Haven’t planted mushrooms but seen ‘shrooms popping up all over your lawn including around tree stumps? Well, the mushrooms growing in your lawn aren’t poisonous (most of them) but as a precaution don’t go add them to your pizza just yet! Read about 7 of the world’s most poisonous mushrooms.
You’re probably wondering why are mushrooms in my lawn, how did they get there, and if you should eliminate them. And I’ve got all the answers in this detailed article.
The Role of Mushrooms in the Ecosystem
The first thing to understand is that mushrooms are fungi, and belong in a league of their own, separate from plants and animals.
There are over 2000 species of mushrooms identified across the globe and even the most common grocery store mushroom Agaricus bisporus (often marketed as “White Button,” “Cremini,” or “Portobello”) is a decomposer.
Decomposers break down plant and animal debris, thus cycling nutrients and increasing their availability in the soil.
But that’s not all, mushrooms also accelerate nitrogen fixation and phosphorous mobilization, which are two essential nutrients required for grass and plant development and productivity.
Now you’re probably thinking that mushrooms are harmful to your lawn. But what if I told you that the presence of mushrooms is always almost a good sign.
Mushrooms cause no harm to your lawn grass and are usually a sign of healthy soil.
And healthy soil is something all homeowners wish for to enjoy a lush healthy lawn.
How Mushrooms Form
Mushrooms develop from fungal spores that thrive in damp, dark conditions. So if there’s excess moisture in your soil caused by overwatering or poor drainage, mushrooms and fairy rings will crop up as these are the perfect conditions for them to grow.
Mushrooms in Lawn: Good or Bad?
Mushrooms being fungi decompose lawn and garden decaying organic matter into usable foods for an average yard or big-size yard.
They break down complex compounds such as dead leaves and wood chips and deposit nutrients including plant nutrients and beneficial nutrients back into the soil.
Believe it or not, most lawn mushroom activity takes place in the backdrop, which is below the soil surface.
The toadstools ruining your view are just part of a much larger, intricate network that includes filaments called hyphae that do the underground work.
Hyphae help break down organic matter including animal waste into the elements your green grass needs. These elements include phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, and other macronutrients, plus micronutrients.
Why Mushrooms Grow In Lawns – Different Factors
Moisture Levels in the Soil
Mushrooms grow in areas that receive excess moisture, which is usually caused by over-irrigation or poor drainage. The more food sources available to mushrooms, the larger they will grow.
Presence of Organic Matter
Mushrooms are a good sign that your lawn is rich in organic matter. After all their job is to break down this organic material including plant material and woody material and make your soil more productive.
Shade or Lack of Sunlight
Shade or lack of sunlight can also cause mushrooms to grow in your yard but can grow without direct sunlight, unlike other vegetables.
How to Prevent Mushroom Growth in the Lawn
Cultural Control Methods (e.g. adjusting irrigation, removing debris)
Cultural methods include:
- Improving lawn drainage – here are 6 common lawn drainage problems.
- Dethatching your lawn,
- Clearing organic materials and debris.
Mushrooms prefer moist conditions and damp environments, which can be reduced by aerating your lawn with a lawn aerator.
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Before aerating your green lawn, dethatch if necessary to improve airflow and remove excess moisture. Make sure to dethatch before aerating, and get rid of debris such as grass clippings and fallen leaves that can increase moisture build-up.
Chemical Control Options (e.g. fungicides)
There are many fungicides available that can be used for large outbreaks, but they are best applied by a professional.
These fungicides include:
- Azoxystrobin or
Typical fungicides don’t kill lawn mushrooms because the fungus that’s causing the eyesore is just part of their fruiting bodies.
Natural Remedies (e.g. coffee grounds)
If you have pets or children, you may want to take the natural route of killing mushrooms. Simply sprinkle coffee grounds around the affected area. The coffee ground will alter the pH of the soil and make it more inhospitable to mushrooms.
Q. Are Mushrooms in Lawn Edible?
A. Some mushroom species are poisonous, therefore avoid consuming mushrooms in your lawn without confirming the species. Consuming poisonous mushrooms could lead to symptoms such as stomach pain and vomiting.
Q. Are Lawn Mushrooms Poisonous?
A. Some lawn mushrooms such as Amanita sp. can be poisonous so it’s best to avoid consumption.
Q. Are Mushrooms in Lawn Safe for Dogs?
A. Lawn mushrooms are basically wild mushrooms, which aren’t beneficial fungi for dogs.
Here’s an informative video on how to get rid of mushrooms in lawn:
There are myriad reasons mushrooms grow in your lush lawn, most notably damp conditions, and wet conditions caused by rainy spells or excess watering.
The vast majority of mushrooms aren’t poisonous but do take away from the overall appeal of your home. There are no fungicides to eliminate lawn mushrooms, but you can spread coffee grounds to change the pH of your soil to get rid of them.
A few mushrooms aren’t harmful to your lawn, but if your lawn is plagued with mushrooms, I recommend calling a lawn care professional to take care of the problem.
Professional landscapers have the tools and expertise to take lawn mushroom issues and get to get the job done right.
Hi, Alex Kuritz here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my family’s lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.