How Mushrooms Grow
The small umbrella-like living things that you see coming out in your yard are mushrooms. They are often associated in movies as abodes of fairies and toads.
What you see on the sides of dead trees and staircases that are seldom reached by sunlight are also mushrooms. Well, I assume you already know this right from the start, right?
This explains why they appear abundantly during the rainy season or when you water your yard too often. They are likewise evident in parts where there’s animal dung or grass clippings that are decaying.
New lawns usually have a lot of moisture as a lot of water is needed to foster the growth of roots underneath the soil.
When mushrooms spores have been living in the sod even before it was laid down and watered, they will naturally germinate once they are positioned.
After which, they start to break down organic nutrients and materials in the lawn and underneath the soil. Once these fungi have amply grown, mushroom will start bursting out and showing up.
What Keeps Mushrooms Alive?
Mushrooms do not rely on sunlight in order to grow. They will remain alive and kicking as long as there are lifeless organic matters to consume.
Fungi are capable of breaking down dead leaves and dead branches, trunks, and trees, which makes them the best decomposers on Earth.
Once there’s a dead matter in your lawn, expect to see mushrooms. Maybe you’re asking if it’s good or bad.
It is good because it only means that you’re standing on healthy soil. At the same time, it’s also bad because it’s destroying your lawn.
As already mentioned earlier, mushrooms are evident in areas that have a high retention of moisture. After a rainy day, they would crop up and begin to be noticed.
The growth of mushrooms is inevitable during the rainy season or when you just laid down your sod where you need to water it every now and then.
But this can actually be reduced by removing the excess nutrients that feed the fungi. Make sure to pick up and dispose of all dead leaves, branches, and animal excrements, if any.
Types of Mushrooms that Grow in Yards
Mushrooms belong to the family of fungi and its species has a long list. In fact, according to Bob Vila, there are at least 38,000 types of mushrooms alone, which are classified as either toxic or non-toxic.
However, not all these types of mushrooms grow in the yard. The three types that usually grow in yards are the death angel mushrooms, meadow mushrooms, and horse mushrooms.
Death angel mushrooms are those that have white caps and gills – they are the toxic type.
The meadow mushrooms, on the other hand, have white caps and dark brown gills.
Lastly, mushrooms that have creamy white caps are known as horse mushrooms, and they are edible and harmless.
Lawn mushrooms do not just include those that are classic-shaped. There are the bird’s nest mushrooms that look like small nests that are packed with fungal eggs.
Also included are the elfin umbrellas, join puffballs and many more.
Be watchful of mushrooms that grow in lawns especially if you have kids or pets. Some toxic or poisonous mushrooms include the green-spored mushrooms and the lawnmower’s mushroom.
Maybe you’ve also heard of mushrooms with rings around them – don’t eat them as they are not edible. If eaten, they can cause an upset stomach and even death.
How can these deadly mushrooms be avoided and controlled? Simply do a frequent check on your lawn.
If you ever find such fungi, uproot them and place them in an area where no one can have easy access to them, or better yet, discard them using a garbage bag.
Mushrooms in Grasses and Flower Beds
Are mushrooms good or bad? Mushrooms sometimes look good in between grasses and flower beds because the they offer contrast. But unfortunately, many people find them more of an annoyance than an advantage.
The toxic mushrooms that cause upset stomachs are the ones that need to be eradicated. They need to be ripped up immediately before your kids and pets get tempted to play with them or, the worst, eat them.
But then again, not all mushrooms are toxic. Some of these fungi are not distressful.
As per the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program of the University of California, poison-infested fungi in lawns or gardens hardly ever form structures that are mushroom-like.
Most mushrooms actually serve as support in lawns. They remain undetected until they become fully grown and ready for reproduction.
Wiping out mushrooms
Killing mushrooms that flourish in grasses and flower beds does not affect their entire population since they only represent a tiny part of it.
There are fungicides that may be used for controlling the growth of mushrooms but they are not usually allowed to be used in homes because of their chemical contents that are hazardous to one’s health.
So, instead of using fungicides, it would be safer and better to just alter the conditions that promote the increase of the mushroom population.
The most important thing to do in wiping out mushrooms is to start diminishing the ring mushrooms followed by the non-toxic ones.
As much as possible, keep the lawn surface a bit dry to limit the growth of mushrooms.
Better be safe than sorry
Mushrooms do not harm grasses and flower beds, but it is much safer to get rid of them. Yes, they have fascinating colors and shapes, and they even have an attractive smell, which may entice kids and pets to play with them.
Also, when handling mushrooms, better use gloves and wash your hands meticulously after that especially if you aren’t sure what type of mushroom you’re dealing with.
How to Put an End to the Persistent Growth of Mushrooms
When you take a stroll across your damp lawn after days of rainfall, you will surely stumble upon springy mushrooms, which many garden owners consider as undesirable.
If they can be unearthed easily, they can also re-appear over and over again easily. But of course, there will always be ways to get rid of them.
Just gather up all the things needed and you’re ready to put an end to your mushroom problem.
Things you’ll be needing:
How to rid your lawn of mushrooms:
- Begin removing all dead matters from your lawn. All branches, fallen leaves, cut grass and limbs should be heaved and carried away.
- To do away with the mushrooms, use a rake. Do not hold the mushrooms with your bare hands, make sure to use protective rubber gloves. Pick up the extricated mushrooms and dump them into a garbage bag.
- The next step is to aerate the area where the mushrooms were extracted using a rake or a hoe. The soil needs to come loose to prevent mushroom from coming back as they prefer to grow on compacted soil. Pummel the rake or hoe around to tamper the mushroom spores and stop them from germinating.
- After which, it’s time to sprinkle the nitrogen fertilizer throughout the area using a spreader, or simply toss it with your hands. One pound of nitrogen fertilizer is enough to cover 1,000 square feet. Then water your lawn a bit to let the fertilizer penetrate into the soil. Repeat this process a couple more times a year.
- As for mushrooms that have rings on them, dig it up together with the sod using a shovel – this is the only way to prevent the fungi from spreading. Then just replace it with a new sod that is not contaminated with mushroom spores.
Other Ways to Eliminate Mushrooms
According to homeguides.sfgate.com, there are numerous and innovative ways to eliminate mushrooms. If you are skeptical about using fungicides for safety reasons, then use natural methods instead. Here are some of the methods:
Baking Soda Solution
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a gallon of water
- Spray the mixture on contaminated areas and on surfaces surrounding it.
- Dilute 1 part of horticulture vinegar into ½ part water.
- Spray directly over the mushrooms while trying to avoid the grass part.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of dish soap with 2 gallons of water.
- Make holes around the soil that surround the mushrooms using a screwdriver or a barbeque stick maybe.
- Pour the solution into the holes.
After you’re done doing one of the options in eliminating mushrooms from your lawn, make sure to leave no traces.
Pull out the dead mushrooms from top to base. Most probably, you will be digging about 12 to 18 inches.
There is also a need to replace the tainted soil with fresher soil, which, according to meticulous gardeners, is the best process.
Fungicides that Help Kill Mushrooms
Other people prefer natural methods in eradicating mushrooms from their lawn, but there are also those who choose to use an alternative method, which is the use of fungicides.
So, what are fungicides? Fungicides refer to pesticides that help in the prevention of fungi including their spores.
They are likewise used in controlling molds at some point. Nonetheless, they are not capable of treating viral diseases, nematodes and bacteria.
What to Keep in Mind When Using Fungicides
According to the website hortnews.extension.iastate.edu, there are particular guidelines that need to be taken into consideration when using fungicides.
Make sure that the diagnosis correct. Before using a fungicide, make sure that you are fully aware of the problem. Here are the questions that you need to answer:
- What was the diagnosed disease? Or, does it even have a disease?
- What caused the problem? It is fungi?
- When did the problem occur? Was it during springtime, summer or fall?
Knowing how to apply and how often a fungicide should be used is a must. Timing is everything when it comes to the application of fungicide for it to be effective.
It is crucial to read the instructions before application. Remember that you should not only be protecting your plants or your lawn but also your health. So, you should find it imperative to wear proper equipment, too.
5 Best Ways to Effectively Kill Mushrooms in Your Lawn
1. Remove excess moisture in your lawn
Mushrooms like to exist in wet environment. So, as much as possible, lower the amount of moisture in your area. Do not soak your lawn with water as this can greatly trigger the growth of mushrooms. Adequate water will do.
Another way to lessen moisture is to set up a French drainage. This type of ditch is occupied by stones that has a pipe underneath them, which serves as the waterway.
Having this type of draining will allow water to escape from your lawn, leaving it only with the right amount.
You also might want to check the spouts around your lawn for swarming waters as they also cause moisture, and eventually, the growth of mushrooms.
2. Eliminate dead matters
When there are decaying things in the different areas of your lawn, mushrooms will surely occupy them. Rotten things are what mushrooms consider as their comfort food.
This is the reason why dead matters have to be taken out from your yard immediately, if possible.
After mowing the grass, for instance, the clippings should be thrown right away. Use a garden rake for grass clippings and place them in a garbage bag.
You should also make it a habit to pick up the wastes of your pets – don’t just leave in your lawn and wait for them to decompose. Remains or branches of trees also have to be removed.
To expedite the decomposition of cut grass or fallen leaves, you may use nitrogen fertilizer. 1 to 5 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer can already cover 1,000 square feet of lawn.
To fully ensure the discontinuance of the growth of mushroom, remove the mushrooms all the way to their roots.
3. Increase sun or light exposure
You should already know by now that mushrooms like to stay on shady and damp areas.
To resolve this, you can effectively reduce or eliminate mushrooms or fungi by allowing a good amount of sunlight to hit your lawn.
Cut or trim tree branches that impedes the rays of the sun from touching the areas of concern.
4. Aerate moisture-rich areas in your lawn
Compacted soil traps moisture, which makes it the perfect place for mushrooms to bud. If there seems to be an increasing number of fungi in your lawn, aerating the soil in your lawn will be good idea.
You can either use a rake or shovel to perform aeration. But if want a less tedious way, you may use an aerator.
5. Make use of natural fungi killer
Last but not the least, eliminate the mushrooms using natural methods like the baking soda, horticulture vinegar solution and the dish soap solution.
Not only are these methods effective, but they are also the safest to use.