How to Deal With Mushrooms Growing in Your Lawn

How to Deal With Mushrooms Growing in Your Lawn 

If you’ve spotted some mushrooms in your lawn, you likely will be quickly reaching for the weed killer to eradicate them immediately. However, mushrooms aren’t always bad for your lawn! Knowing how to tell the difference between which mushrooms are friendly and which can damage your lawn is key. We explain how to identify the different types of mushrooms, answer whether they are bad for your lawn, and provide you with an easy guide on how to remove them.

Mushrooms vs fungal diseases in your lawn

Mushrooms appearing in your lawn can actually be a sign that your lawn is healthy and has a large amount of organic material in it. They can help break down this material which provides your soil with nutrients and encourages new grass growth.

Fungal diseases on the other hand, will emerge in warm and humid or cool and damp environments. If your lawn has received heavy rainfall or flooding, you’ll likely experience some mushroom and fungal growth. They are a sign that there is trouble ahead for your grass. Common fungal diseases include Fairy Rings which first appear as a discoloured patch of grass and then a ring of white mushrooms, Powdery Mildew which emerge as white powder on the leaves of your grass, and the Giant Puffball Mushroom which is large, round and white.

A common rule is that if your lawn has small, white and less frequent mushrooms then they are likely beneficial. If your lawn has large and colourful clusters of mushrooms, they are likely harmful to your lawn.  

Are mushrooms bad for your lawn?

Contrary to popular opinion, finding wild mushrooms in the lawn isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and they’re definitely not bad for the lawn itself – in fact, you might find mushrooms on your lawn simply because the grass and soil are healthy. While mushroom growth is a telltale sign of beneficial microbes at work, there are a range of reasons for choosing to remove wild fungi.

The most obvious reason is the danger to young children and pets if mushrooms are ingested, a situation which could lead to serious illness or death. As a general rule, you should not eat the mushrooms growing on your lawn, as some varieties can be highly toxic to humans and misidentifying them can be fatal.

There’s also the fact that mushrooms taint the visual appeal of a manicured lawn, which is enough incentive for many homeowners to remove them – even though it’s not always easy. 

Getting rid of mushrooms growing in your lawn? 

Right after weeds, mushrooms and toadstools are some of the most stubborn lawn squatters around. Image-conscious homeowners have spent years wondering how to get rid of mushrooms in the lawn for good, but unfortunately, there’s no real quick-fix solution to the problem.

The main reason mushrooms are so difficult to remove is because the roots burrow deep into the soil, forming a complex underground structure and making them almost impossible to remove all at once. These roots also allow the mushrooms to lie dormant for long periods of time and emerge only when the weather conditions are just right.

If you’re determined to remove a population of backyard mushrooms, pulling them out by hand will yield much better results than the lawnmower. By-hand removal eliminates any chance of spores spreading and regrowing, and it’s a surprisingly simple process: wearing gardening gloves, picking off the mushrooms and toadstools one by one. Alternatively, you can use a fungicide or a mower with a collector attached for the clippings.  

How can you prevent mushrooms from growing in your lawn?

Managing lawn mushrooms is a long-term process involving ongoing maintenance, but the good news is that no matter how hardy they may seem, it is possible to eradicate the mushroom population from your lawn. All you have to do is make the lawn a less attractive place for fungi to grow.

As long as there are no live mushrooms already growing in your lawn, a simple lawn mowing routine can significantly reduce growth, but more long-term solutions will involve tending to the soil.

Mushrooms typically thrive in shady, moist conditions, so create the opposite in your yard. Simple changes like limiting shade on the lawn to increase sun exposure, aerating the soil regularly, and cutting back on fertiliser will make the lawn a far less hospitable environment for mushrooms.

Once you have created the ideal setting for lush lawn growth, maintenance is key, and the bulk of it lies in keeping the area clear of mushroom-friendly materials. Anything from grass clippings, thatch build-up, old mulch, excess fertiliser, animal waste, and rotting wood are common culprits.

Consult the experts!

If you are fighting a losing battle against mushrooms and fungi in your lawn, it might be time to call in the professionals. Our team of lawn care experts can assess your lawn and provide you with any required services including lawn mowing, dethatching and aeration. Get in touch with us today!

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