Morels, which are frequently found in mountainous and woody areas, tend to grow more successfully at night.
Morels prefer humid and rainy weather, especially for the breeding season. They have a good camouflage ability in dark environments due to their dark, blackish color, leading to the perception that they grow better at night, but in reality, they are harder for night-dwelling predators to spot.
How Fast Do Morels Grow?
The fruiting period of morels takes place over a very short time. The cap and body above the soil develop very quickly.
The maturation time of morel mushrooms is faster than other mushroom species. As soon as the head is above ground, they are mature and are ready for picking in 10-15 days.
During the first period before fruiting, their heads are too small to be seen. Therefore, you may not notice them. These mushrooms start to be noticed about 7 days after they start to mature and their development suddenly accelerates.
Another fact about these mushrooms is that they spoil quickly. If they are not collected immediately after fruiting, they may deteriorate quickly.
For a good harvest, the timing needs to be well adjusted. Morels are really hard to find because they are a type of mushroom that can mix very well with the environment. They are usually noticeable in the last stages of their growth, so revisit suspected growing spots frequently.
When Do Morels Grow?
Morel mushrooms grow in the spring months, especially in April and May. Climatic conditions are also of great importance to morel growth. Where morels have harvested once, they tend to grow again the following year.
Therefore, if you have harvested morel in an area, you should definitely check it again over subsequent years.
The race is on for morel hunters, who know that the harvesting season of morels is very short. They do their best to finish the harvest as quickly and profitably as possible because once morels have been harvested in one season, it is almost impossible to see them again until the next season.
Why are Morels More Common in Spring?
One of the main reasons why morels prefer the spring months to grow is because of the moderate temperature and humidity. Morels cannot grow in very hot weather, nor very cold weather.
Rainy April months are indispensable for this mushroom, which loves moisture and heavy rainfall combined with humid air.
Morels are more abundant in spring after a winter of heavy snowfall, because snow masses formed on the ground feed the soil over the winter months. It also cools the soil and prepares a suitable ground for the development of morels.
Morels, which tend to grow at lower altitudes in the early spring, continue to grow in higher regions as the temperature increases.
Where to Find Morel Mushrooms
Morels usually grow in woodland and woodland areas around trees such as oak, elm, and poplar. Morels, like other mushroom species, prefer to nest in the base of dead or dying trees.
Although they do not need trees to grow. They can also be found on south-facing hillsides and by riverbanks where there is plenty of irrigation and fast-moving water.
What are False Morels?
The mushroom species known as ‘false’ morels has gotten its name because of its resemblance to an original morel mushroom.
False morels resemble each other because of their wrinkled caps and color. False morels are poisonous and are often mistaken for non-poisonous varieties of morel flasks by mushroom hunters.
Therefore if you think you have spotted a morel in the wild, think twice before consuming it.
What Do Morels Look Like?
Morel mushrooms are hollow and their caps are attached to their bodies. The hollow-looking ridges around the lid are the most prominent features that distinguish them from other mushrooms.
Although morels are a type of mushroom with a distinctive appearance, they are sometimes mistaken for a very similar type of mushroom, the false morel.
The visual difference between the false morel mushroom from the original morel is that it has a skirt-like ring on the base edges and has a more protruding body than the original morel.
This can be very confusing to those who are new to mushroom hunting.
Are Morels Edible?
Morels are a type of edible mushroom. You can either boil the morels or fry them. You should wash the morels thoroughly before cooking, as they have sediment on them due to the conditions of the area they grow in.
Morels should not be consumed raw and in large quantities. Since some morels can be very slightly toxic, they will be freed from these toxins if you cook them, but traces may remain.
If you have allergic reactions to mushrooms, you should especially avoid morel mushrooms.
How to Cook Morels
Morels are delicate mushrooms that can be easily digested. It is possible to find a lot of sediment on them due to the environment they are in, so wash them well, rinse and dry them before adding them to your meals.
Morels should be rinsed in water rather than submerged, and eaten shortly after or their taste may be affected. If left open and uneaten for a long time, the colors will start to darken.
If you wish, you can cut morels into slices or eat them whole. You should definitely cook this mushroom variety, eating raw can cause various stomach ailments, or at the very least a metallic and earthy taste in your mouth.
Do Morels Grow in The Same Place Every Year?
If the area is humid and rainy, it is possible to find morels in the same place every year in the same season. However, if your hunting ground is dry, it is probably that the morels have moved onto a spot with more moisture.
How Long Should You Let Morels Grow?
When the morel spores reach the soil, they turn into cells in about 10 days and become a mature mushroom in an average of 15 days. It is best to leave them to reach full maturity before picking.
Their growth rate may vary depending on the climate in which they grow. Morels tend to grow better and faster in humid and wet weather.