Have you ever walked out onto your lawn, only to discover an unwelcome surprise? Not a pile of dog poop, but something even worse: mushrooms.
These seemingly harmless fungi can quickly take over your yard and become a real eyesore.
Moreover, certain species of mushrooms can be toxic to both pets and humans.
Therefore, if you take pride in your outdoor space, it’s crucial to learn how to get rid of mushrooms in your yard once and for all.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the different types of mushrooms you might encounter in your yard, why they’re there, and most importantly, how to get rid of mushrooms in your yard.
So, let’s dive in!
What Causes Mushrooms To Grow In Your Yard?
Mushrooms grow from spores that can remain dormant in your yard for many years until the conditions for mushroom growth are favorable.
Mushrooms grow in areas with organic matter from shrubs and trees, so having these fungi in your lawn means the soil contains plenty of nutrients. Mushrooms won’t grow in nutrient-deficient soils.
2. Mycorrhiza on the Lawn
Mycorrhiza activity also causes the growth of some mushrooms. Mycorrhiza refers to fungus roots under tree drip lines that help plants survive extreme drought and temperatures.
3. Damp, Cool, Shady Conditions
Mushrooms thrive in cool temperatures and moisture. That’s why they are commonly found in places with shade and sprout in numbers during rainy seasons.
4. Poor Drainage
A yard with poor drainage and compacted soil has poor aeration, resulting in the absence of air circulation and water retention in your yard soil which activates fungi.
5. Your Lawn Is New
Laying a new lawn often entails turf harvesting and moving it to your property. This can cause the sporing and growth of fresh mushrooms.
6. Excess Thatch
Thatch contains decomposing organic matter, which is a food source for fungi. Therefore, too much thatch build-up in your yard could be the reason for the mushroom growth.
Best Ways to Get rid of Mushrooms in Your Yard
For the sake of your pets and kids’ safety and yard appeal, you are better off removing mushrooms from the lawn. Some mushroom eradication methods are natural, while others are chemical-based.
1. Get Rid of Mushrooms with Vinegar
Vinegar is a natural substance that is commonly used in getting rid of weeds, and it can also kill mushrooms.
While cooking and household vinegar are readily found in most homes, they are too diluted to kill mushrooms, so horticultural vinegar, which is more concentrated (30% to 50%), is more effective.
Before applying horticultural vinegar to your yard to kill mushrooms, dilute it in a water-to-vinegar ratio of 4:1.
After that, put the mixture in a spray bottle, put on gloves and eye protection, and then spray the mushrooms. Ensure vinegar doesn’t touch the grass because it will kill them.
You’ll likely need to make multiple applications over a few days to increase its effectiveness.
Related: Orange Mushrooms In Yard
2. Use Baking Soda
Although this method doesn’t permanently kill fungi-rich mushrooms from your yard, it is considered safe, effective, and gentle. It works by increasing the soil PH, thus making your yard unconducive for mushroom growth.
Dissolve baking soda (2 tablespoons) in water (1 gallon), then spray the solution on the mushrooms and the area surrounding them.
Alternatively, directly apply baking soda to the soil and mushrooms, then water in the substance. Multiple applications may be needed for great results.
3. Kill Mushrooms with Dish Soap
Dish soap can function as a natural herbicide since, besides getting rid of mushrooms, it also eliminates grubs in lawn.
Dish soap neutralizes and stops hyphae from growing without harming your lawn or garden. Mix water (3 gallons) with dish soap (1 to 2 tablespoons), then pour the mixture on the mushrooms.
Make sure the solution seeps into the ground to interrupt the underground fungi life cycle. This approach may require 2 to 3 applications a week for a considerable mushroom reduction.
4. Dig Up The Mushrooms
Removing the mushrooms by hand works, but the task may be unpleasant if the mushrooms are growing all over your yard.
Dig or pull each mushroom, ensuring you remove everything, including the parts in the ground (don’t just pluck the head). Put the mushrooms inside plastic bags and seal them tightly before disposal to prevent the spores from going airborne.
5. Apply Fungicide
This is an effective method of getting rid of mushrooms in your yard, but since it entails chemical use, it should not be your first choice, especially if you have pets at home or prefer to be eco-friendly.
The chemicals can also damage the yard. Therefore, use fungicides cautiously, ensuring you observe the manufacturer’s instructions.
How To Prevent Mushrooms From Growing Back In Your Yard
The constant work that goes into eliminating mushrooms from your lawn can become annoying and time-consuming, especially if you have to do it regularly.
So, why not keep the mushrooms from growing in your yard altogether?
Do the following:
a) Ensure Proper Drainage
A yard with poor drainage is overly wet stimulating mushroom growth and lawn diseases. Different issues cause poor drainage, including clogged gutters, impacted soil, a flat lawn, or a sidewalk blocking drainage.
Also read: How To Improve Lawn Drainage With Sand
Address these problems to improve drainage and consider water harvesting through rain barrels, rain ponds, or rain gardens.
b) Encourage Sunlight
Since mushrooms love damp, dark areas, ensuring your yard receives ample sunlight will help inhibit their growth. Achieve this by pruning bushes and trees.
c) Remove Organic Matter
Remove fallen leaves, grass clippings, pet poop, and other organic substances from the lawn.
This is because they can increase dampness and moisture build-up providing favorable conditions for mushroom growth. If there are rotting trees or shrubs in your yard, remove them.
Dethatching and mowing your lawn improves sunlight penetration and airflow and eliminates excess moisture.
e) Aeration the lawn
Lawn aeration allows nutrients and water to penetrate the soil rather than staying on the lawn’s surface.
Since you don’t need to aerate your lawn constantly, consider renting the equipment rather than purchasing it since it can be costly.
Mushrooms signify that you have a healthy lawn and also help stimulate microbial activity by breaking down organic materials.
However, they can also be a nuisance. Fortunately, as discussed above, you can successfully eliminate mushrooms from your yard and keep them from growing back through various practical approaches.
Hey there, I’m Derek Schew, a writer for Lawnholic.com, where we cover everything and anything related to lawns. As someone who’s spent countless hours tending to my own lawn, I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others achieve the perfect yard. From lawn care tips to product reviews, I’m committed to providing our readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information available. So whether you’re a seasoned lawn enthusiast or just getting started, I invite you to join our community and discover the joys of a lush, green lawn.