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When are porcini mushrooms born? This is the question that all our budding mushroom and mushroom expert friends would like to answer and to which it is not so easy to give a definite answer. Many newcomers to the magnificent universe of mushrooms ask whether there is a porcini calendar. In general, we can say that yes, there are rules that assign each mushroom a certain season or time of year. But it would be more correct to say that they exist.

Tradition has it that the porcini season starts in April and May with a summer break and resumes in the autumn from September. These rules had a certain validity in ‘normal’ climatic conditions, i.e. until 30/40 years ago before the climatic changes that have affected our areas and also influenced the appearance of mushrooms, making it almost impossible to give a certain answer.

“Here in Tuscany, there is a saying that says that between May and June good mushrooms are born,’ explains Simone Calugi of Selektia Tartufi. ‘However, this is an old saying, and it is by no means certain that it is precisely in this period that mushrooms are born… there is no precise period to establish when porcini mushrooms are born because it depends on the season. There are years when the mushroom season is earlier and the first specimens can be found even at the beginning of May, and others when they appear later, sometimes even in July, it all depends on the climate,’ Simone continues.

If we can no longer rely on the traditional seasonality of mushrooms, then what are the right climatic conditions for porcini mushrooms to grow?

‘You need the right climatic conditions. Neither too much sun nor too much water. You need sun and water without wind to create the right humidity in the forest to allow the soil to bubble and the moulds to bear fruit,’ Simone suggests. ‘Especially at the beginning of the season it all depends on whether there is not only water but also sun. If the soil doesn’t get warm it can rain as much as you want but porcini mushrooms won’t grow’.

So here is a series of parameters to take into account to understand when porcini mushrooms are born:

Air temperature: minimums should not fall below 5/6° and maximums around 20°.
Soil temperature: the minimum should not fall below 6°.
Soil moisture: adequately wet but not soggy.
Short but frequent rainfall: stormy showers are not ideal as they could cause landslides and ruin the mycelium, prolonged rainfall is also not ideal as it could cool the soil too much.

So to understand when the porcini mushrooms are born, keep in mind the old saying between May and June the good mushroom is born, but turn up your nose, look at the sky and above all go into the woods, if you don’t find mushrooms you will certainly go for a nice walk and get to know wonderful places!