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Last Tuesday I found my first ever morel! It was only about an inch tall, so I dutifully left it alone. Now, after checking in daily, I've observed a little patch of about 15 or so of them, with the biggest being about the size of my thumb.
Here's what I need to know: How do I know when to harvest them? I feel like I'll know when I'm too late, but how will I know when they're just right for picking? Can I expect them to get as big as most of the pics I've seen? Or is they're a chance they are just small? Help! I'd sure hate for them to get old on me, and I certainly don't want the critters to get them all either.
I would appreciate any advice! 20190315_142251.jpg 20190316_161623.jpg
 

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Thanks much! I'll let them be for now... no risk of competition for them; not from other people anyway.
 

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I *think* what you have there is Morchella diminutiva. They are small, about half the size of your thumb. They don't "grow", that's how big they are. I am not sure they are worth fooling with unless you have enough to make a dish out of...I have only found one of them before, but it was growing along side some of the bigger species. (More info on Mushroomexpert.org, by Michael Kuo). If you intend to eat them, morels are much more delicate than grocery store mushrooms. Very little heat will cook them, so start out on low heat. If I had a bunch of these, I'd saute' them in butter and maybe put in a very little garlic, maybe a small amount of red wine, and pour the whole thing over a pot of rice. Or eat them with a steak or some pork chops.
 

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Although i don't agree with you on getting bigger, your cooking methods are spot on. I've had morels never get any bigger, but it was do to weather conditions. Like i said before, as long as they are retaining moisture, let them grow .
T Tom, there are multiple species of morels, and as eidolon mentioned, these are Morchella Diminutive, a.k.a tulip morels, and they will normally grow no bigger than a few inches tall and about an inch wide.
 

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Last Tuesday I found my first ever morel! It was only about an inch tall, so I dutifully left it alone. Now, after checking in daily, I've observed a little patch of about 15 or so of them, with the biggest being about the size of my thumb.
Here's what I need to know: How do I know when to harvest them? I feel like I'll know when I'm too late, but how will I know when they're just right for picking? Can I expect them to get as big as most of the pics I've seen? Or is they're a chance they are just small? Help! I'd sure hate for them to get old on me, and I certainly don't want the critters to get them all either.
I would appreciate any advice! View attachment 13018 View attachment 13022
Immediately call me and I will help you to remove them for you. LOL.
 

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Last Tuesday I found my first ever morel! It was only about an inch tall, so I dutifully left it alone. Now, after checking in daily, I've observed a little patch of about 15 or so of them, with the biggest being about the size of my thumb.
Here's what I need to know: How do I know when to harvest them? I feel like I'll know when I'm too late, but how will I know when they're just right for picking? Can I expect them to get as big as most of the pics I've seen? Or is they're a chance they are just small? Help! I'd sure hate for them to get old on me, and I certainly don't want the critters to get them all either.
I would appreciate any advice! View attachment 13018 View attachment 13022
it is time to pick those, they most likely wont get any bigger, the yellow looks like it is already a little old and as stated by others the other ones are most likely the Diminutive and wont get any bigger.
 

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And the final vote is ............ I say the tighter the gills the tastier the morel. But I also like the ones that get flash dried in the Flint Hills they have such a strong flavor.
 

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I haven't ever thought of it like that but you are 100% right. The tight gills are better tasting
And the final vote is ............ I say the tighter the gills the tastier the morel. But I also like the ones that get flash dried in the Flint Hills they have such a strong flavor.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
it is time to pick those, they most likely wont get any bigger, the yellow looks like it is already a little old and as stated by others the other ones are most likely the Diminutive and wont get any bigger.
Done! I enjoyed my little delicacies lightly sauteed in butter, as directed. They served their purpose of confirming to me that I definitely need to find more!
 

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Last Tuesday I found my first ever morel! It was only about an inch tall, so I dutifully left it alone. Now, after checking in daily, I've observed a little patch of about 15 or so of them, with the biggest being about the size of my thumb.
Here's what I need to know: How do I know when to harvest them? I feel like I'll know when I'm too late, but how will I know when they're just right for picking? Can I expect them to get as big as most of the pics I've seen? Or is they're a chance they are just small? Help! I'd sure hate for them to get old on me, and I certainly don't want the critters to get them all either.
I would appreciate any advice! View attachment 13018 View attachment 13022
 

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I would definitely eat it within a day or two after they come up , the bugs and the critters will get them if you don't , that should be a good spot for sure in the future .
What state are you in ., I'm from Iowa and usually they don't pop until mid May .
 

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You just have to play it by ear and learn through experience. In my avatar I found the big one on the right when it was about 5" tall. An impressive morel in its own right, but even more impressive was how it just seemed to "glow" golden in the grass! I put my fingertips on it, and it felt so moist that I decided to take a chance and leave it alone. It was late in the season, but we had been getting ideal temps and rainfall.

I went back 3 days later and it was now 9 1/2" tall and had a little buddy right next to it, the one just left of the big one.
 
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