What Should You Do When You Find Mushrooms In Your Yard?

 

By: Jamie Perry 
jspurgeon@lc.edu 

A Second Lawn Mushroom

Mushrooms are fungi. They grow on soil or on wood. They reproduce by microscopic spores that form in the gills or pores underneath the mushroom’s cap. The spores blow away into the wind, or are spread by other means, such as animal feeding. They then germinate like a seed and produce more mushrooms. Mushrooms are a natural part of the lawn’s ecosystem. Its presence is a sign that the soil is healthy. It is common to see mushrooms in times of excess moisture. Most often, the mushrooms will disappear as quickly as they pop up. There are many different varieties of mushrooms that may grow in lawns. It is rare to find a lawn mushroom that is deadly, but it can happen. 

Some mushrooms are edible, and others are poisonous. Forage at your own risk. Mushroom poisoning can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, hallucinations, coma, and sometimes death.  

If you have young children, pets, or wish to get rid of the fungi, there are a few options. 

First, you can take pictures of the mushrooms. You can use them to do research to see if they are poisonous. If you have Google Photos, you can use Google Lens to scan your photo and find visual matches or related text. There are also multiple apps for mushroom identification. 

Then, wear gloves, dig them up and dispose of them.  Mushrooms are a sign of rotting wood. Get rid of the wood, grass clippings or leaves. This will make the mushrooms less prevalent. 

A Third Lawn Mushroom

Next, there are a few natural ways to get rid of them… If the above steps did not work alone. Some use vinegar, but not household or cooking vinegar, as it is too diluted. It is only 5%. Try Natural elements 30% vinegar. It can be sold on Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe’s. Horticultural vinegar, which tends to be 30-50% concentrated, is also sold on Amazon. You can get a 20%, which does not need diluted. 

Vinegar 

  • Dilute the vinegar to a ratio of 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar. 
  • You will probably want to wear eye protection and gloves because vinegar at this strength can burn skin.
  • You can put it in a spray bottle for ease of application.
  • You may want to do a test area and leave it for a few days to check the effect.
  • Simply spraying the mushrooms with a vinegar solution will kill them. It may also kill surrounding grass, so spray carefully.
    They also have a 20% 

Baking soda 

  • Use a large bucket with approximately 2 gallons of water and mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda. 
  • Stir well until fully dissolved. 
  • Fill a spray bottle with the mixture, and spray on the mushrooms, and surrounding soil. 
  • Alternatively of creating a mixture, you can sprinkle baking soda over the mushrooms and add water. 

One of the downsides of the baking soda mushroom removal method is that you may not see the best results with the first application, so you will probably have to repeat the process a couple of times. It is cheap and safe for children and pets. 

Dish soap is another way to get rid of mushrooms in your yard. It neutralizes the hyphae and stops them from growing and does not cause any harm to your turfgrass or garden. Dawn dish soap will also kill grubs in your lawn, so it can be used as a natural herbicide. 

Dish soap 

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of dish soap with 3 gallons of water. 
  • You can use a screwdriver to poke holes deep in the soil. 
  • Then pour the mixture over the mushrooms. Make sure you pour the solution deep into the soil so that it disrupts the life cycle of the underground fungus. 
  • You may have to repeat this process two to three times a week to see a considerable reduction in mushroom colonies.

Finally, there is fungicide. This is not suggested as it could do more harm than good. Mushrooms are a sign of beneficial microbials at work. Killing mushrooms can kill the soil and mess with the ecosystem of the lawn. It can also be dangerous to your children and pets. Keep them away from where you spray for 3 days. 

Disclaimer Again: Forage at your own risk 

Photos by Jamie Perry 

 

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