Unlike delicious mushrooms in your marinara sauce, the fungi growing on your lawn could make your kids and pets sick. They could also trigger an allergic reaction. So how do you get rid of mushrooms in your yard?
You can pull them up, use natural methods, or resort to chemicals. This guide explores ways to eliminate mushrooms and keep them from coming back.
- Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mushrooms
- Chemicals That Get Rid of Mushrooms
- Ways to Keep Mushrooms from Coming Back
- Why are Mushrooms Growing in my Yard
- FAQ about Mushrooms in Your Yard
3 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Your Yard
You can avoid using harmful chemicals on your lawn with these natural methods.
1. Hand Pulling
You can hand pick all the mushrooms and toss them in the trash. It’s important to wear gloves to avoid an allergic reaction, and it’s crucial that you dispose of them immediately. Put them in a plastic bag, as even carrying them across the yard to your garbage can spread the mushroom spores onto other parts of the lawn.
2. Horticultural Vinegar
Vinegar works after you’ve removed the mushrooms by hand. We’re not talking about the vinegar in your pantry, but rather a concentrated horticultural vinegar (a good alternative to glyphosate) that you will have to dilute.
Mix one part white vinegar with four parts water in a spray bottle and coat the mushrooms. Wear gloves when you spray this solution onto the area, because vinegar can burn your skin.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda won’t burn your hands, but you must dilute it so it won’t burn your grass. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with a gallon of water and pour lightly over the mushrooms and in the area where the lawn fungi may be living.
Chemicals That Get Rid of Mushrooms
When natural methods don’t do the trick, you may have to use stronger chemical treatments to keep the mushrooms out of your yard.
Fungicides stamp out mushrooms at the source. They don’t kill mushrooms but rather eliminate the fungus. Most fungicides such as Lustre or Spectrum work by destroying fungal cell membranes to stop them from producing.
You’ll still have to hand pick the mushrooms before you apply the fungicide to the area, but they will keep the mushrooms from coming back. Therefore, it’s a good idea to remove the mushrooms first. You may have to use the fungicide several times to get the desired results.
The same nitrogen fertilizer you use on your lawn is great for preventing mushrooms. It doesn’t kill the fungus, but it speeds up organic decomposition. Therefore, mushrooms won’t have an opportunity to grow on your lawn.
Spray a solution of dish soap and water to disrupt the lifecycle of the fungus that’s growing underneath the mushrooms you removed.
8 Ways Keep Mushrooms From Coming Back
Removing the mushrooms from your yard is only half the battle. The fungus that causes the mushrooms is still present in the soil. Here are seven ways to minimize the fungus and keep new mushrooms from growing.
- Clean up excess organic material: Pet waste is a breeding ground for fungus, as are old mulch and thatch. Remove these, and you remove the mushroom’s food source.
- Let In more light: Mushrooms are like vampires. They love darkness and shade.
- Prune back those tree branches and limbs: Those limbs and thick tree canopies provide the shade that mushrooms love. This will allow more sunshine in and help reduce moisture in the area.
- Cut back on irrigation: Avoid watering that area where mushrooms are popping up or cut your watering schedule in half.
- Improve drainage: Consider planting a rain garden or installing a French drain to eliminate excess rainwater. You may need to grade your lawn if you’re dealing with severe sloping issues.
- Aerate your lawn: Aerating will improve the airflow in your yard, robbing mushrooms of moisture.
- Remove old tree stumps: The stumps are a great food source for mushrooms and attract damaging pests such as carpenter ants and termites. Removing a stump and tree roots will help eliminate the unsightly mushrooms and keep these pests from destroying your home.
- Maintain your yard: Take a proactive approach to seasonal lawn care. Develop a regimen or have a professional lawn care service maintain your yard to encourage a healthy lawn and prevent mushroom growth.
Why Are Mushrooms Growing in my Yard?
Like plants, mushrooms are the “flowers” or fruiting bodies that result from the hyphae or fungus in your lawn’s soil. If you don’t remove the mushrooms immediately, they will reproduce by spreading spores around your yard via air or pests.
Some common reasons you are starting to see more mushrooms growing in your yard?
- Mushrooms like water: You may be overwatering your lawn or have a drainage problem, creating optimal conditions for the soil to produce mushrooms.
- Not enough sunlight: Mushrooms love darkness and shade and often pop up under trees and other places that don’t get much sun.
- Too much organic matter: Grass clippings, mulch, animal waste, leaves, and dead tree matter are a food source for the fungus ecosystem in the soil.
- Thatch: Mushrooms feed on the organic material around the base of your grass.
Don’t automatically assume mushrooms in your yard are a threat. There are very few poisonous mushrooms that can grow on your property, but even the non-toxic mushrooms are unsightly and a magnet for dogs who like to dig.
FAQ About Mushrooms in Yards
1. Are mushrooms in your yard poisonous?
They can be. The destroying angel and the autumn skullcap are two fatal types of mushrooms that could grow on your lawn.
The destroying angel mushroom is white with a white stalk and white gills that could turn green or grayish as the mushroom matures. The autumn skullcap has a yellow-brown tint on its cap and brownish gills.
2. Are the mushrooms in my yard edible?
No, unless you’ve purchased mushroom plants from the store and are growing them in your vegetable garden. Unless you’re an expert at identifying wild mushrooms, it’s best to toss the mushrooms you find in your yard.
3. Is there a benefit to mushrooms growing in my yard?
Yes. Mushrooms are a sure sign your soil is healthy and has the nutrients for other plants, trees, and flowers. Some plants will actually benefit from the fungus in the soil.
Don’t have the time or find it gross to remove the mushrooms from your yard? We can find a lawn care pro near you to remove them and keep the fungus at bay. They can also mow, weed, edge, and dethatch to keep the mushrooms from coming back.
Main Photo Credit: Pixabay | Michal Jarmoluk