A beautiful, appealing yard and lawn mushrooms simply don’t go together; however, that’s exactly where they appear. Lawn mushrooms need a healthy, damp environment to thrive. Therefore, if that’s the case with your lawn, it’s very likely that you’re facing this problem already.
But, getting rid of them is a piece of cake, of course, if you know how to do so. Let’s take a look at what causes mushrooms to grow in your lawn in the first place, and then, a few ways to kill them.
What Causes Mushrooms to Grow in Your Yard?
Mushrooms seem to appear out of nowhere in the lawn, but in reality, that’s not the case. As a matter of fact, they’re the fruit of a beneficial fungus that’s lies buried in the soil. By the time the mushrooms pop out of the soil, the fungus has already established underground.
Lawn mushrooms occur on decomposing material, and there are many sources of it in your yard already. The following help mushrooms thrive in your lawn:
- animal waste
- leftovers of killed tree stumps and roots
- fallen leaves
- lawn thatch
- grass clippings
Also, the mushroom invasion may indicate that your lawn has areas of poor drainage or is under too much shade.
Should You Kill Them or Not?
Despite looking unsightly, the lawn mushrooms actually can be beneficial to the lawn. That being so, they feed on the decaying organic matter, and in doing so, they release nutrients into the ground. Besides, the mushroom extensive root system helps in retaining water.
On the other hand, they aren’t the mushrooms you’d like to put in your meals. So, if you’re concerned about your kids or pets being around them, here are a few ways to get rid of the mushrooms in your lawn.
How to Kill Mushrooms
Just killing the visible mushrooms won’t stop the problem, which actually is beneath the soil surface. You have to attack the fungus instead, to get rid of them completely.
Method 1: Dish Soap or Fungicide
Pull Them Out
If you leave them there for too long, the mushrooms will release spores, which will cause even more of them to grow. Instead, pull them out of the ground once they appear. You can also mow or rake them, but chances are that the spores will spread all over the lawn.
But first, poke holes around each mushroom, at least one foot deep, with Shepherd’s hook, screwdriver, or trowel. Once you pull the mushrooms out, make sure to put them into a bag instead of a compost pile, and dispose of them.
Fill the Holes With Either:
- Dish Soap and Water Solution
Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and about 2 gallons of water in a bucket, then pour the solution over the area where you poked the holes. This process, however, can take quite a while.
For a faster resolution, you can go with fungicide. First you would need to use a granular fungicide like the Heritige 30lbs bag or alternatively you can get the smaller 10lbs bag. To keep the spores from spreading, you need to spray the entire lawn with a liquid fungicide. In our experience, the best product for this is the BioAdvanced liquid fungicide spray.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 gallon of water in a bucket.
- Stir and wait for the mixture to dissolve.
- Pour the solution over the mushroom caps and stems, then spray the ground around them as well.
Method 3: Vinegar
- Mix 4 parts water and 1 part white vinegar to dilute it, then put the solution into a spray bottle.
- Cover the mushrooms with a heavy dose of the solution. Don’t spray the surrounding grass since the vinegar will kill it as well.
- Wait for 3 to 4 days for the vinegar to kill the mushrooms, then rake them up and remove them.
How to Prevent Mushroom Growth?
The best way to prevent mushroom growth in your lawn is to starve them. In other words, you should reduce the amount of water that’s making the area damp, seeing that they enjoy humid environments. Don’t starve the lawn from needed water, though.
Apply Nitrogen Fertilizer
The fertilizer will speed up the decomposition of the organic matter, which will prevent the mushroom growth. Use 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer per 1000 square feet of lawn. Also, consider adding phosphorus and potassium. That is to say, you’ll need 3 parts nitrogen, 1 part phosphorus, and 2 parts potassium.
Let the Light in
Mushrooms love the shade, so make sure to let the sunlight into the area as much as possible. For instance, pruning the trees is an effective way to do so.
Are mushrooms in your lawn a bad sign?
On the contrary, the mushrooms indicate a healthy lawn with lots of organic matter below the soil surface. Fungi feed on decomposing material, breaking it down and releasing nutrients in the soil that other plants can use.
Are fairy rings bad?
A fairy ring is an arc of mushrooms, and in fact, is one of the mushroom varieties that can harm your lawn. As the fungus grows beneath the soil surface, it takes up all the nutrients and water from the soil, starving the grass. Because of this, there’s dead grass over the growing edge of the fungus. In general, the fairy rings appear in places where old tree stumps have been removed.
Are lawn mushrooms poisonous?
Generally, the lawn mushrooms aren’t poisonous to humans. However, never try to eat them unless you’re completely sure that you can identify them accurately. On the other hand, a mushroom that’s edible for people can be dangerous to animals, so if you have a pet, it’s for the best to keep your yard free of mushrooms.