They may taste great as a side dish, mushrooms on your lawn are not so appetizing. Fungi in the lawn can be frustrating and simply removing the mushrooms doesn’t always solve the problem. Before you grab the lawnmower and begin removing lawn mushrooms, it is important to understand their benefits and know the steps you can take to prevent reoccurrence.
What Are Grass Mushrooms
Mushrooms are fungi that busily break down dead organic matter on your lawn. You can usually find fungi in your lawn in areas that are damp or have debris such as wood, dead grass, or compost.
They usually appear in late summer around August or September. Ontario’s warm, humid climate makes it a perfect breeding ground for mushrooms looking to find some tasty late-season vegetation.
Types of Lawn Mushrooms
Ontario is home to several varieties of mushrooms that can be found in both rural and urban areas. Poisonous and edible versions can grow beside each other so it is always important to consult with a mushroom expert before ingesting any type of mushroom found in your lawn.
A common mushroom with a cap that decomposes into a dark ‘ink like’ liquid as it breaks down.
These mushrooms can often be found at the base of a tree or plant root. They help provide plants with valuable nutrients and help with the absorption of water. These mushrooms rely on their host to help keep them alive and can often be found not too far away from shrubs and other growth partners.
Often found at the base of trees and tree stumps, this type of mushroom can be found in honey-colored clusters. It can be deadly to live plants and should be removed to prevent damage to the plant.
Edible Varieties of Mushrooms
In addition to more pesky mushrooms, Ontario is home to a large variety of edible mushrooms. One of the most common is a puffball which can often be found on the ground in wooded areas. Other edible varieties include:
- crab brittlegill.
- gem-studded puffball.
- slippery jack.
- saffron milk cap.
- blue milk mushroom.
- stump puffball.
- winter chanterelle.
- short-stemmed slippery jack.
Consult with an expert before ingesting any type of mushroom.
Why Do Mushrooms Grow In My Lawn
Homeowners pride themselves on keeping their lawn lush and healthy. So there is nothing more frustrating than seeing little white mushrooms seemingly appear overnight. Though most mushrooms are harmless and more of an inconvenience than a threat to your lawn, it is still important to take the time to identify the source of the mushrooms and remove them effectively.
What Causes Mushrooms To Grow In My Yard
Several culprits can cause mushrooms to grow in your yard. The most common are:
- Fallen leaves
- Grass clippings
- Lawn thatch
- Old tree stump
- Dog and Cat Poop
Removing Mushrooms In Your Lawn
Though mushrooms may have a magical-like appearance, most varieties can do significant damage to your lawn or greenery. Mowing or raking mushrooms may seem like a quick fix, but the mushrooms will return as long as their source of food remains.
There are a few ways you can permanently remove mushrooms and avoid damaging your landscaping.
Keep Your Lawn Clean
Do not allow debris and garbage to accumulate on your lawn. This creates the perfect space for mushrooms to grow and multiply. Remove garden debris immediately and prevent spots in your lawn or garden that are moist and humid. Rake leaves and remove the old mulch.
Mow Your Lawn Regularly
By keeping your lawn to a height of 1 inch, you can prevent a micro-tropical climate from developing on your lawn. Remember to always remove clippings and leaves.
Mushrooms love moisture. Aeration prevents moisture from building up in your lawn, allowing your lawn to breathe properly. Aeration is a quick and affordable way to keep your lawn healthy and free from pooling water.
Only Water When Needed
Pay attention to the weather patterns in your area and water accordingly. It’s not necessary to water your lawn after a huge rainstorm. If you water your lawn and notice puddles or water draining away from your lawn, it is probably adequately saturated and does not require more. Adjust your sprinkler system to reflect the current weather conditions to avoid overwatering.
How To Remove Mushrooms
Before you remove mushrooms from your lawn there are few tools you already have around your home that can make the job easier.
Equipment / Tools
- Small spade
- Spray bottle
- Pruning shear
- Plastic bag
- Mild soap-and-water solution
Step 1: Pull The Mushrooms
A mushroom has roots that are connected to a host such as a tree, shrub, or inviting humid area. When removing mushrooms, make sure to remove the entire area around the mushroom and dig deep enough to remove the root system. Examine the area around the mushroom for spores or indications of other mushrooms. Usually, mushrooms will grow in clusters so where there is one, there is probably more.
Step 2: Wrap The Mushrooms
This is the most effective way to prevent mushroom spores from dispersing. Simply throwing mushrooms on a compost heap will only create a new and more inviting spot for them to take up residence. Wrapping them in a plastic bag will remove the opportunity for airborne spores to find a new host.
Step 3: Clean The Area
Spray the soapy solution in and around the area where the mushrooms were found. This will kill any remaining spores and prevent redevelopment.
Poisonous Mushrooms In Lawn
To children, lawn mushrooms may seem like something out of a fairytale. That’s why it is important to keep an eye out for poisonous mushrooms on your lawn. If you see brown mushrooms in your yard, it may be an indication that they may be poisonous. Poisonous mushrooms can be identified by special markings that set them apart from their edible counterparts. The most poisonous mushroom in Ontario is the Death Cap which has a broad round flat top. This mushroom variety is responsible for more than 90% of all mushroom-related deaths around the world.
Things to watch for when trying to identify a poisonous mushroom include:
- White gills
- Upper rings around the stem
If you see any red spots on the mushroom or if you when cutting open, the mushroom turns blue inside, discard immediately. In a situation, you or your child accidentally ingested a poisonous mushroom, right away seek medical attention or call Poison Control.
To remove mushrooms from your property safely, contact the experts at JHC Landscaping. Our crew of professional garden maintenance experts can permanently remove mushrooms with lawn care and maintenance services that let you get back to enjoying the beauty of your lawn.