Unless you’re one of the Super Mario Brothers, mushrooms in your yard are a sorry sight. This fungus is an invasive species that grows in dark, moist areas and can really mess up the appearance of your lawn.
If it happens to be a poisonous mushroom growing in your lawn, this can cause many problems for your toddlers and pets who mistake it for a tasty treat. We all want a safe and clean environment in our yard, so we’re here to help! In this article, we break down how to get rid of mushrooms once and for all.
1. Dry them out.
Like a lot of fungi, mushrooms grow best in areas with lots of moisture. We know you want to have a nice green lawn this summer, but by watering it too much you can actually cause more mushrooms to grow.
Unless it’s an especially dry season, try to limit how often you water your lawn to once a week. This will keep some of the deeper soil dry enough so that mushroom growth is not encouraged. On top of that, aerating your lawn will help to bring in some air flow so that the place they grow isn’t damp and stale. You can do this yourself, or hire a landscaping company to do it for you if you don’t want to get your hands dirty.
The last thing you can do to dry out your lawn is to make sure there is a good drainage system. If there are uneven areas in your lawn and puddles usually form after rainfall, try planting some extra soil in those areas to even it out. The less moisture in your turf, the less likely the mushrooms are to grow.
2. Today’s forecast: sunshine!
Mushrooms are kind of like that really pale friend you know, who gets a sunburn the second they step in the sun. Fungi grow best in shaded areas with little or no sunlight, so clear the area as best you can to stop them from growing.
If you have a big tree or bush shading a large part of your lawn, you might want to consider trimming it to let in those bright, beautiful rays of light. Also, staying on top of your lawn mowing is a good way of making sure the grass strands don’t cover too much of the soil. Just make sure to pick up the grass clipping after mowing, or you’ll be feeding them more fuel to grow.
3. Pull them out.
Yanking them out of the ground will work for a bit, but chances are they’re going to grow back. Depending on the type of strand, they’re going to have pretty deep roots which can be hard to remove without tearing up a good chunk of your lawn.
Staying consistent with how often you pull them out of the ground can be a good way of narrowing down where they grow. If you can confine them to one area, it makes for an easier problem to deal with later.
This also happens to be one of the best ways to stop them from showing up all over your lawn, since their spores will spread once they’ve fully grown. Pluck them right out of the ground as soon as you see them, and you should be able to control the growth better.
4. Pump up the soil.
Mushrooms feed off of things like rotting trees, old mulch, grass clippings, and animal waste. Their main food sources generally come from organic matter that’s old and decomposing, so being an active gardener can go a long way for getting rid of mushrooms. Feed your lawn the good stuff!
Using nitrogen-rich fertilizers will help the old, rotting material decompose faster, which means less food for those mushrooms. The faster you can get rid of their food source, the less likely they are to sprout up.
You can find all sorts of lawn fertilizers at your local hardware store, just make sure that they’re fast acting nitrogen-rich ones.
5. Eat them?
Hopefully it goes without saying that you should figure out if it’s a poisonous mushroom or not before eating it. Many of your daily meals probably already contain mushrooms in them, so if the ones growing in your backyard happen to pass the health check, why not eat them?
However, even if they are edible, you might find yourself on a wilder adventure than you originally signed up for. Psilocybin mushrooms grow in the wild and have psychedelic properties if you happen to eat them. Unless you’re feeling especially spiritual that day, we suggest avoiding these kinds of mushrooms altogether.
6. Fungus killers.
There are special chemicals you can buy at most superstores called fungicides, which target fungi without hurting your lawn too much. You’ll definitely want to be careful when spraying these if you have any pets or small children who like to run around the yard. If they happen to get into the chemicals, get them help right away.
Depending on the kind of fungicide you buy, they can be toxic to people and the environment. Try checking the label before buying products that offer ‘environmentally-friendly’ options. Your lungs and lawn will thank you later.
7. Leave them alone.
Believe it or not, mushrooms actually help grow a healthier and better looking lawn. Leaving them in the lawn might not look the greatest, but they help to keep the water in the soil and act as a natural decomposer for nutrients the lawn can suck up.
If you’re feeling lazy, use this as an excuse to leave them there and put off the job until next weekend. We’re sure you’ll do it eventually, right?
The main reason mushrooms usually grow is because of the amount of moisture. If you don’t have the time to control them, it’s not the end of the world, and they might actually help your lawn in the long run. If you do feel the urge to spruce up your lawn, try some of the above tips for the best results. Happy hunting!