Morel mushrooms are one of the most unique, bizarre, and fascinating mushrooms out there. Mushrooms are fascinating and are part of a broad spectrum of fungi. Fungus itself surrounds us, there is even natural fungus in our bodies. Maybe we are all part mushroom?
But, morels are something else, they are rare enough that it is hard to farm them, and most edible morels are found through foraging, however, they also have a unique look that is only ever really confused with another mushroom, the brain mushroom, which should NOT be consumed.
Most of the time, morels are found in the spring and summer, in damp or wet but sunny, warmer conditions. However, spring is not always pleasant, and sometimes we get frosts and snows, even when the sun should be shining down and baking our backyards with sunlight.
When the season betrays us with an icy frost, will the morels survive?
Will Snow Kill Morel Mushrooms? Do Morels Like Snow?
So, will snow kill morel mushrooms? Snow and morels do not seem to be a problem. Most of the time snow does not seem to have a bad impact on morels. Provided that the morels have already popped up and are above ground, it is unlikely that snow will kill them, if anything it will refrigerate them.
Upon snow melting, the snow will then add moisture to the morels, preventing them from drying out or burning in any successive hotter weather. However, morels that are underground may not surface if the soil is not at the correct temperature, and snow may prevent this.
As long as the soil is at the correct temperature, the morels will still raise. However, if the soil is not at the correct temperature for them to surface and grow, it will stay below. Morels will usually always sprout in the same places, however, if the soil is the wrong temperature, they will stay dormant and wait for the soil to be the correct temperature.
This is often why if one year see’s heavy snowfall, there may not be any morels that year, but the following year may see many if there is no frost of snowfall that could impact the soil temperature.
What Is The Best Ground Temperature For Morel Mushrooms?
Can morels survive extremes? Well, morels actually quite like cool and moist weather. The spring weather with temperatures around 60 to 70 degrees, mild days and cool evenings in the 40s with scattered showers of rain and plenty of clouds is exactly what the morels want.
The traditional weather of spring helps to extend their growing and harvesting seasons. They actually prefer the cooler temperatures, and do better when it is cloudy and dingy.
What Are The Best Conditions For Morel Mushrooms?
Morel mushrooms enjoy April and May the best, as traditional, typical weather around this time is best for them. They enjoy temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees in the daytime and 50 or lower at night.
Interestingly, snowfall can be good for morels as it can help to add moisture to the ground which can make the conditions for morel growth even better. Mushrooms of any kind do not like dry conditions and need plenty of moisture, however, they tend not to enjoy fluctuations in temperature either.
Will The Cold Kill The Morels?
If you wake up and find a snowscape, you might worry that the snow and cold will start killing off your morels. However, do not worry, any morels which are already up and out of the ground will be fine. Mother nature will actually be refrigerating them if she has packed snow around them.
Rain can also help to keep morels hydrated, preventing them from burning, or decaying. That being said, what was below ground will stay below ground and dormant until the soil is at the correct temperature for the morels to do better.
The tricky thing with morels is that they like the cold, but, just because they like the cold does not mean that they are not susceptible to issues with cold weather, aggressive frosts, and chills could easily harm them, and if they have not sprouted yet, they may not sprout if the weather is too hostile.
A little bit of snow can keep morels fresh, and the packed snow could actually protect them from further frosts provided it does not drop below 20 degrees. However, cold weather, freezing, and frost can be very different. Extreme cold will certainly prevent them from popping up, and some which have already popped up may even shrivel and die also.
Morels care about soil temperature, little else matters to these unique mushrooms. The soil is the critical factor in their growth, and even with snowfall, morels can continue to grow as long as they have already surfaced. The only time where snow may cause an issue is if the morels have not yet surfaced.
Frost is much more likely to kill morels than snow, as packed snow acts like a natural refrigerator, whereas frost is much more harmful to the natural environment.
If you love your morels as I do, always keep an eye on the weather forecast in spring!