Often, clients ask, “Why do I have Mushrooms in my lawn?” Before we can answer the “why”, you need to know what a mushroom is and then we can talk about how to get rid of them.
Mushrooms are part of underground fungi that feed on decomposing matter in the soil. When conditions are favorable, you will start to see them emerge from the soil. Typically, mushrooms pop up after a heavy rain event or irrigation cycle. This extra moisture can stimulate microbial activity. These spores can spread through the wind. The mushrooms typically diminish once the area dries out.
There is not a chemical remedy that we recommend for mushrooms. Mushrooms are typically an indication that the soil contains a lot of organic matter. They help break down this organic material to make the soil more productive. Great soil is key to a healthy lawn, so mushrooms can actually be a good thing!
If your mushroom issues do not seem to go away over time, here are a few suggestions on how to address the problem.
- Mushrooms prefer damp shaded areas. Allowing more sunlight into the area by pruning surrounding trees can not only help naturally keep mushrooms at bay, but can also help improve the health of your turfgrass.
- If shade and moisture is not an issue in your lawn, you can manually remove the mushrooms. Be sure to remove as much of the stem as possible.
- We recommend a yearly core aeration to help alleviate soil compaction. Compacted soil can retain water and produce a favorable environment for mushrooms. See our post here for more information on Core Aeration.
- Since mushrooms feed on decaying organic matter, they could be feeding on old tree roots or construction debris in the soil. There is not much you can do for this scenario; however, keeping the area well-aerated can improve the soil drainage and make this environment less favorable for the mushrooms.
- Maintain good cultural practices for the lawn. This includes a weekly mowing schedule. Mowing the mushrooms down over time can cause them to decline. See our post here for information on How Mowing Can Help Us Help You.
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