how to get rid of mushrooms? Mushrooms on the lawn are not as fun and exciting as food or as decorations on ceramic. Even though most of them are harmless to you and your lawn, you might need them removed if you love a well-manicured lawn. Mushrooms are, in most cases, a manifestation of something taking place underground in the soil.
Even though they may not be a bother to you, you will be required to remove them, especially when preparing your property for real estate.
If there are toxic mushrooms in your lawn, they can pose a danger to your children and pets as they might consume them. Therefore, it is good to get rid of all mushrooms in your lawn since you can’t easily differentiate the good ones from the toxic ones.
In this article, we’ll discuss the several types of mushrooms, causes, and effects to help you understand better how to get rid of the mushrooms in your lawn.
Common types of mushrooms in a lawn
Different types of mushrooms can grow in your lawn, where some are toxic, and others are harmless, and the latter can be consumed.
The three common types you can find include:
These mushrooms start from a tree stump or buried wood; hence they are commonly found in lawn areas previously wooded. They usually form a circle as they grow.
Puffball mushrooms usually don’t have a stalk under their head. They are not parasitic and cannot cause disease to the lawn. They are edible, but you need to be careful since some toxic mushrooms resemble the puffball.
Lawyer’s wig (Coprinus)
The lawyer’s wig is the most common mushroom from the genus Coprinus, and they grow in a tall cylinder. This is also cultivated as food but only consumed when cooked before it turns into an inky mess. They usually change into an inky mess from white and plump when they are ready to release spores.
Causes of mushrooms in a lawn
Mushrooms in the lawn are a result of underground fungi, and they develop when conditions are favorable. The following factors lead to their development.
Mushrooms are fungus and develop in a moist environment, and if you are keen, you must have noticed they grow more during rainy seasons. Also, overwatering your lawn can cause their development, especially if the soil has poor drainage.
Presence of decaying matter
The fungi grow and multiply by breaking down organic matter. The presence of decomposable organic matter in your lawn can lead to the growth of mushrooms. The organic matter can be from stumps, shrubs, or tree roots that remain after the original plant is removed or from dog or cat pop, fallen leaves, and grass clippings.
Too much shade
Most lawn mushrooms survive where there are low light conditions, especially under shady trees. Hence if you have big shady trees in your compound where there is also too much moisture, the mushrooms will grow.
How mushrooms spread in lawns
Mushrooms germinate and grow from tiny spores released by the fungal fruiting structures. The spores are transferred by wind, birds, insects, and other animals when mushrooms are disturbed, broken, or picked. When the spores are transferred to areas with favorable conditions such as a moist environment, they grow.
Effects of mushrooms on a lawn
Mushrooms are beneficial as they indicate fungi in your soil that help break the organic matter, giving soil more nutrients.
Nevertheless, the mushrooms have more disadvantages to your lawn, and you, therefore, need to get rid of them. One of the drawbacks is the aesthetic effect; mushrooms’ presence indicates neglected lawn and makes it look unattractive.
The presence of the mushrooms may cause your lawn to turn brown. This occurs when the mat-like hyphae grow to be too thick, preventing the lawn from getting required nutrients, turning brown.
Controlling mushroom in lawn
Controlling mushrooms in a lawn is done mainly through correcting the causes.
Remove the mushrooms
You can remove the mushrooms by uprooting them before releasing the spores, which should be timed before the spores become airborne. This is not a permanent solution as the fungi will remain in the soil. However, it reduces mushrooms’ reproduction.
You can do this in three ways which include:
• Aerating the lawn’s soil
You can rent the aerating equipment to aerate the soil and remove any thatch to improve airflow and water penetration. Maintaining the lawn short also helps as short grass dries quickly, and it also allows more sunlight and air to reach the soil.
• Installing a French drain
You can install a French drain to remove excess flooded water from your lawn, especially during the rainy season in areas with poor drainage.
• Reduce water
Water your lawn less and especially in the morning, so that the extra water can evaporate during day time when the sun shines. You should also water deeply and infrequently rather than watering lightly and frequently for short periods. For shady areas, water less frequently and allow complete drying between watering sessions.
Improving lawn cleanliness
General lawn cleanliness is required to eliminate organic matter, even though it might be hard to remove it from the soil. Collective and continued measures will make a difference with time. You can achieve this by keeping the lawn de-thatched, raking fallen leaves and cut grass, removing pest waste, and completely removing old tree stumps.
Removing shady conditions
You can achieve this by removing some branches from shady trees or completely uprooting the trees to increase the sunlight reaching your lawn. In most cases, this is not feasible, but if you value your lawn too much, you can consider this.
Applying nitrogen-rich fertilizer
Nitrogen-rich fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate help do away with the decaying organic matter by fastening its decomposition, thus delaying or preventing fungi’ growth. This should be complemented by maintaining the lawn clean.
Fungicides are sprayed on the mushrooms to kill them, but the results are short-lived as the fungicide doesn’t penetrate deep into the soil to reach the hyphae. The mushrooms may emerge after a few weeks. This helps contain the situation as the spores don’t spread, and the fungus may eventually run its life cycle and die off.
Starting from scratch
You can only use this method if the mushrooms are too much a bother to you and all the other methods have failed or when planning to change your lawn. Most people don’t prefer this, but if it is worth the trouble, this is how you go about it:
Dig 18 inches deep into your soil and remove all the soil in the affected area. Get all the hyphae beneath the surface. After this, spread new soil and grass seeds for new growth. Make sure to follow this strictly; otherwise, the mushroom might still emerge.
Hopefully, now you know how to control mushrooms from your lawn. You can use any technique or combine a few, but always start with the easiest ones, such as draining and removing organic matter. If the mushrooms persist, you can then go ahead and uproot the grass, dig out the soil, and then replace it with new soil and lawn. Avoiding the causes of mushrooms can save you this entire struggle!