How to Kill and Prevent Lawn Mushrooms
Wild mushrooms popping up all over your lawn can be an eyesore and a nuisance. They might show up after a rainy spell or emerge in new sod. Lawn mushrooms are a common landscaping problem, and potentially dangerous if you have children. The problem of mushrooms growing in the lawn can be easily fixed if you know how. Learn why lawn mushrooms appear and what you can do about them.
With a rapid growth ability, mushrooms can cause a nuisance to your lawn overnight. Typically forming in times of wet weather from the spring to fall, mushrooms grow off the excess nutrients and water in the soil and thatch layer of a lawn.
What Are Lawn Mushrooms and How Do They Form?
Mushrooms are part of a fungus that grows underground and hidden from sight. Lawn fungi and their mushrooms do not harm a lawn. They are actually good in the ecosystem of your yard. They’re breaking down organic material into nutrients your lawn can use.
Like seeds, a mushroom reproduces through spores. The mushroom releases the spores, and then spread by wind or water, to start a new fungal colony.
Because a variety of mushrooms are poisonous or toxic, it is important to remove mushrooms from a lawn if you have pets or children. Removing mushrooms can be as simple as picking them out of the ground. However, killing them completely is more complicated.
Getting Rid of Lawn Mushrooms
A mushroom is the fruit of the mycelium fungus that grows in the thatch or soil layer of lawns. To rid your yard of mushrooms you have to solve these four questions.
Is your lawn damp around the areas of mushroom growth?
- Adjust how you water your lawn to compensate for natural wet weather or areas of decreased natural drainage
- Aerate your lawn for better air and water flow preventing water from pooling.
- Check for possibly broken pipes that need to be fixed.
Are the mushrooms shaded throughout the day?
- Mushrooms thrive in low light areas. Trim nearby trees or bushes to bring in more light to your lawn.
Are there buried roots or compacted leaves and trimmings near the mushrooms?
- Remove extra organic material build-up by dethatching your lawn.
- Dig up and cut dead or excess roots beneath your lawn.
Is there fertilizer or pet poop near the mushrooms?
- Pick up after your pet.
- Decrease the amount you are fertilizing in the areas of the mushrooms.
Removing Lawn Mushrooms Manually
Using a small gardening spade, simply dug out the mushrooms off the ground. Remove the soil to a depth of up to 10cm, and create a perimeter around the mushroom by another 10cm. Carefully place the mushrooms and soil into the bag, and make sure not to spill any soil. Then, place the bag and its contents into the garbage bin. Filled in the empty hole with some soil from the lawn.
Since mushrooms spread via an underground network of veins, it is best to also remove some of the soil from underneath and around the mushroom. For safety purpose, wear rubber gloves assuming the mushrooms could possibly be poisonous.
Mushrooms could possibly cause Fairy Ring, or spread more mushrooms on your lawn. So, be careful not to drop any of the soil or mushroom pieces back onto the lawn. It is a good idea to have a plastic bag on hand for removal.
Raking your grass clippings, or replacing old mulch will also help to reduce the decaying organic material that encourages mushrooms growing in the lawn.
You’re On the Way to a Healthier Lawn
Once you have answered the question of why are mushrooms growing on your lawn, you can then make the decision as to whether or not to eliminate mushrooms in lawn.
Overall mushrooms pose a greater threat to your family than they do to your lawn. Mushrooms decompose naturally occurring organic material and turn it into useful nutrients for your lawn.
Not every mushroom infestation is the same, but we at Just Right Lawns have seen it all. We can diagnose and solve the lawn mushroom problem, offering your family the peace of mind that comes with our lawn care services.