Though they carry with them the folklore of toad stools and fairies, to a gardener and homeowner, mushrooms are really just blights on a beautiful lawn. These fungi are not only unattractive, they are potentially poisonous and can cause harm to pets or children who accidentally ingest them. Fortunately, mushrooms aren’t detrimental to your lawn itself, but it is understandable that you may want to prevent them or rid your yard of the ones currently sprouting. It’s very difficult to completely eliminate mushrooms from a yard, but there are several things you can do to decrease their chances of occurring.
- Remove organic material: The role of fungi is to decompose decaying organic material, therefore if there is a lot of this present in your yard, you will likely see mushrooms. Remove fallen limbs and sticks, animal feces and grass clippings whenever possible.
- Eliminate standing water: Mushrooms flourish in damp areas, which is why you often see them spring up after a good rain. There is no way to completely get rid of water in your yard, nor would you want to, but improving irrigation in areas that may be prone to standing water will help reduce mushrooms. Also, make sure you are watering evenly and not drenching certain areas, as you will likely see mushrooms pop up there.
- Dig them up: Mushrooms are very easy to pull out of the ground. Make sure you remove them from the root and don’t just hack the tops off. Additionally, you should remove them as soon as you see them before they have the chance to spread their spores and reproduce.
- Reduce shade: In addition to dampness, mushrooms also thrive in shade. If you can clip back some tree limbs or prune shrubs in areas where you are noticing a lot of mushrooms, this may help decrease their prevalence.
- Treat them with fungicides: If the above suggestions aren’t doing the trick, you may want to try a chemical treatment. This should be a last resort, because unlike lawn diseases or weeds, most mushrooms are harmless and you may cause more harm than good. The important thing is to use the appropriate treatment and don’t try to treat mushrooms with generic weed killer as this will be ineffective and possibly detrimental to your lawn.