile to the area, say 3 feet by 3 feet area. Dig it into the soil.
- Take the Porcini and/or Morel mushrooms and place them in a food processor.
- Add water and let it blend. Make sure all of the mushroom is blended up.
- Spread it on top of the composted area. Cover with Elm and/or Ash wood chips
- Keep it moist.
- Another trick is to put the slurry in a plastic bag with 1/2 wood chips and half compost. Place the bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Date the bag. Bacteria grows slower than fungi at these temperatures. When you see the mycelium through the bag, it’s time to plant the mushroom. It grows very slow. By the time the mushroom is ready, it will be fall and ready to plant outside just in time for the raining season.
- The mushroom will start to grow, but you will not see fruiting for a few years. It takes time for the mushroom to get established for fruiting.
If you like, there is a higher probability of germination when a pinch of powered rock and a teaspoon of fish hydrolysateis added to the slurry. Spores need to land and connect to something before they will germinate. The fish hydrolysate will feed the fungus until it connects with some compost. It will keep the spores alive for 18 hours.
The procedure describe below can be used for Chanterelle and Morel Mushrooms:
- When inoculating Chanterelle and Morel Mushrooms, you need to start with a very yound tree. The type of trees matters. For Chanterelles, you need an Oak tree. For Morels you need an Alm and/or Ash tree. It’s best to do this when the tree is very young.
- The process is the same for both. I’ll just describe the Chanterelle process. Take store bought Chanterelle smushrooms and place them in a food processor; not a blender. A blender is too strong of a mixer and distributes the spores. Add water to the food processor and give it a whirl.
- Take the slurry and spread it out over the root drip line around a very young Oak. If you are planting a new Oak tree, it is best to smear the slurry over the bulb of the tree.
- Plant the tree and keep the soil moist for a few weeks.
- In a couple of weeks, you may need to make more slurry and add it to the base of the tree.
This process takes a few years before you see the first mushrooms. It can be a hobby, but it take patience with a possible outcome of not working. Last, you can purchase inoculated trees on-line. They work good, but you need patience . It takes years for a mushroom to become established to fruit.
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