Want to make sure that next time you go foraging for mushrooms you pick your morels at the right time in their growing cycle? Of course, you do, morels can grow super fast, so your window can be small!
So, that is exactly why today, I am here to tell you all you need to know about the lifecycle of morel mushrooms!
How Fast Do Morels Grow?
If you happen to see the head of a morel mushroom sprout up out of the ground, set an alarm for around 2 weeks, as a morel mushroom will be ready to be harvested only 10 to 15 days from once it has popped its head out of the ground.
When a morel mushroom starts fruiting, it does not take very long at all. The part which you see, and that you want to harvest can grow wildly fast!
The time that these mushrooms take from their fruiting stage to reach maturity is insanely quick. Once the head of the mushroom has sprouted from the ground, it is a ticking clock.
During these first few days, you will be unlikely to see them unless you have a super keen eye for them, their heads are so small at this stage that they can be tricky to spot.
You probably won’t even see the morel mushroom until 10 days after, and as soon as these mushrooms are mature, they need to be harvested, because not only do they grow fast, but they deteriorate fast too!
To successfully harvest morels, you need to be quick and catch them at specifically the right time. However, these mushrooms like to make it difficult for you. It is often noted that they tend to grow overnight, and blend into their environments making it harder to spot them.
However, once you have spotted these mushrooms they are usually at the end of their growing cycle and are nearly fully grown. So, maybe set that alarm for just a few days!
Do Morels Come Up In The Same Spot?
Morels will usually always appear in the same spot, they’re fungi of habit. This is why some people have a ‘honeypot’ location for finding morels. If it were you or I, I know we would not share this location with anyone else, and most people choose to keep it secret.
As long as you pick morels the right way, and the mushroom leaves some spores behind, then you can count on these mushrooms to continue growing in the same spot every year.
Just make sure you pick them correctly and let them reproduce before you pick them so each year you can go back and get more!
Where Do Morels Grow The Most?
I cannot tell you exactly where a morel mushroom will grow, however, morel mushrooms will usually prefer to grow under or around decaying plant matter. These mushrooms tend to enjoy the decaying matter of ash trees, elm trees, poplar, and apple trees.
However, you might also find these mushrooms in other places too, some of their preferred locations include burned areas from forest fires, southern-facing slopes, logged woodlands, and some disturbed areas.
Remember, mushrooms tend to love decaying matter, so look where trees have fallen, and where plants have died.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Morel Mushroom?
Morels grow around the springtime, usually during the single-month period from April until May. The exact dates of their growth will vary from year to year, and it depends on weather and other climate conditions.
Some years, you may see no morels at all due to the conditions not being up to the high standards morels require. However, if you know a location in which morels will grow, always check it each year. Morels so often grow in the same place, so it is always good to check places you have seen them before, even if the weather has been bad.
With good and cooperative weather conditions, morels can live for around 2 weeks (maximum) before their natural decaying process kicks into gear.
Weather does have a great deal to do with the longevity and life cycle of morels, and many expert morel foragers will agree that it is probably the most important factor in their life cycle overall.
Why Can’t Morels Be Farmed?
Morels are a wonderful but tricky type of mushroom, for many reasons. However, one of these reasons is how pedantic they are when it comes to temperature. They are picky about moisture levels and the temperatures of the soil and surrounding environment.
They are also super picky about the material that they grow on.
So, while farming morels would be awesome, it is just so difficult and is not very plausible as they are so difficult that farming them would just be too tricky. That being said, if you decided that you wanted to give it a try, we won’t stop you.
The key to morels is temperature, moisture, and where they grow. If you could nail all of these, you may be able to farm them, but it would certainly take a lot of effort. Are you prepared to face the high-maintenance morels?