Spring,Summer or Fall? And, don't forget Winter!
When to look for mushrooms.
It is difficult to be precise
about this.It is well known and understood that periods of dry or very cold weather does not promote the growth of mushrooms.
The very best conditions are when the humidity is "right" coupled with relatively warm temperatures.
It is very difficult
to be more precise because it will vary greatly depending on your own geographic zone.
However as a "blanket"
statement it would be true to say that the largest number of mushrooms will be found in late Summer and Fall. Having said
that, there are always exceptions to the rule.
In the Spring, the sun heats up the cold wet ground.If these temperatures
are optimal it is sometimes possible to find species that normally fruit in the Fall fruiting in the Spring,alongside
the usual complement of Spring mushrooms.
If we experience a very dry Summer you will very likely encounter a
greater proportion of saprophytic mushrooms than any other type of mushroom. Especially saprophytes that take their norishment
from wood. This is because wood will hold it's moisture better than the ground or other substrates. Temperature is also very
important but it is the temperature of the ground rather than the air temperature that is more crucial to the development
of mushrooms. There are species that prefer open sunny places and there are some that tend to shy away from the sun's
heat. The Fall is,in a normal year, the very best time to find the biggest variety of mushrooms and also the largest quantities.
However the failure of rain in late Summer can lead to a disastrous Fall mushroom season. Over the last twelve
years I have watched our weather patterns as they relate to the mushroom The King Bolete,Boletus edulis.
In two, of the last four years, the "king" has failed to fruit in any quantity, almost to the point of total failure. The
"king" has a relatively short fruiting season emerging in late September and usually the first two weeks of October.
It is when the rains fail in late Summer that the "king" has failed to appear.
So, we are at the mercy of the elements.
As we all now know the planet is under stress with climate change becoming
an ever increasing subject of concern. I believe that I am seeing this change albeit in a small way.