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The porcini mushroom is also called the "king of the forest mushrooms". There is no such thing as "the" porcini mushroom, as experts distinguish a total of seven different types of porcini mushrooms that grow at different times of the year and also prefer different habitats. For this reason, the porcini season starts in June with the summer porcini and lasts into October, until the first frost.

Porcini mushrooms like it moist

Where can you find porcini mushrooms? - This question is not easy to answer

It should be a truism that passionate mushroom pickers don't tell everyone about their favorite sites. In fact, however, it is the case that even experienced mushroom experts regularly go on forays and are always on the lookout for new sites. If you want to look for and find mushrooms, you need a lot of patience, perseverance and also knowledge of the habitats and conditions in which ceps, for example, thrive best. Only those who know where porcini thrive can look in the right places - and find what they are looking for at the right time. In addition to the site conditions, it also depends to a large extent on the weather whether you will find the desired mushrooms or not.

It depends on the right weather

Basically, the rule applies: mushrooms love it moist. A good or bad mushroom year can often be predicted in spring. When the snowdrops bloom and the birds start singing in the morning, it should rain heavily. Young porcini mushrooms develop early in the year as pin-sized lumps under the ground and then need a lot of moisture. If there is no rain in spring, there will also be no mushrooms in autumn. On the other hand, if spring was blessed with sufficient rainfall, you can often expect a good harvest as early as June. It is particularly worth looking for a thunderstorm at night: the forest is then so heated by the sun that the rain creates a true greenhouse climate.

The right season for picking porcini mushrooms

The first porcini mushroom of the year is the summer porcini (Boletus reticulatus), which often grows from May / June and then into September, depending on the weather. In milder weather, it also occurs in late autumn. The spruce bolete (Boletus edulis), on the other hand, can be collected between July and November, as can the black bolete (B. aereus) and the rarer pine bolete (B. pinophilus). Porcini mushrooms grow only until the first frost, after which the season is over and you have to switch to winter mushrooms.

The ideal location for a rich porcini mushroom harvest

Particularly promising sites for porcini mushrooms are beech forests with a lot of dead wood on the forest floor, as little grass growth as possible and gaps in the canopy where the warming rays of the sun can reach the forest floor. Porcini mushrooms love such bright, warm places, which often lead right next to forest paths. In general, you can recognize a good porcini mushroom forest by the fact that there are trees of different ages and a lot of dead wood on the forest floor. But even in spruce forests you have a good chance of collecting lots of porcini mushrooms. The spruce is omnipresent in the low mountain ranges, especially in southern Germany there are large stocks. In northern Germany, on the other hand, pine forests predominate, where with a bit of luck you will find the pine bolete.

Fungi live in symbiosis with certain tree species

But why do porcini mushrooms mainly grow under beech, oak, spruce or pine trees? Quite simply, the porcini mushroom lives with these tree species in a community in which both partners feed each other. Experts call this system “mycorrhiza”. Mushrooms grow hidden in the ground or in wood with their spiderweb-like threads. In contrast to plants, however, they do not need sunlight to grow, but get the nutrients they need directly from the tree - which they in turn supply with nitrogen and other substances in exchange. Many mushrooms have adapted to certain tree species in the course of evolution, which is why you will now find porcini mushrooms mainly near certain tree species.

Pointer plants show you the way

But don't just look at the trees, because the presence of certain "indicator plants" indicates the possible presence of porcini mushrooms. The tasty porcini mushrooms often grow right next to the poisonous toadstools - if you find toadstools in the forest, it is usually not far to the porcini. This is because both types of fungi live in symbiosis with the same tree species and, moreover, produce fruiting bodies at the same time. If, on the other hand, there are a lot of stinging nettles and / or balsam in the place you are visiting, you can confidently turn around: Both plants indicate a nitrogen-rich soil in which porcini mushrooms do not feel at all comfortable.

tips

If you want to be successful at collecting mushrooms, you have to get up early: Passionate mushroom pickers go into the forest at sunrise, so that only the leftovers are left for those who arrive later - if they find anything at all. You also have to look very closely, because especially with young porcini mushrooms only the inconspicuous brown cap is sticking out of the ground. The fleshy, thick stalk is often still deep in the substrate.

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