Fungi live in the soil, and mushrooms are the reproductive part of that fungi. The fungi usually stay out of sight, busily working to break down organic material below the surface of your lawn. When conditions permit, mushrooms spring up and appear above ground. While mushrooms are visible, they spread their spores into the air. Then, they disappear when sunlight returns, or when the soil becomes dry again.
You can control the emergence of mushrooms by altering certain conditions in your yard. Here are some reasons why mushrooms may be growing in your yard, and some methods for prevention or treatment to eliminate unwanted mushrooms.
1. Standing Water
A particular mix of shade or (cloudy skies), moisture, and organic material in soil provides the right environment for mushrooms to grow. If your lawn remains damp for extended periods after rain, or has areas of standing water, you are likely to see mushrooms sprouting. Level out depressed areas of your yard, or add a drainage system to prevent standing water that promotes mushroom growth. Also, make sure that you are not running your sprinkler system too long.
2. Shade Issues
Mushrooms can thrive in shade. Abundant sunlight prevents mushrooms from appearing. Trim branches or shrubs to allow more light and decrease shade.
3. Drainage Issues
Decreasing moisture by increasing drainage discourages mushrooms and increases oxygen to the roots of your grass. Aerate your lawn to improve drainage. Thatch in your lawn that is over a half inch thick absorbs moisture and attracts fungal growth. Dethatching can help prevent mushroom growth.
4. Old Trees
Dead roots underground, beneath stumps or from trees or stumps that have already been removed encourage mushroom growth. Have stumps removed. After removal, keep the area raked and aerated, to facilitate optimal drainage.
5. Pet Droppings
Pet waste and wildlife droppings on the lawn can promote mushrooms. Keep animal feces cleared off of your lawn, to help keep mushrooms in check.
A Good Thing About Mushrooms
Mushrooms indicate that your soil contains abundant organic material. Mushrooms are helpful in breaking down the material, to make your soil even more organically productive. If you do not have serious shade or drainage issues, after a rain, you can just pluck or knock down the unwanted mushrooms with a garden hoe.
Other kinds of fungi can be more problematic. Fusarium blight, rust, and brown patch are some of the diseases that can proliferate in damp yard conditions.
We are an online landscape and irrigation supply company for landscape and irrigation professionals and homeowners. We provide our customers with solutions to a vast range of landscaping problems and needs for improvement of outdoor living spaces. For more information about mushrooms and other fungi in your lawn, contact your Irrigation Outlet expert for guidance.