morel mushrooms/Cindy Hadish

Morel mushrooms are shown during a past mushroom season. The soil temperature is still too cold this year in early March to find morels in Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Early March is generally too soon to find morels in Iowa, though this weekend’s mild temperatures have stirred that longing in mushroom hunters.

The season can vary, but already, mushroom hunters in Missouri are finding the sponge-like delicacies, and the soil is getting close to needed temperatures in Iowa.

That perfect soil temperature can vary, as well, with some saying 50 degrees Fahrenheit is enough to make morels “pop,” and others saying it should be closer to 54 degrees.

Iowa State University Extension’s soil temperature map was designed for farmers, but mushroom hunters use it, as well. The most recent map – seen here – shows that Iowa’s soil is closing in on, or surpassing, the 50 degree mark in some areas, so the morel season may be close at hand.

That could be just wishful thinking on our part, so in the meantime, relive morel seasons of the recent past and learn more about mushrooms in Iowa on the links below:

Largest morel winner

Business is mushrooming for Iowa grower

Can you grow morels?

Houby Days photo gallery

Where to find morels in Iowa