Toadstools, or mushrooms, are caused by fungi that grow in damp places. A mushroom’s cap and gills usually form on the underside of the hat, and there are wide varieties. The caps on these mushrooms are fruiting bodies. The stems of some mushrooms are also present, but not all of them. Edible mushrooms are beneficial, but poisonous mushrooms are also present.
Where mushrooms are found?
Mushrooms are present everywhere in the world. There are thousands of types of mushrooms that grow both inside and outside, including many that live in soil. The most common mushroom that is found in lawns is Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, also known as the yellow houseplant mushroom.
This particular mushroom grows in bright colors very quickly when it has enough water and food sources available to it. It may start out small but with enough nutrition, it will grow up to 4″ tall very quickly. Fungus growing anywhere other than where you would expect a fungus to grow, such as under a rock or tree root, people consider them dangerous or evil because they can destroy concrete and wood. For the most part, fungi will not harm your lawn.
Presence of mushrooms on grass
Most grasses can handle a light amount of fungus spores and it may only cause the grass to turn an odd color for a while. While you might be inclined to pick them out of your yard or get rid of the mushrooms in your lawn, they do no actual damage to the grass itself and there is little need to take action against them. They will naturally wilt and die off during certain seasons when there is less water available to them or if conditions become too dry.
Yellow houseplant mushroom
Mushrooms that grow on the surface of soil, such as Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, also known as yellow houseplant mushroom, often sprout up after a good rain or an irrigation event that wet the soil. It is especially common in areas where the grass is often left wet or bundled up for too long, like when people roll their lawn after mowing it and do not let it dry out enough before putting it back down.
Why overwater grows mushrooms?
People also tend to overwater their lawns during drought seasons which will cause mushrooms to grow, even if they are otherwise healthy without watering restrictions. They may continue growing throughout the season if the weather turns warm again after an unseasonably cool period of time during spring or fall when conditions are just right for mushrooms to sprout up. As they grow in size, you can pick them out by hand or spray them with a pesticide that is labeled safe to use on your type of grass.
How do you get rid of mushrooms in your lawn?
There are a number of ways to get rid of mushrooms in your lawn. Of course, you can try any method that fits your lifestyle and budget or you can try a combination of methods for the fastest, most effective means of getting rid of them.
Fungicides would be classified as biological controls. They are used to control fungal diseases either by preventing the fungus from producing spores or growth entirely, killing existing fungi through contact or ingestion, or providing resistance against infection by other microorganisms including fungi or oomycetes. Some fungicides are ready to use, meaning they are already diluted for you. Others need to be mixed with water and will require the use of protective equipment. If you choose fungicide treatment, make sure to read all of the directions on the label before application.
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2. Sterilizing topsoil
Sterilizing topsoil and killing mushroom spawn is relatively simple. You must understand that mushrooms are like seeds where the fungi(the fruit of the mushroom) grows. The mycelium which lives underneath the soil, sends up a fruit (mushroom) to release spores and reproduce.
3. Direct spray of fungicide
Spraying fungicide directly on top of the mushrooms can kill them but it will do little harm to the mycelia which continue to thrive under ground and send up more ‘fruits’ (i.e., mushrooms). In fact, spraying fungicide onto your lawn or garden generally does not affect these underground fungal colonies as much as you would hope because most fungicides have little residual effect once absorbed by plant materials such as grass.
This means that fungicides are good at killing spores which land on the lawn or the surface of the mushrooms but they cannot kill mycelium underground. So how do you kill ‘fruits’ without harming the underground fungi? There are four methods to achieve this goal:
- Spray fungicide in early morning when dew is still on top of grass. Dew moistens and softens plant tissue so it absorbs more chemical than dry grass. This allows the chemical to pass through plant tissues and be absorbed by mushroom mycelia underneath where most of its effects will be realized.
- Spray fungicides with surfactants which break down waxy surfaces, allowing chemicals into plant cells where they can then access mycelia.
- Spray fungicide after a rain storm when dew has moistened grass and plants allowing chemicals to pass through plants more easily.
- Best of all, spray fungicides when you are certain that there are no mushrooms in the area that you’re treating. This way you kill only fungi underground instead of also killing ‘fruits’ above ground which then allows new spores to grow back in future years.
4. Physical Controls
These are used to physically remove or kill the fungi off of your lawn altogether. Some ways to do this might include using a hoe, leaf rake, shovel, weed puller, etc. However, each tool comes with its own risks and potential dangers that should be taken into consideration prior to use.
For example, if you decide to use a soup spoon instead of a shovel when removing mushrooms from your yard, you risk cutting yourself in various places due to its sharp edge. Dangers aside, this method of removal is time consuming and labor intensive.
5. Chemical Controls
There are a number of chemical controls that you can employ in your yard to rid yourself of mushrooms entirely. They tend to be more effective than simply removing them manually, but some chemicals have been known to damage the grass where they were applied while others cause more harm or irritate skin, eyes, or lungs. Please make sure you read all warning labels before purchasing and employing any chemical control methods! These should only be used if other methods fail.
6. Prevention / Re-seeding
Prevention would include adding some sort of protective layer over your lawn such as a weed barrier fabric, gravel mulch, etc. This is somewhat costly and does not eliminate the problem. It is also time-consuming and potentially dangerous.
Re-seeding your lawn would involve taking some grass from another area of the yard, either by digging up chunks or taking sod, putting them down in an area with mushrooms already growing, and covering them with lime, fertilizer, mulch, etc. This option is very expensive and can be difficult to execute depending on where you are getting your new seed from.
Please note that all of the above mentioned methods have potential dangers associated with their use. Please read any directions completely before purchasing products for use in your yard. If you choose chemical control methods, please do so wearing appropriate protective clothing, using safety measures such as a mask when treating plants with fungicide, staying up wind of treated areas, etc. It sounds like it might be time to call a professional.