Why Are Mushrooms Growing in My Lawn

lawn mushrooms

The world of fungi is not well understood by many people so when you start seeing mushrooms growing in your manicured lawn or carefully tended landscape it can be an unwelcome surprise.

However, the fungi has always been in the lawn; it was just unseen, working to break down dead material in the soil.

Mushrooms are in fact the fruit or flower of the network of fungi that is throughout the soil.

They appear when conditions are right – usually after a good rain and warm sun – to spread their spores.

In this article we will provide more information on mushrooms growing in your lawn, how they grow and form, how to deal with them and prevent them if necessary.

Explaining Mushrooms

There are a wide variety of fungi. Fungi create what are known as mycorrhizal networks which connect plants and trees into something resembling a living subway system.

This network transfers nutrients between plants. When the conditions are right, mushrooms appear above ground to spread the spore of the fungi.

These mushrooms come in a vast array of colors, sizes, and shapes. Some mushrooms are poisonous and several can cause death.

However, the majority are harmless with many varieties being sought after around the world for their taste and texture.

Mushroom Growth and Formation

As mentioned above, the mushroom is actually a flower or fruit for a fungus that is thriving beneath the surface of the ground.

The fungi help break down decaying materials and also serve to connect trees and plants in a large underground network.

Mushrooms frequently prefer wetter and shadier areas, along with plenty of warmth. The mushrooms allow spores to spread on the wind or they are carried by animals and birds.

A mushroom has four main parts: the cap, the cap underside, the spores, and the stem.

The cap, or top, of the mushroom is the most visible part and is one of the primary ways to identify it. Mushrooms growing in your lawn don’t tend to live long and once they die the cycle begins again.

Dealing with Mushrooms

For the most part, mushrooms indicate a healthy lawn and are not necessarily an issue.

However, if the sight of them bothers someone or there is concern about pets or children, there are a few ways to remove them.

The first option, especially for larger areas, is to mow the lawn and allow the blades to chop the mushrooms up.
The mushroom parts can then be left to decompose or they can be raked up.

A second option is to take a bag and hand-pick them. This is an effective way to cover a smaller area and, if the concern is about children or dogs, it will not leave parts for them to potentially consume.

In a larger lawn or landscape the hand picking method may be too time consuming. Spraying any type of chemical is not advised or recommended because it is ineffective.

Mowing the lawn and picking the mushrooms does not remove the entire fungus, it removes the above ground portion, so it’s not a permanent solution.

Preventing Mushroom Growth

There are a few ways to attempt to prevent the growth of mushrooms. Mushrooms prefer wet and shaded areas, so trimming tree branches and shrubs can help prevent their growth by lessening shaded areas.

Checking irrigation or drip systems and having a landscape that drains well can also minimize moist areas for mushrooms to thrive.

Another way to prevent mushrooms growing in your lawn is to get rid of dead materials like tree stumps or piles of sticks, which attract fungi to break down the decaying materials.

A much more intense option is to dig up the soil and sift through it to remove the actual fungi.

This is a time consuming process, especially with a larger lawn or landscape, and may not be effective because of the number of spores mushrooms spread and how tiny the fungi can be.

Bear in mind that the majority of mushrooms are harmless and actually indicate a healthy lawn.

Contacting Lawn Experts

The lawn experts at Gecko Green can check to make sure your lawn or landscape is not being overwatered.

If you are having trouble with mushrooms, give the experts at Gecko Green a call. With an offer of 50% off your first treatment, how can you say no to a disease-free lawn?

Call for a free quote today!