In this article, I would show you how to get rid of mushrooms in yard. Mushrooms appearing in your yard can be a source of frustration, especially if having a lush, evenly manicured lawn is something you take pride in. The major problem with mushrooms is not that they are dangerous or bad, they simply add an unsightly element to the yard.
This naturally brings up the issue of how to get rid of mushrooms in yards and lawns. And it isn’t a stretch to imagine that for most homeowners, permanently getting rid of mushrooms is the ultimate aim.
This article would focus on all the ways to eliminate all those pesky mushrooms in your yard. We would also discuss some preventive measures to ensure you never have a mushroom problem to take up your precious time.
How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Yard
For experienced landscapers, understanding the conditions that favor the growth of mushrooms in yards is essential when it comes to getting rid of them.
Mushrooms growing in your yard is not always a sign that your yard maintenance routine is lacking something vital. Actually, in most cases, mushrooms are indicative of a well-tended lawn. Their appearance could mean that you are doing a good job and the yard is in perfect health.
That said, their presence can be jarring relative to the overall aesthetics and besides, the species growing might be toxic to humans and pets. So deciding to eradicate them is an easy choice to make.
As earlier stated, understanding the conditions that are favorable to the growth of mushrooms is key to getting rid of them and even preventing them from growing. So what are these conditions and how can you use this knowledge to resolve the problem before it mushrooms and overwhelms your yard?
Why Mushrooms Are Growing in Your Yard
The appearance of mushrooms could good or bad in terms of the health of your lawn. The mushrooms that appear above ground level are like the flowers that bloom after the plant is fully established and matured.
In the case of mushrooms, the main plant is the fungi below ground level or beneath the grass. The fact that you are seeing the mushrooms means the fungi have been flourishing below ground level for some time.
Mushrooms or the fungi that produced the mushrooms require humid, moist soils packed with decaying organic materials to grow. They also love dank, or dark places making underneath yard thatch and mulch perfect for their growth. Other places they love are shady areas beneath trees, animal waste, and compost piles.
Mushrooms are prolific growers once they become established. They easily produce and release virile spores that grow into new mushrooms. The spores can be carried away to neighboring yards to start a new colony. So it is also possible that the source of the mushrooms in your yard is next door.
Keep in mind that the presence of mushrooms is sometimes indicative of a balanced ecosystem. The mushrooms contribute to that ecosystem by helping to break down organic matter to nourish the soil with more nutrients.
On the other hand, yard mushrooms are also signs that your yard has too much organic debris such as thatch, wood chippings, tree bark, fallen leaves, etc., that needs to be removed.
More often than not, ridding the yard of the elements that allow mushrooms to thrive would eliminate them. So, one of the ways to eliminate mushrooms is by caring for your yard properly.
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Ways to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Yard
There are several ways to eliminate Mushrooms in the yard. Not all strategies can be applied to every situation though. Your peculiar mushroom problem might need a combination of different solutions. If you are fortunate, a simple straightforward solution might be all that is required.
Keep in mind that most of the methods for getting rid of mushrooms are not permanent. The fungi can grow new mushrooms or more spores can come back to start a new cycle if the conditions are right.
That said, the methods outlined below would certainly take care of your yard mushroom problem.
Handpicking and disposing of the mushrooms
Removing the mushrooms by handpicking them is usually the most effective means of getting ahead of the problem instantly. This method can swing from easy to tedious depending on how widespread the mushrooms are and the size of the yard.
Simply pull each mushroom out from the ground making sure to come away with as much of the roots as possible. You want to have a container or bag handy to store the pulled mushrooms. This prevents the spread of spores.
To prevent further growth of the underground fungi left behind, you could add a bit of nitrogen fertilizer on the spot each mushroom was removed. Nitrogen helps to accelerate the decomposition of organic matter fungi need for growth thus depriving them of nutrients. They eventually die without the organic matter to feed on.
Mowing the lawn might be a way to eliminate the mushroom. But this is a very inefficient strategy that simply helps to spread the spores. Besides, your yard might not need mowing at the time.
Improve lawn care and maintenance
You could say the appearance of mushrooms is a shout-out for help from the yard to up your game in terms of care and maintenance.
For instance, a mushroom patch could mean you need to improve yard drainage in that area because the soil is waterlogged.
It could also mean it’s high time you did a thorough clean-up of the yard and removed all organic debris. So if you haven’t dethatched/removed old mulch from your yard in a while, this might be the right time to do it after handpicking the mushrooms in the area.
Other yard care strategies for controlling or checking the growth of mushrooms include:
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Improving soil aeration – Better or improved airflow can help to kill the fungi that produce mushrooms. Dethatching, mowing, and using an aerator are all things you could do to improve airflow inside the soil.
More lighting – The fungi could simply be taking advantage of the shade provided by trees. If the mushrooms are growing close to a tree, trim some branches to allow more light to get to the ground.
Better watering practice – First, you might need to water less often but more deeply. This, in combination with watering only in the morning, allows only needed plants and grass to absorb before midday when the sun dries up the soil
Avoid watering at night because the soil would remain soggy for too long. This creates the ideal environment for the growth of fungi.
Natural strategies for getting rid of yard mushrooms
There are several, simple home remedies for getting rid of mushrooms. These strategies make use of readily available materials such as baking soda, vinegar, and soap solution.
Eliminating mushrooms with baking soda solution – The principle is basically about altering the pH of the yard’s soil making it unfavorable for fungi to grow.
Adding about 1 tablespoon of baking soda to about 4 liters (a gallon) of water and mixing it very well would create an effective solution against mushrooms.
Simply spray the affected areas with the solution to kill the surface mushrooms. You can do this as often as the mushrooms appear. The mushrooms would cease appearing when the fungi below have decomposed all the organic matter in the area.
Kill mushrooms with soap – Your dish soap can also be used to eliminate mushrooms and fungi.
You can start by pulling out or handpicking the mushrooms and placing them in a bag to prevent the spread of spores. Then, simply pour some drops of the dish soap and water into the hole the mushroom was removed. This effectively kills the roots and prevents further growth.
Eradicate mushrooms with vinegar – The use of vinegar is a natural mushroom elimination option that is very popular. The acetic acid in vinegar is a natural fungicide that is completely non-toxic to humans.
However, since vinegar can also kill grass, you want to be careful how you apply the vinegar. The best method is to spray the vinegar directly at the target mushroom.
A very effective vinegar fungicide can be made by mixing vinegar and water in a 1:4 ratio respectively.
Like the baking soda solution method, only surface mushrooms are affected. You can allow the fungi under the grass to carry on the decomposition of organic matter.
The only caveat here is that vinegar might increase the acidity of the soil. So you need to guard against excessive use of the solution.
Killing mushrooms using fungicide
Commercial fungicides can also be used to resolve mushroom problems. Though many are marketed as lawn fungicides, they are specifically formulated for root rot and molds on leaves issues. This limits their effectiveness when it comes to killing mushrooms.
Basically, fungicides kill only the surface mushrooms but are ineffectual against the fungi underground. So while the mushrooms might die off, new growths would keep appearing.
This method works best in conjunction with other strategies. But since commercial fungicides are also toxic to other plants, pets, and even humans, it is smarter to avoid it entirely.
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While mushrooms are essentially harmless and actually do some good, having them in the yard can be an eyesore. This makes it inevitable that most folks, for aesthetic reasons, would want to eliminate them.
When it comes to ridding your yard of mushrooms, there are several strategies you can employ. Ridding the yard of organic material, improving drainage and watering practices, and dethatching the property are some routine yard management strategies to control the problem. Other effective methods include spraying the affected areas with vinegar, soap, and baking soda solutions.