If you’re one of those people that are really proud of their lawn, then we have one question for you! How do you feel about mushrooms? The mushroom problem can occur even if your lawn care is top-notch. Usually, you notice it in late spring when the first heat wave arrives and closer to autumn when the rainy and cold season begins.
Why does this happen and how to get rid of mushrooms from the lawn? No need for searching and no need for worries! Here you can find all the answers you were looking for and keep your lawn at its finest.
Table of Contents
Why do mushrooms grow on my lawn?
Most fungi are formed from dead tree roots, buried timber, or other organic matter under your lawn. Mushroom growth is underground, with the fruiting bodies of fungi that you see above the soil produced to help spread mushroom spores. Mushrooms only appear above the ground when weather conditions allow it (rainy weather, for example). Otherwise, they may not appear for years.
Several types of fungi can produce circular rings in your grass which can’t be fun. The mushroom growth comes from the decomposition of organic matter by fungi. Sometimes this causes dead grass areas. This means you need to take proper measures to make your lawn healthy again.
The fruiting bodies of fungi release tiny mushroom spores into the air. Once mushroom spores find an excellent place to grow, they germinate, sending hyphae. Hyphae are made up of long filaments that help break down wood, leaves, and other organic matter as a food source. While individual hyphae remain invisible without magnifying lens, hyphae clusters sometimes resemble masses of white or dark threads. These threads, called mycelium, eventually produce the fruiting organs seen above the ground growing in the lawn.
Mushrooms grow in lawns because of mulch or wood growing under the grass. They help break down organic matter in the soil which may make your yard look like a disaster.
Reasons for appearance
Why are mushrooms on my lawn? Well simply because they find conditions necessary for their development. Stagnant moisture, a rainy period, the decomposition of organic matter from grass clippings from mowing, branches, old roots, compost not mature enough, or even old buried stumps.
It’s important to mention that mushrooms play a significant role in the ecosystem. They provide excess moisture and nutrients to the soil caused by the decomposition of that same organic matter. And even if you only see them periodically and in particular places, know that mushrooms are present everywhere in the soil.
Mushrooms can be found:
- As a simple organism that lives in the soil to feed (mycelium).
- As a complex organism that is visible above ground for reproduction. These complex organisms are called “sporophores” or reproductive mycelium.
These are usually saprophyte-type fungi, decomposers of organic matter. The species are varied, but unless checked by an expert, it is more prudent to consider that the lawn’s common mushrooms are rather toxic.
Get rid of mushrooms using these simple methods
Since there is no chemical method to control fungi growth in your lawn, you should remove the fruiting heads with a garden rake or lawnmower. To eliminate the mushrooms for good, you will need to dig up and remove the surface on which the mushrooms grow.
Picking mushrooms as soon as they appear can prevent spores from spreading to other areas of the lawn. For fairy rings, you have to break the dense fungal carpet that grows under the grass. To do this you might need to use a shovel, aerators or floor probe. For fungi that appear in the new lawn, reduced irrigation helps control the problem.
To kill mushrooms on the lawn, several methods can be efficient. The recommendation is not to use them all at the same time. If one method doesn’t seem to deliver results, then you can move on to the next one. But before deciding to take on drastic control measures, it is necessary to try to change the microclimate. How to do this?
- In areas where mushrooms grow, you should mow the lawn as it grows.
- Watering should be significantly reduced. Don’t let the water stagnate.
- You have to constantly monitor the lawn to detect the presence of sprouted grass, as it can begin to rot and gradually form an environment conducive to the formation of fungi.
- There is a need to eliminate animal faeces as they contribute to the formation of disease-causing organisms and the spread of fungi on the lawn.
- The lawn should be well lit. The more light there is, the less risk there is for rotting and the appearance of fungi.
If the conditions have changed, but the mushrooms still do not disappear, you can proceed with more drastic measures:
Aeration and scarification
It involves removing the top layer of the lawn and piercing it to allow air to enter it. Aeration can be done with a standard mower. The procedure is performed in early spring because it is during this period that the mushrooms begin to appear. Scarification is done using special devices.
The lawn is sprinkled with lime around the perimeter. The substance reduces the acidity of the soil and prevents the formation of fungi.
It has many similarities with the previous one, but in this case, the whole area is sprinkled with sand. The amount of sand must be controlled. Its layer should not exceed 3 millimetres. The sand forms a kind of drainage that prevents moisture from stagnating.
Picking mushrooms by hand
This method is appropriate if there are not many mushrooms on site, as the procedure is very laborious. It is necessary to remove fungi containing mycelium to avoid further germination.
Use of fungicides
Fungicides help in the short term, but not for long, so a new lawn treatment is often needed.
How to prevent lawn mushrooms from appearing?
If for aesthetic or safety reasons you need to remove the mushrooms from your lawn, here are some techniques:
- Mow the mushrooms by passing the lawnmower over them, and fear not, there is extremely little chance that their spores will spread over the rest of your lawn.
- Many fungi appreciate shade, so if it’s possible, mitigate it by getting rid of the plants that can provide it.
- To minimize the amount of organic material that fungi may feed on in the thatch layer, clean the soil of any existing organic matter. Do not leave the mowing aftermath in areas where fungi grow.
- In fairy circles, the fungi cause is often there because of the decomposition of a piece of wood. To get rid of it, you have to dig to find the host and remove it. Unfortunately, it’s not always so “simple.” Sometimes these fungi become independent, so you have to dig the whole circle and remove about 15 cm of soil. It would be best if you spotted the fungi hyphae, the white and cottony filaments that make up the fungus. You will then have to fill with new soil before sowing turf again.
Here are some useful tips
When you notice that your lawn is affected by a fungal disease, it can be challenging to get rid of it. The best way to manage what causes mushrooms to occur is to provide your lawn with adequate care and prevent conditions for the development of fungal diseases. Here are some lawn care tips:
- Reduce the amount of organic material that fungi can feed on in the thatch layer.
- Allow water to soak into the soil rather than sit on top of it. It decreases the likelihood of mushrooms rising.
- Allow the turf to reach 6-8 cm in height. Shorter turf is more likely to develop the fungal disease.
- During a dry period, water thoroughly and irregularly to maintain a healthy lawn.
- Lawn fertiliser ensures a good supply of nutrients. You need to avoid excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer, which encourages leaf staining.
- Sow a variety of mushroom-resistant grass where you’ve had problems.
- Remove dead leaves and animal waste from your lawn.
Even though you can eat certain types of mushrooms, you should absolutely avoid doing such a thing with the ones that are growing on your lawn. Seek advice from experts on edible types of fungi, just to be sure that you avoid the toxic ones. That’s why you should always make sure that your kids and your pets stay away from poisonous mushrooms. Some fungi even stink badly, the most notorious example being the so-called “stinkhorns.”
Now that you know everything about the ways to get rid of them, don’t waste any more time! Go out there and give your lawn a makeover so it can be wonderful once again.