Most of the time, mushrooms aren’t harmful to your lawn. While there have been cases where mushrooms caused lawn diseases, these are few and far between. However, a lot of gardeners don’t want mushrooms in their yard because they feel these plants lower the overall appeal. That’s why they look for ways to kill the fungus.
It’s important to note, though, the mushroom itself is just the fruit of the fungi. In other words, eliminating the mushroom won’t stop re-growth because the mycelia (the body of the fungus) are still active.
In the article, we describe the best ways to kill mushrooms, including natural solutions.
Do not consume any mushrooms from your lawn if you are not an expert. Many are very toxic.
Most common lawn mushrooms
Although a wide variety of mushrooms may grow in your lawn or garden, the following are the most common varieties in North America.
Meadow Mushroom (Agaricus campestris)
The Meadow Mushroom has a large cap with pinkish to brown gills. The cap ranges from about 2 to 4 inches in diameter.
These common mushrooms have flat caps that can grow up to 4″ in diameter.
This is a smaller mushroom with a rounded cap and yellow to brown gills. The size of the cap is around 2 inches in diameter.
There are many other species of mushrooms that can grow on a lawn or in a garden, but these are some of the most common ones.
Why are mushrooms growing in your yard?
Some of the most common reasons for mushrooms growing in a yard are:
- Moisture in the soil
- Lack of light (shade or overcast weather)
- Decaying material (fallen leaves, cut grass, for example)
The general approach for killing mushrooms in your lawn or garden is to address these issues.
Five steps to killing mushrooms
Step One: Get rid of excess moisture in the environment
Mushrooms tend to thrive in wet soil, so if possible, reduce the amount of moisture found in the area. While you obviously don’t have any control over the weather, you can slow down on the amount of watering you do in that exact area. That alone will help tremendously.
One way to lower the moisture in your yard is to install a french drain. This is a trench, usually filled with stones and a perforated pipe that can be used to direct water out of your garden.
Also, check your drain spouts for excessive water pooling. Garden or grass irrigation systems may be another source of moisture that encourages mushroom growth.
Step Two: Do Away with Any Decaying Elements
When items start to decay around mushrooms, this actually helps them grow. That’s why you must eliminate anything that’s dying in your yard. For instance, grass clippings should be tossed right after mowing. You can do this by raking them up and then throwing them in a huge garbage bag. Besides this, you should also make sure to pick up any pet waste in your yard, as well as have tree stumps completely removed.
You can also use nitrogen to accelerate the decay of materials like fallen leaves or cut grass. The decaying material serves as food for the mushrooms and other fungi. Use between 1 to 5 pounds of nitrogen-based fertilizer per 1000 square feet of land.
To further reduce mushroom growth, dig up any existing mushrooms and remove any decaying material where they are growing.
Step Three: Increase the Light
As most gardeners know, mushrooms grow and develop best in areas that are shady. Due to this, if you want to kill the fungi in your yard, you should make sure that they receive plenty of sunshine and light. If needed, cut down tree limbs or any other objects that are blocking the mushrooms from getting sunlight.
Step Four: Get Moisture and Air Flowing Through the Ground
You want to make sure that the moisture and air are being penetrated properly into the ground. That’s why if getting rid of these mushrooms is a big challenge for you, you should look into aerating the ground using an aerator. This will prevent the mushrooms from laying in a moist environment, which is ideal for them.
Step Five: Employ Natural Fungicide
Lastly, spray natural fungicide, such as a vinegar mixture, over the entire area, as this will help prevent fungus from growing in the area in the future.
You can also use water with dish soap to kill mushrooms. Use a tool, like a screwdriver, to make holes near the mushroom roots and pour in the soapy water.
These are our suggestions for the best ways to kill mushrooms. If you also have weed issues, you’ll want to also read our article on natural weed killers.