Mushrooms in the lawn

Mushrooms in the Lawn: The Causes & What to Do About Them

Have you woken up and stepped outside to notice mushrooms have suddenly appeared in your lawn?

It’s common for lawn owers to freak out when they see mushrooms or toadstools in the lawn but they aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In 99% of cases, it’s actually a sign of a healthy lawn.

Sometimes though, it can be a problem.

Also, if you have kids and/or pets you’ll need to remove them. As we all know, eating the wrong kind of mushrooms can have serious consequences.

Table of Contents

What Are Mushrooms?

In all lawns, there are hundreds, thousands of fungi.

They’re the most active micro-organism in turf. They help degrade lawn thatch and feed on dead organic matter such as fallen leaves, old grass cuttings, dead grass roots, bits of decaying bark or dying tree roots. This, in turn, provides the soil with nutrients which aids grass growth.

Most fungi can’t be seen, it exists as numerous fine threads or filaments called Hyphae. Together these filaments make up what is called ‘Mycelium’ which is practically invisible to the naked eye.

Although you won’t see most fungi, a few species produce mushrooms or toadstools.

These mushrooms are referred to as ‘Fruit’. They’re the reproductive structure of the fungi and they come in all different shapes and sizes, not just the classic mushroom shape we’re all familiar with.

If you look at the underside of a mushroom you’ll see lots of gills. These gills contain millions of spores which get carried through the air and germinate when they land in favourable conditions.

Good Mushrooms vs. Bad Mushrooms

Most of the time mushrooms in your lawn is a sign that it is in good health with nutrient-rich soil.

Yes, they might be an eyesore but they’re easy enough to get rid of (more on that later!)

Sometimes though, they can be a sign of trouble.

If you have mushrooms or toadstools that grow in a circle in your lawn you could be looking at a fungal infection commonly called ‘Fairy Rings’.

In which case, refer to this article: Fairy Rings in Your Lawn? How to Remove Them and Prevent them Returning

What Causes Mushrooms to Grow in Your Lawn?

Like I said, many people freak out when they see mushrooms popping up in their lawn so it’s worth repeating;

In 99% of cases, mushrooms in your lawn is a sign of health.

Mushrooms can’t grow in soil that is devoid of nutrients so the fact that you’ve got mushrooms in your lawn tells you that your soil is fertile.

As well your soil being fertile, there are a few other reasons why mushrooms might grow in your lawn;

Conditions Are Cool, Damp and Shady

Mushrooms grow best in cool, damp and shady conditions.

If your lawn is covered by shade and the weather is cool after a prolonged period of rain, you might experience a sudden surge of mushrooms.

A Build-Up of Excessive Lawn Thatch

Sometimes mushrooms grow as they feed on the decaying organic material that is in the thatch layer.

If you see clusters of small mushrooms in your lawn, have a look for excessive thatch. If there’s more than half an inch, scarify your lawn.

Drainage Issues

If your lawn has a drainage issue then moisture will sit on the surface.

Check your lawn for soil compaction and spike it in the spring with either a garden fork, a rolling spiker or aeration sandals.

Use a hollow-tine aerator to remove cores of turf from your lawn in the autumn.

Doing this will improve drainage and allow water to penetrate deeper into the soil so it doesn’t sit on the surface. It’ll also improve airflow through the soil which helps keep it a bit dryer.

Decaying Tree Stumps or Wood Under the Surface of Your Lawn

If you see mushrooms popping up in a certain area of your lawn there might be some decaying debris in that area.

In which case you can either;

  1. Leave it – once the fungi have broken it down you’ll no longer see mushrooms, or
  2. Remove it – by taking the turf up, removing the decaying material and replacing the turf.

You Have Recently Re-Turfed Your Lawn

Mushrooms are very common in freshly laid turf.

Harvesting, transporting and re-laying turf can stimulate sporing and the growth of new mushrooms or toadstools. Especially when you water in your new lawn.

This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. If your lawn has mushrooms in it after laying new turf, don’t freak out and leave negative reviews for the turf supplier!

This happens all the time.

How to Remove Mushrooms From Your Lawn

Mushrooms won’t do any harm to your lawn but they can be an eyesore. They can also make you, your kids or your pets very poorly if you eat the wrong ones.

They generally only stick around for a few days and they disappear when the weather dries out. But, it is best to remove them to prevent any accidents.

Because mushrooms are just the fruiting bodies of fungi, picking them out of your lawn won’t kill the underground Mycelium which they grow from.

It will, however, reduce the chances of them spreading their spores to new areas.

To remove mushrooms you can either;

  • Brush them
  • Pick them, or
  • Mow them

If you brush or pick them, make sure you wear gloves as a precaution.

Because the Mycelium will still exist, chances are that mushrooms will come back when conditions are favourable.

To completely stop mushrooms growing you must kill the Mycelium from which they grow which is;

a) Nearly impossible, and
b) Not recommended because of the benefits it brings to the health of your lawn

If Your Lawn is Taken Over By Mushrooms, Consider Replacing it

A few mushrooms in your lawn is common and a good thing but if mushrooms have completely taken over, consider replacing it.

A lawn that is packed with mushrooms is horrible to look at and it could be dangerous for kids and pets to use.

Removing the turf could uncover decaying organic matter that should be removed to prevent mushrooms from growing back. It might also be wise to replace the topsoil as the amount of Mycelium will be extensive.

How to Prevent Mushrooms Growing in Your Lawn

Completely preventing mushrooms from growing in your lawn is almost impossible. Given the right conditions, they can pop up no matter what you do.

That said, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of them appearing. We already touched on a couple of them earlier in this article but they’re worth repeating;

Scarify Your Lawn to Reduce Thatch

Mushrooms can form as they break down organic material in your lawns thatch layer.

By scarifying you;

  1. Reduce the amount of organic material that fungi can feed on in the thatch layer, and
  2. Allow more water to penetrate into the soil so it’s not sat on the surface or in the thatch layer.

This reduces the chances of mushrooms from growing.

It also reduces the chances of other fungal diseases like Red Thread, Pink Patch and Snow Mould or Fusarium or Ophiobolus Patch from becoming an issue.

Read: How to Choose the Best Scarifier For Your Lawn

Aerate Your Lawn

If the soil in your lawn is compacted then water will sit on the surface. When combined with cool, shady conditions mushrooms grow rapidly.

Aerate your lawn by spiking it to a depth of 2-3 inches in Spring and Autumn with a garden fork, rolling aerator or aeration sandals.

Also, hollow-tine every 2-3 years to remove cores of turf from your lawn. This causes the soil particles to relax and separate from each other.

Aerating your lawn improves drainage so water can penetrate the soil instead of lying on the surface. It also improves air flow through the soil which keeps it dryer.

Pick Up Leaves and Animal Waste Regularly

Leaves, animal waste and other organic debris is perfect fungi food and will decompose on your lawn if you leave there. This is an environment in which mushrooms grow well.

If your pets use the lawn as their toilet pick it up as soon as you can. Remove leaves and other material at least once a week especially in the autumn and winter.

If Possible Reduce Shaded Areas

One of the key ingredients for mushroom growth is shade.

If mushrooms grow in the shaded areas of your lawn, try pruning the surrounding trees to allow more sunlight onto your lawn. Also, prune any hedges as this will improve airflow over the garden.

If buildings cast shade over your lawn there might not be a lot you can do. If it’s cast by fences, try replacing solid fence panels with slotted ones. This will let more light through.

Wrapping Up

If mushrooms pop up in your lawn, don’t panic.

In nearly all cases they won’t harm your lawn, they are quietly going about their business helping to decompose dead, organic matter and putting nutrients back into the soil. Nutrients which your grass can use to create food and grow.

Still, it’s a good idea to remove them to avoid kids and pets being poisoned.

Why do I have issues with Mushrooms on my lawn?

Mushrooms in lawns are organisms whose body consists of root-like threads. Mushrooms (sometimes referred to as toadstools) are the reproductive structures of fungi. The “fruit” of a fungus.

There are many different types of fungi, all producing different fruits, i.e. different types of mushroom. Fungal fruits can come in all different shapes and sizes, not just the mushroom shape that we are all familiar with, and subject to contrary belief most fungi are beneficial to lawns.

On the underside of a mushroom you will see many blades; these blades are referred to as gills and within the gills are millions of spores. It is the spores that are responsible for the reproduction of the fungus. The spores are carried in the air and when they reach a suitable area they begin to germinate and send out long thin strands or filaments. These filaments are called Hyphae. Single hyphae are usually invisible to the naked eye but can sometimes be seen in particularly dark soil or on damp, decomposing bark.

There are generally only a few reasons why mushrooms are growing on your lawn. Fungi love damp, carbon rich soil, containing rotting wood, or wood chips, dried leaves, straw, etc. To counteract this, if it is the problem, you need to get more nitrogen into the soil.

There is no easy way to get rid of mushrooms and even if you did manage to get rid of them they would probably re-appear the following year.

Because mushrooms are merely the fruiting bodies of fungi, removing them does not kill the underground mycelium from which they are growing. Picking mushrooms or other reproductive structures soon after they appear may prevent their spores from spreading to new sites. However, because most spores are wind-blown a long distance, they can easily come into a lawn from a neighbouring area. The primary reasons for removing mushrooms from lawns are to keep them away from children and pets and to improve the lawn’s appearance.

The good thing about the fruits is they should only last a few weeks, unfortunately the only way to prevent them from coming up totally is to ensure that there are no Hyphae within the soil, to remove this would be an impossible task to achieve and would probably mean removing and replacing the soil on an annual basis.

Apart from the few weeks a year that the fungi are in fruit, the Hyphae are of benefit to your soil by helping to decompose leaves and other organic matter.

Eliminate Mushrooms In Your Lawn

Lawn mushrooms are a common landscaping problem. For many people who pride themselves on having nice looking grass, discovering mushrooms in lawn can be frustrating. But the problem of mushrooms growing in the lawn can be easily fixed if you know how.

What Causes Mushrooms to Grow on a Lawn?

The first thing to understand is what causes mushrooms to grow on a lawn. Lawn mushrooms are a fungus, and this fungus has the job of helping to breakdown decaying organic material. Unfortunately, in the average yard, there are plenty of sources of decaying organic material. Animal waste, old mulch and grass clippings can all spread and feed lawn mushrooms.

Why are Mushrooms Growing on MY Lawn?

The next thing to look at is why are mushrooms growing on my lawn. Examine the state

of your lawn. Lawn mushrooms like damp, shaded and organic waste rich environments. Is it possible that you have a drainage problem which contributes to the lawn mushroom problem? Do you have organic waste that should be removed? Are there areas of your yard that are very shady?

Eliminate Mushrooms in Lawn

To eliminate mushrooms in the lawn, you need to correct the problems that you have in your yard. If the lawn is too wet, are there things you can to reduce the moisture. Raking your grass clippings, dethatching your lawn or replacing old mulch will help to reduce the decaying organic material that encourages mushrooms growing in lawn. If your yard is too shady, see if some prudent and targeted pruning or thinning of surrounding trees can help to send more light into your yard.

You can also treat your lawn with a fungicide, but if you do not address the issues that cause mushrooms to grow in your lawn, chances are that the mushrooms will just come back.

You Can Leave Mushrooms Growing in the Lawn

While mushrooms in the lawn may look unsightly, they are actually beneficial to the lawn. The extensive root system of lawn mushrooms help the soil retain water and lawn mushrooms also help to break down organic materials, which help add nutrients to the lawn.

Once you have answered the question of why are mushrooms growing on my lawn, you can make the decision as to whether or not to eliminate mushrooms in lawn.

Try these 6 surprising remedies for problem gardens

If your garden isn’t fairing quite as well as you had hoped, you’re probably scouring the internet looking for effective remedies for gardening problems. You might be surprised (or maybe not) to hear that nature has the best remedies for nature’s problems. Whether you’re dealing with weeds, slugs, or lackluster blooms, chances are, you’ll find the solution right there in your kitchen.

Take a look at these 6 natural remedies for problem gardens, give one a try.

Cinnamon

There is a seemingly endless list of uses for this tasty spice in the garden. Some of the ways in which it can be used include:

  • Rooting Agent—dip the stem in water and then apply a bit of cinnamon to stimulate growth.
  • Kill Mushrooms –Sprinkle onto rogue mushrooms to kill then and to prevent more from popping up.
  • Keep Ants Away –Ants hate cinnamon. Sprinkle some in your garden or even around your door to keep them at bay.
  • Protect Seedlings from Diseases
  • Use as a fungicide spray –Leave a mixture of cinnamon and water out overnight, then strain it into a spray bottle.
  • Promote Healing in Plants

Castor Oil

People of a certain generation may cringe at the mention of castor oil. But, the good news is that squirrels hate that oily stuff just as much as people do!

Use a mixture of 2 parts castor oil and 1 part dish soap to create a spray that’s said to repel squirrels, moles, skunks, and other garden pests, without posing a danger to children or household pets.

Vinegar

There are multiple uses for vinegar all around the house, both inside and outside. Here are 5 ways that it can help out in the garden.

  • Kills weeds and unwanted grass –Add white vinegar to a spray bottle and mist weeds on your hard surfaces, including driveways, walkways, and retaining walls.
  • Neutralizes garden lime
  • Increases the acidity of soil – Make a vinegar and water solution of 3.79 litres of water and 1 cup of vinegar, then water to revitalize acid-craving plants.
  • Kills slugs
  • Keeps rabbits, rodents, cats, and dogs away from garden vegetables – Soak washcloths in vinegar and hide then in places around your garden. Resoak cloths weekly.

Baking Soda

You probably already know that there are dozens of practical uses for baking soda around the house. Here are a few ways that you can use it in the garden.

  • Acts as a non-toxic fungicide
  • Treats and prevents powdery mildew
  • Discourages gnats
  • Discourages weeds
  • Kills cabbage worms
  • Kill crabgrass

Coffee Grounds

Both used and fresh coffee grounds can be beneficial in the garden.

  • Used coffee grounds add organic material to your soil
  • Fresh (unused) coffee grounds raise the acidic level of soil
  • Makes a good mulch
  • Repels slugs and snails
  • Makes excellent worm food

Banana Peels

Banana peels are spectacular in the garden, and very easy to use.

  • Turn them into fertilizer –Banana peels are an excellent source of nutrition for your garden. Brew it into a fertilizing “tea”, dry and grind them to be added to your soil, or add the whole peel when planting seeds.
  • Make a non-toxic bug trap
  • Use fermented banana peels to encourage healthier roses
  • Use fermented peels to add acid to your soil

Share these tips from eieihome.com

How To Kill Mushrooms In Lawn

Fungicide 3

Mushrooms in your yard might signify a problem with your soil underneath the lawn. It sprouts mushrooms when conditions are right, such as when the soil is cool and damp. Treating a lawn with fungicides might not stop the mushrooms from returning because typical fungicides don’t kill mushrooms completely.

Killing Lawn Mushrooms

There are quite a few consumer friendly fungicides available for home use, such as Garden Safe’s Fungicide 3, and Bio Advance Fungus Control. For heavy or recurring fungal outbreaks, commercial fungicides, such as azoxystrobin or flutolanil must be applied several times by a professionals only.

Preventing Mushrooms in Lawns

Part of the fungus you see is just a sprouting body and the main cause of the fungus lies underground where fungicides can’t reach it. Some Reasons include:

  • Heavy thatch build up creates a layer between the grass and soil. This can the fungus bellow and prevent fungicides from reaching into the soil.
  • Decaying organic matter, such as animal waste or decomposing leaves, that trap moisture.
  • If you have excess moisture from pooling water and or poorly draining soil can also stimulate fungal growth.

Bioadvanced Fungus Control

An easier way to keep mushrooms out of your lawn is to modify the conditions of your lawn. Following a lawn maintenance program will go a long way to keeping your lawn free of disease and fungus.

  1. Aerating the soil once or twice a year, and removing thatch helps the water flow.
  2. A weekly lawn service with mowing will keep you grass from growing too long and trapping in moisture.
  3. Removing the excess moisture that mushrooms need to grow. Amending soil or improving drainage will keep water from over saturating your yard.
  4. Using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer helps the grass grow thicker, thus squeezing out bare areas where mushrooms break through.
  5. Pick the mushrooms when you see them so they don’t mature enough to spread spores.
  6. Cleaning up pet waste and removing decomposing plant material such as fallen leaves removes the mushroom’s food, keeping them from fruiting.

There is no perfect solution to remove lawn mushrooms, but taking time to understand the causes will help you be proactive therefore preventing them from sprouting. If they do sprout then you be ready and less likely for them to return.

Garden Help: How to get rid of (most of) the mushrooms on your lawn

Mushrooms will probably be popping up in our yards following the much-needed rain we’ve been having.

Many different fungi produce mushrooms or toadstools, and they come in assorted shapes, sizes and colors. They always generate a lot of questions for our office. Questions range from “Can we eat them?” to “How can we get rid of them?”

Some mushrooms are edible, but many common ones are poisonous and it takes an expert to tell the difference. Eating a poisonous mushroom will make you very ill, and some are deadly.

One example of a deadly mushroom is called Destroying Angel (Amanita spp.), and it’s very common in landscapes. It’s a beautiful white mushroom that looks a lot like one of the edible mushrooms. When ingested, it causes severe diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain. After a few days, the person typically suffers liver and kidney failure and death, or a liver transplant may be the end result.

So only eat mushrooms from the grocery store or those you are growing from a known source, like shiitake mushrooms.

The most common mushrooms in lawns this time of the year are large white mushrooms about 4 to 5 inches across. They seem to appear overnight from nowhere. In reality, most mushrooms are decomposing organic matter that is in the soil, turf thatch layer or mulch. Spores blow in from mature mushrooms and germinate, sending out thread-like growth called hyphae. They often go unnoticed for years until conditions are favorable for the spore-bearing mushrooms to develop.

Fairy ring, armillaria root rot and stink horn mushrooms create the most problems in the landscape.

Fairy ring

The term fairy ring is based on the myth that the green turf was the result of a circle of dancing fairies or pixies. They were also believed to be where the devil churned his butter or the result of lightning strikes.

Fairy ring occurs in all grasses in our area, and is most noticeable in warm weather following heavy rainfalls. Dark green circles of fast growing grass occur in bands that range from 3 to 5 feet up to 20 feet in diameter. If the ring contacts a hard surface, like a sidewalk, the circular ring pattern will be broken and becomes a semi-circle.

There are three types of fairy rings referred to as Type I, Type II, and Type III. Type I is the most damaging and has a zone of dead grass inside the outer ring of lush, green grass. Type II has mushrooms or puffballs developing inside the lush zone of grass, typically in the fall. Type III has a circle of mushrooms or puffballs but has no associated ring of lush, green grass. Luckily, types II and III are more common in Florida.

These mushroom type fungi grow on buried organic matter in the turf and may survive for many years. There may be buried stumps, dead roots, or wood left over from construction that serves as a food source for fungi. Others blame thatch buildup in the turf layer as the excess organic matter. The reason there is a lush green ring of grass is because as the fungi break down, the organic matter, nitrogen is released which acts as fertilizer.

Fairy ring is difficult to control, so most homeowners just wait until the organic matter is decomposed and the symptoms will eventually disappear.

Light applications of nitrogen fertilizer will sometimes mask the symptoms by stimulating adjacent areas of the turf.

The other thing that can be done is to aerate the affected areas every 4 inches plus an additional 2 feet beyond the visible area. This will improve irrigation penetration and speeds up the decomposition process.

If you have the type that produces mushrooms, handpick the mushrooms because many are poisonous to humans and pets. Wear gloves and place them in a plastic bag for curbside pickup.

Mushroom root rot

Armillaria tabascens, mushroom root rot, is a common problem on many landscape ornamentals like azaleas, oaks, junipers and oleanders. It causes a slow decline and the plant may die a branch at a time.

Mushroom root rot is a wood-rot fungus that lives in both old stumps and living plants. Once a plant is infected, it can move to adjacent plants through the roots.

If you suspect a plant has this problem, check the stem at the base of the plant just under the bark for a white mat-like growth called mycelium.

In late summer to fall, honey-colored mushrooms sometimes occur at the base of affected plants. There is no control for this disease. Remove the affected plant and the ones next to it. Remove as much of the old root system as possible.

Stink horn mushrooms

The one that generates the most questions is the stink horn mushroom. Homeowners recognize the smell of rotting meat before they actually notice the mushrooms.

Stink horns appear during the cooler months (spring and fall), and there are several common to our area.

One starts off as a white ball and then changes into a three-legged structure which oozes a brown foul-smelling mucous. Others are orange to red-orange in color and have unusual spiked shapes.

There is no effective chemical control for stink horns. Removal by hand is the only control method. Look for small, egg-shaped structures in the affected areas. When conditions are right, the oval structure breaks open and the mushroom emerges.

Collect as many as possible or as they just emerge to avoid their unpleasant odor and prevent the spread of spores by carrion beetles and greenflies. While harvesting, wear gloves and place mushrooms in a plastic bag, and leave for curbside pickup. Do not attempt to compost or bag them for plant recycling because they will create problem for others.

Because they live on decaying organic matter in the soil, tilling the soil may help the problem. However, they will return each spring and fall, when the weather is cool and there is sufficient rainfall, until their food source is depleted.

Sometimes they are imported into a landscape with mulch, so be sure to purchase from a reliable source to avoid these smelly homesteaders.

Terry Brite DelValle is a horticulture extension agent with the Duval County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS.

Puffballs On Your Lawn

You may have noticed a bunch of little white ball-shaped things in your yard recently and wondered what they were. Most likely, they’re puffball mushrooms. Luckily, these little fungi aren’t really anything to panic over, as they aren’t much of an issue in terms of your lawn’s health. Puffballs are members of the Basidiomycota sub-kingdom, and some varieties are even safe enough to eat. The good news is that you don’t typically need to douse your yard in chemicals to get rid of them.

Puffball Mushroom Identification

The fruiting bodies of puffball mushrooms look a little like pears or spheres in shape. They’re typically about an inch or smaller in diameter, but some varieties can grow very large. Don’t worry, the ones in your yard are almost always the ones that stay on the smaller side. Before puffballs mature, they are usually a creamy white color both inside and out. After maturing, they turn yellow on the inside. Fully developed puffballs will also have dark green or purple spores inside of them. These spores are released through a hole in the top of the fruiting body, which can sometimes damage the mushroom itself. Afterward, the spores are carried by the wind to other areas of your yard, or even further to someone else’s yard.

Understanding The Puffball’s Life Cycle

When it comes to controlling their numbers in your yard, one of the most important things you can learn about puffballs is their life cycle. The spores that are produced by the fully matured mushrooms drift into the surrounding areas and land on people’s lawns. They then germinate, which causes them to send out long, practically-invisible strands called hyphae. A mass of hyphae eventually accrues and forms a mycelium. At this point, you may be able to see the threads. When conditions are optimal, several mycelia will grow the fruiting body, which they nourish by decomposing the dead organic material on your lawn. Healthy fruiting bodies mature and go on to produce spores, continuing the cycle.

You may think you’re in the clear when the fruiting bodies stop appearing, but these fungi can actually survive in your yard for several years, just waiting for the right time to regrow and create more spores. They tend to thrive in moist conditions, and prolonged periods of rain can entice them to produce fruiting bodies. This usually occurs toward the end of the summer (now).

Edible vs. Poisonous Puffballs

While some puffball mushrooms are edible, there are also some poisonous varieties. Mushroom identification isn’t always easy and can be a tricky business for someone who isn’t familiar with them. Having an expert identify edible varieties for you is always a good idea before consuming any. Anyone that owns pets or has children should be more vigilant in removing puffballs from their yard, just in case anyone decides to make them a snack later on. Mowing or pulling the fruiting bodies is the best thing to do in these cases.

Puffball Control

Since puffball mushrooms aren’t considered pests, you technically don’t have to do anything if you encounter them on your lawn, but if you worry about poisonous species or don’t like how they look or smell, there a couple different ways to deal with them. It’s hard to get rid of the fungus altogether because of the way that it grows, but a little bit of vigilance can go a long way. Start by digging up any fruiting bodies and visible bundles of mycelia.

Since the fungi feed on decaying organic matter, you’ll want to avoid putting too much of it on your lawn. Removing any dead leaves, stumps, and roots in the fall is another good way to starve the fungi. All these things make excellent mulch, and you don’t want to give those puffballs any help when you’re trying to get rid of them.

You’ll also want to rethink your watering habits. Overwatering your lawn can provide the fungus with enough moisture to start sprouting fruiting bodies and potentially more spores if you don’t catch it in time.

There are also some fungicides you can use to control the puffballs in your yard. These are especially good for anyone who’s trying to eliminate them all at once. There are even fungicidal sprayers you can hook up to your garden hose to easily apply the spray across your entire lawn. Alternatively, you can buy a fungicidal powder, which usually needs to be mixed with water or sprinkled on your lawn and then watered to take effect. Be sure to follow the directions carefully when it comes to amounts and mixing ratios so that you don’t cause any additional damage to your yard.

Puffball mushrooms aren’t necessarily a bad thing to have in your yard, but they can be poisonous or just downright smelly. They’re often unwanted, and being able to identify them and take the necessary steps to remove them is the best way to keep them off your lawn. Who knows, maybe you’ll luck out and find out (from an expert, of course) that you’re dealing with an edible variety.

6 Ways to Get Rid of Mushrooms

Have you stepped out onto your pride-and-joy lawn, only to discover that a colony of mushrooms has cropped up? You’re not alone! Mushrooms are a common landscaping problem, and they often poke up after a rainy day or when you lay down new sod. Mushrooms actually stem from underground fungi in your soil – they’re the fruit of this fungus, feeding off of all kinds of food sources in your lawn. Although they’re not harmful to your garden (but can be if ingested by children or pets), here are a few ways to get rid of them:

• Step away from the buffet!
Lawn mushrooms feast on damp, decaying organic stuff – think grass clippings, doggie-doo, old mulch, and rotting tree stumps. Removing these food sources means mushrooms will wither and die. So have those stumps ground up, ditch the decomposing mulch, rake up mown grass and scoop that poop!

• Dry it up!
Mushrooms thrive in moist environments, and are often a sign of over-irrigation or poor drainage. While you can’t control how much rain pours down, do practice deep, infrequent lawn watering. Your grass will develop an extensive root system and mushrooms will disappear as your soil dries out. De-thatching your lawn and aerating compacted soil in the spring or fall allows for better airflow, which helps drainage.

• Here comes the sun!
Because mushrooms dig the shade, trim excess branches so more sunlight gets into those areas.

• Fertilizing is fun!


Applying nitrogen fertilizer helps eliminate mushrooms by speeding up decomposition of organic materials. Don’t use slow-release or water-soluble formulations, though.

• Chop ‘em down, pull them out!
You can remove mushrooms as you spot them, but if the food source is still around, those toadstools will keep popping up. Cutting them down will help prevent their spores from spreading to new spots in your yard, and will also make sure your dog or child doesn’t chow down on them.

• Let ‘em be!
They’re not especially pretty, but mushrooms do help your garden. They transform organic material into nutrients for your yard, and help your soil retain moisture. Plus, according to Irish legends describing fairies dancing on ‘fairy ring’ toadstools, some mushrooms bring good luck to the household. So feel free to surround your mushrooms with garden gnomes and other decorations so people will think you have a fairy-friendly backyard!

PHOTO CREDITS:
BiteYourBum.Com Photography via Compfight
Conor Lawless via Compfight
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Tags : fungus, how-to, mushroom, mushrooms, tips

~Laura

This post and photos may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through any link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Any supplies used may be given to me free of charge, however, all projects and opinions are my own.

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I’m going to show you how to remove wild mushrooms the easy way! No chemicals or DIY liquid mixtures needed!

I think mushrooms are cute, but not when the pop up in our garden beds.

I plunked Mr. Gnome next to them, thinking he would help the mushrooms look like an actual garden feature.

Although I totally cracked myself up — as I often do — my husband wasn’t as amused. The mushrooms needed to go.

I went to the wonderful interwebs to learn more. The interwebs never disappoint!

Why do I have mushrooms in my garden?

If you’ve got mushrooms in your garden, then you have lots of organic material in your garden bed soil and that’s a good thing.

You want a good amount of organic matter in your soil.

Earlier this Spring, we added lots of cow manure to our garden beds because I’m determined to improve the soil. And that is another post for another day, but shoveling and mixing this into our soil definitely improved it.

How could we tell?

Well, in addition to the plants and flowers looking much better already this season, we’ve got mushrooms!

And by the way — mushrooms grow in shade and in sun, as you can see next to my Bobo (miniature) Hydrangea.

Don’t fret if you have mushrooms.

Instead, pat yourself on the back because you have great soil!

How do I get rid of mushrooms in my garden?

Easily!

Although you’ll find lots of articles on the interwebs on how to use homemade mixtures, or which fungicides and chemicals to spray on mushrooms — there’s a much easier and simpler way:

Just remove them.

I’m not trying to be funny.

Well, maybe just a bit.

Some people freak out that you need to eradicate the mushrooms — including any and all parts of them growing underground.

It’s just not necessary.

Step One: Wearing garden gloves, gently pull each mushroom up from the base and you should be able to remove it with the roots attached.

Let’s take a moment and marvel at how detailed wild mushrooms are. Seriously, they are bizarre to look at!

Step Two: Toss the mushrooms into a garbage bag and throw away. (Doing this helps prevent the spores from blowing around and popping up somewhere else in your garden. Or your neighbor’s garden.)

Step Three: Using a hand rake — or as they are officially called: a cultivator — gently rake up the mulch. (You can also do this with your garden soil, if you don’t have any mulch on top.)

Think of it as fluffing up the mulch and getting some air in there.

This will help the mulch and soil dry a bit.

Mulch is great for helping to retain moisture in your garden beds, but it also can provide ideal conditions for wild mushrooms to grow.

That’s it!

Easy peasy!

I did this two weeks ago, and haven’t had mushrooms pop up since. And if they do, which is quite possible, I”ll just repeat this process.

The garden beds look much nicer without the mushrooms.

But I still liked my idea of placing some gnomes around!

Happy gardening!

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