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Does anyone else use soil temp as their indicator? I've been using the 4" under bare soil @ 10 am temp as my indicator for quite a few years now. It's allowed me to harvest plenty of mushrooms in years where calendar watchers are in the woods weeks too late. Pretty much the entire state of Illinois hit the temp trigger by April 10. I saw the ground temps and hit the woods. Found my first of the season, in NE IL, on April 11.
 

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It’s raining we need it so bad
Yes! Nice, slow, day long soaker today! Should be good to go, and it's right on time for NE Ohio.


Does anyone else use soil temp as their indicator? I've been using the 4" under bare soil @ 10 am temp as my indicator for quite a few years now. It's allowed me to harvest plenty of mushrooms in years where calendar watchers are in the woods weeks too late. Pretty much the entire state of Illinois hit the temp trigger by April 10. I saw the ground temps and hit the woods. Found my first of the season, in NE IL, on April 11.
As noted above, I live in NE Ohio, so that site wouldn't do me much good. I'll have to look for something more local. I'm betting the Ohio State University Ag Extension has something like that. I'm just curious, what is the temperature that you look for?
 

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I would like to personally confirm a new forest. I could just camp at a few go-to's and easily rake in over 1000. But I like to find 1 new spot per year. This year is actually a good example of why I do that. I lost at least 15 trees in my favorite forest that produced anywhere from 20-100+. A ton of others are down too, some laying/stacked on other holes. There's so much more light shining through now. I normally would already have double what I do from that forest. I already found a bunch out there, but 250-300 were from 1 group of ash trees, and 90% half-free.

Not to mention, the number of peckers in relation to greys and yellows is really high. I'll still cut 'em n eat 'em, but I loves me some shrooms with a little meat on their bones. This area doesn't always spit out the blacks like this year :)
I know here in PA, blacks are plentiful this year. I haven't seen such numbers in quantity nor have I seen so many folks findin' them like this year. None near the size of Thran's beautiful blacks but some fresh, good lookin' shrooms!
 

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I found 2 small yellows Tuesday near Willow Springs. It's been a rough season for us so far. We went down around Springfield the weekend of the 17th and only found 15. The ground seems really dry so hopefully this rain and a warm day on Saturday gives us some more. If anyone has any suggestions for general areas around Chicago to check out I'd really appreciate it. The forest preserves haven't yielded me much since living up here.
I haven't hunted them, but the parks around Orland Park/Palos Hills are supposed to be awesome
 

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Yes! Nice, slow, day long soaker today! Should be good to go, and it's right on time for NE Ohio.



As noted above, I live in NE Ohio, so that site wouldn't do me much good. I'll have to look for something more local. I'm betting the Ohio State University Ag Extension has something like that. I'm just curious, what is the temperature that you look for?
When I see 10 am 4" under bare soil temp at 52-54° four or five days in a row. That's the temp/time frame the mycelium needs for incubation. If there is adequate moisture fruiting starts. For me in northern IL, I've seen the temp trigger occur in mid-March. That year I was done picking by April 5, got plenty. Calendar watchers went out in the traditional late April/early May period and all the talk was about what a bad year it was, how people kept getting skunked. I had been paying attention to the soil temp for a few years by that point but that was the year the lesson really sunk in.
 

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When I see 10 am 4" under bare soil temp at 52-54° four or five days in a row. That's the temp/time frame the mycelium needs for incubation. If there is adequate moisture fruiting starts. For me in northern IL, I've seen the temp trigger occur in mid-March. That year I was done picking by April 5, got plenty. Calendar watchers went out in the traditional late April/early May period and all the talk was about what a bad year it was, how people kept getting skunked. I had been paying attention to the soil temp for a few years by that point but that was the year the lesson really sunk in.
All-time daily high temp records for March in Chicago. One year stands out for a crazy string of 80° days.
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Found a few blacks and a couple grays. Nothing picture worthy.
We decided we would shift gears. View attachment 38676
Wow! Now that's a ramp harvest! Looks like you just harvest the tops. My buddy is in a Facebook ramp chat group or whatever, and this is what many of them recommend. Ramps are notorious for being slow to spread. So they advocate only taking the tops and leaving the bulbs in the ground. The whole plant is incredibly delicious, and I think something like fried Italian greens made with ramps would be phenomenal. You just wouldn't need the garlic!

When I see 10 am 4" under bare soil temp at 52-54° four or five days in a row. That's the temp/time frame the mycelium needs for incubation. If there is adequate moisture fruiting starts. For me in northern IL, I've seen the temp trigger occur in mid-March. That year I was done picking by April 5, got plenty. Calendar watchers went out in the traditional late April/early May period and all the talk was about what a bad year it was, how people kept getting skunked. I had been paying attention to the soil temp for a few years by that point but that was the year the lesson really sunk in.
Thanks for the tips. Always good to have more info. I have a temperature probe, and when I sink it into my back yard, in a spot that gets all day sun, at the warmest time of the afternoon, and the soil temp reads in the high 40's, I figure I'm safe. I don't so much watch the calendar as I do the "signs". Dandelions need a certain soil temp for them to sprout.

Forsythia, lilac and dogwood are all indicators of how things are moving along, but must be taken with a grain of salt. Dogwoods blooming in suburban front yards don't necessarily mean the ones growing in the wild are. I got a chance to take a hike through a nearby woods today. The may apples have been up for a while, but are starting to get big. More importantly dogwoods are blooming and trilliums are up!

So, It's time to go! But, we're going to get another kick in the teeth tonight. With the passing of this cold front, we're going to have freezing temps with widespread frosts tonight. I'm just hoping there's enough leaf out in the canopy to keep the frost off the shrooms on the forest floor.
 

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Looking great everyone! Yeah I’m not doing a very good job at pinching these off :/ Sigh* When the masses swear by knives, best not to bring ham-errrr! Okay okay I’ll get a knife! Any recommendations? Saw some pretty cool examples previously.. anyone prefer a hook or anything like that? I have access to castration knives etc. LOL. 🐷🐖👏🥓🥓(y) Had a great day out in tazewell near the river. Great looking finds folks! Happy huntin!
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Found a few blacks and a couple grays. Nothing picture worthy.
We decided we would shift gears. View attachment 38676
I used to dig them up and rotate my spots. But I really like the greens best so I started leaving the dandelion puller at home and now I just bring a scissors. Here's a tasty side dish. Ramp greens sauteed in garlic olive oil with baby arrugula mixed in at flame out to wilt it. Grated Reggiano, hemp seeds, carrot.
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I found 2 small yellows Tuesday near Willow Springs. It's been a rough season for us so far. We went down around Springfield the weekend of the 17th and only found 15. The ground seems really dry so hopefully this rain and a warm day on Saturday gives us some more. If anyone has any suggestions for general areas around Chicago to check out I'd really appreciate it. The forest preserves haven't yielded me much since living up here.
Kankakee state park and the Indiana dunes are known to produce..there's competition but they're there.....
 

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"Forsythia, lilac and dogwood are all indicators of how things are moving along, but must be taken with a grain of salt. Dogwoods blooming in suburban front yards don't necessarily mean the ones growing in the wild are."

Shroomsearcher, I completely agree. Micro climates and local conditions rule the day, when it comes down to it.

You mentioned the trilliums. They started by me two weeks ago, which is earlier than most years. Then temps dropped and they really slowed their progress. I wasn't seeing the start of buds last Sunday, still just three small leaves near the ground. And the mayapples, in my area they were actually lagging the morels this year. I have never seen that. 3" tall mayapples and I was picking morels. Every year is a new experience!
 
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