It may seem frightening to find a giant mushroom sprouting in your favorite flower beds, but typically mushrooms are nothing to worry about! Even so, these sprouts can be toxic if consumed by our furry pets. Mushrooms can look concerning, with their large sprouts and vibrant colors. They also might only take a few days to develop, and can go away on their own. However, if you want to speed up the process, in this article about how to get rid of mushrooms in lawn, you can use one of the eight ways to get rid of mushrooms in your lawn or garden listed below.
What is a Mushroom?
What is a mushroom? Interestingly, all mushrooms are fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms. Mushrooms are part of the Fungi kingdom, but they are exceptionally different compared to other plants. For example, mushrooms are not yeast or mold, which are different forms of Fungi. Mushrooms are not plants at all, and instead are a reaction to the bacteria and fungi in the dirt that feed on decomposing things. Mushrooms do not rely on other organisms to eat, instead creating their food source through a process using organic matter. They are heterotrophs, unlike plants that make their food from the sun, as opposed to other living organisms.
There are various different types of mushrooms, and not all of them are edible! You may notice that mushrooms grow more during rainy periods. This is because the rainwater helps the mushrooms break down the compost underneath them. Fungi already in your soil can also be triggered to grow by consistent rainfall.
Mushrooms also come in all different sizes and shapes. They range in size from a few centimeters off the ground to a foot tall. They continue to grow and reproduce as they decompose and consume the organic matter trapped in the soil. Not only do they grow to an impressive height, but they can also decompose animal bones without much effort.
Some of these organic eating fungi can be found growing in containers, flower beds, and even attached to trees! Mushrooms have been used for various purposes, such as creating leather, unique food dishes, and for skincare routines. Although this is the case, not all mushrooms are safe to use and emit a toxic liquid that harms anything that touches it. But what do mushrooms mean for your garden? Are they safe?
What do Mushrooms Mean for My Garden?
Although it may be frightening to notice a mushroom in your garden, it does not necessarily mean that anything bad is happening! Mushrooms typically symbolize a positive change in your yard. When you notice mushrooms growing in your lawn, this means that the soil underneath is full of nutrients in the form of decomposing matter. That may sound concerning, but decomposing matter can be anything, including plant roots, bugs, and animals.
When mushrooms grow in your container plants, they may widen your eyes. How did it get there? Most fungi already live in the soil you buy. Potting soil is filled with nutrients and plant food, and while outside is exposed to various Fungi. The mushrooms growing in your garden are likely Saprotrophic mushrooms. This specific type of mushroom refers to a fungus that eats the decomposing matter and releases nutrients back into the soil.
If you use organic matter as fertilizer, you will likely see mushrooms appear throughout your garden. For instance, many individuals use eggshells in their gardens, because they are filled with proteins that allow for their plants to grow larger. The only way for the proteins to aid the plant in growth is if the matter is decomposed and released into the soil, and mushrooms do exactly this. It is also common with organic matters like coffee grounds and banana peels.
What are the consequences of growing mushrooms in lawns and gardens?
Although a lot of what has been discussed is good, there are consequences that arise when mushrooms begin to sprout and rapidly reproduce on your lawn. For one, these Fungi may potentially be toxic and parasitic instead of beneficial. For example, there are Parasitic mushrooms that feed off of other healthy plants, slowly draining them of nutrients and killing them. They are not a beneficial relationship, and can harm your plants and lawn.
If you notice that your lawn is drying out or that there is an overabundance of mushrooms, it may be because they are parasitic. Not only can mushrooms harm your hard work, but they can also be fatal for your pet. If you have dogs or cats that run wild and free in your yard, they may become curious and take a bite out of the mushrooms. While they may not look appetizing to us, our furry friends do not know better.
If your pet or child has consumed a toxic mushroom, they may experience extreme symptoms like hallucinations, seizures, fever, vomiting, and heart palpitations. These symptoms can lead to death if not treated or noticed right away. There are several reasons to get rid of mushrooms, especially since it is difficult to tell apart a poisonous and nonpoisonous mushroom.
How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Lawn? The 8 Ways!
While there are serious consequences to allowing the unregulated growth of mushrooms in your garden or lawn, there are also benefits. Mushrooms break down the nutrients in organic matter to feed your soil. They also break down hard items such as thick sticks and twigs that become buried over time. This not only gives food to your soil, but also gives space for your plants.
By breaking down the organic matter, mushrooms give your plants larger spaces to grow and stretch their roots. If the areas underneath your soil and top flower bed are covered in thick mulch, your plant can suffocate to death or stunt its growing potential. The debris may even surround your plant, causing it to become rootbound. This is thankfully preventable. While there are benefits, some of the consequences outweigh them. If you are looking for ways to get rid of mushrooms in your lawn and garden then look no further!
- Dish Soap and Water
This method is one that is consistently used worldwide by both beginner and expert gardeners. Adding 2-5 drops of antibacterial dish soap to 2 cups of warm water may do the trick to getting rid of mushrooms in your lawn! The dish soap is mild and does little to no harm to your plants, which is why this trick is one of our personal favorites.
There are many ways to apply the solution. Personally, we always add the solution to a spray bottle and spray the area with the mushrooms generously. This trick is not foolproof, though, and does not always work. When it does work, it is unlikely that the mushrooms will survive the soapy water! If they do, at least you get rid of any lingering bugs.
Typically, soapy water is used as a spray to get rid of little bugs like aphids and cabbage worms that dig in and eat healthy living plants. The soapy water makes it difficult for the small bugs to hold on any longer, and they fall. The soapy water for mushrooms coats their outer layer and suffocates them through the lack of air.
- Lawnmower Machine
If you have a mowing machine, this second way to get rid of mushrooms in your lawn or garden is easy! Instead of letting the Fungi grow around your lawn, when you get a chance, take the lawnmower and go over the same area with it.
This solution is especially important if you have a family with either pets or small children, which may be tempted to consume the frequently growing mushrooms. This method, however, is not the most useful, as it is simply a temporary solution. When you use a lawnmower, only the top of the grass and the mushrooms are sliced off. This means that the mycelium system underneath the lawnmower is still thriving and alive. Since mushrooms are not plants, they do not have root systems, but instead a mycelium system that looks rather similar to roots underneath the soil. This method of getting rid of mushrooms should be repeated at least weekly as mushrooms grow quickly!
- Removing them by Hand
While removing each and every single mushroom in your garden and lawn manually may sound tedious, it is the most useful method yet! Before you start to yank each and every mushroom you spot, wear gloves! Some mushrooms secrete a sticky substance that is not only uncomfortable to touch, but can also be toxic. The best way to protect yourself from getting sick or poisoned from mushrooms on your lawn is to wear protection.
With your gloves on, grab the base of each mushroom and pull up to yank the mycelium. If you don’t see a mycelium system, then it is likely that you have not taken it out. If you need to, use a shovel and dig out the system to prevent the regrowth of mushrooms. These steps should be repeated frequently.
Once you are done and no longer see any mushrooms in your lawn or garden, don’t forget to wash your hands and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. Some people are allergic to the spores of mushrooms, and you may trigger an unknown allergy. While not generally life-threatening, it is uncomfortable to deal with.
- A Mixture of Baking Soda and Water
Just like soap and water, this method has been used for years by novice and seasoned gardeners alike. Just like soapy water, take 1tbs to 1 gallon of warm water and stir well. If you do not stir this mixture well, it will not be concentrated enough and won’t work. Once the solution is only liquid, without any clumps of baking soda, use a funnel to add it to a spray bottle.
While using a spray bottle is the most common method of applying baking soda and water to mushrooms, you may also try to pour the mixture directly into the ground where the mushrooms are sprouting from. When you pour the solution into the ground, though, it is likely that the baking soda will harm the nutrients and bacteria levels in the soil. This is why it is important to only use small quantities.
- Cutting the Mushrooms with a Knife
Using either a machete or a regular knife, you can cut the mushrooms off of your garden and lawn. During this method, just slice right at the base of the mushroom. The slicing will cut through the new growth, limiting it. Although, this method, like using a lawnmower, will not prevent the mushrooms from growing back.
This is why it is important to also cut out the mycelium systems underneath each of the mushrooms you find in your lawn and garden. This particular method is tedious and takes time, but it’s worth it for people who enjoy working outside and like working with plants.
- Improving the Drainage for Your Soil
Since mushrooms thrive off of water and liquid, it is essential to improve the drainage in your soil. There could be two problems occurring in your yard. One problem is that your soil is not draining enough. During this problem, the soil in your garden or lawn is constantly wet.
This could be because there is not enough drainage. In outdoor gardens with flower beds, it is necessary for organic matter and soil to work together. If there is too much organic matter like mulch and tree bark, it may be difficult for the roots to go through and for the water to drain. Instead, the roots suffer from root rot. Your plants in well-drained soil do not suffer from root rot, though.
It is different for plants in your garden that are in containers. If you are growing plants and using organic matter for fertilizer, it is necessary to add drainage holes to the bottom of your container. This is especially needed if you are growing plants outdoors and are in an area where it rains often. If you do not pay attention, there is a possibility that your plants can overwater and produce mushrooms. To get rid of them, create a drainage system that will eliminate the possibility of mushrooms in your soil. For containers, always add a minimum of four drainage holes; the thickness depending on the size and the material of your container.
- Take out Old Roots and Plants
Since mushrooms feed on decomposing matter, it is important to look around the space they surround and look for the cause. Although trimming and taking mushrooms out of the soil gets rid of them, this is temporary. Mushrooms will come back quickly if any of their mycelium roots are left in the soil or if it has already reproduced. Instead, you should look for the exact cause of the mushroom growth.
Look in the soil, both above and under the soil, for old roots, bark, sticks, and plants that are decomposing, and then remove the organic material. While this does get rid of the mushrooms, keep in mind the natural process of releasing nutrients to the soil is halted. Mushrooms have some beneficial properties, and removing organic matter from natural plant food will not benefit your garden. It will, however, protect your loved ones and furry friends from potentially toxic mushrooms.
- Leaving them to Dry Out
Did you know that mushrooms actually go away on their own? If you do not want to place too much effort, then simply wait it out! Mushrooms die and fade away once their jobs are completed. They feed off of the decomposing organic matter in the soil. Once it is decomposed, they wither away and dry out.
It is likely that you will notice a change in your garden from one day to the other. Just as quickly as these beneficial Fungi sprouted, they are gone! When you do this, you get rid of the mushroom growth while also maintaining the nutrients and vitamins in the soil.
Having healthy soil in your lawn and garden promotes stunning growth. Of course, this solution does not work for all types of mushrooms. You may notice that mushrooms come in all different sizes and shapes. Some mushrooms grow like discs and stick out of organic matter, feeding off of them, like trees. Those do not go away as quickly.
The mushrooms that are most common in gardens and lawns are ones with the shape of an umbrella. The color frequently changes and depends on the exact Fungi, but it is typically a light color like white or cream. These go away as quickly as they first came.
How to Prevent Mushrooms in Your Lawn
Now that you have gotten rid of the mushrooms, how do you prevent them? Truthfully, mushrooms cannot always be prevented. They are nature’s way of showing us gardeners that our soil is healthy and fertile. There are a few things. However, that will make them less likely to sprout, although they do harm your soil.
One option, if you are okay not using organic solutions, is to use a chemical pesticide in the form of the spray. The mixture inside could be sprayed onto the overall area that your mushrooms are growing. The chemicals dry out and kill the mushrooms for good, but they also harm the soil and root systems underneath belonging to your plants. Since some of these chemicals are harsh, it is not a preferred choice.
The best way to prevent mushrooms in your lawn and garden is to drain your soil correctly. Remember, each plant requires a different level of watering! Not all plants need damp soil, and no plant needs soil that is soaked. The excess water builds moisture, causing Fungi already flourishing in your soil unseen to come to light.
What Else Can You Do With Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are not only good for determining if we have great soil or not, but they are also full of beneficial properties for humans. While they belong to the same family as mold, they are strikingly different. Some varieties of mushrooms, for instance, can be consumed without any major complications.
The mushrooms often seen as a topic on pizzas are actually Fungi! They grow not as a plant, but as healthy bacteria that promotes gut and immune system health. However, it is important not to look for mushrooms on your own unless you are an expert. Many types of mushrooms can be toxic and poisonous if consumed. While there are some signs that you can look out for in mushrooms growing in the wild, they are not universal. All Fungi have distinct and unique attributes that are difficult to pinpoint on one type.
Mushrooms are also used for things like vegan leather. Mushrooms grown in labs go under a process that creates and molds them into a fabric-like texture that is then sewn into a jacket or accessory. The texture is similar to animal leather, but is sustainable and harder to find. There are many creative things that can be done with mushrooms.
All in all, there are many ways to get rid of mushrooms on your lawn or garden. However, it is not always necessary to get rid of mushrooms. While some are toxic or poisonous, others have no effect and only contribute to the health of your garden’s soil. It is always good to be safe, though, as it can lead to disastrous symptoms and death if accidentally consumed.
If you do choose to get rid of mushrooms, it is best to use a method that will not leave a negative impact on your soil or plants. While chemical pesticides can be used to get rid of Fungi in your lawn, they also seep directly into your soil. The chemicals may dry out and kill your grass and other plants. Instead, you should use a method that effectively removes both the mushroom’s top and the mycelium system underneath the soil. If the mycelium system is not removed, the Fungi can still return.