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Lawn Mushrooms – why do they appear on lawns and how to get rid of them

Lawn Mushrooms – why do they appear on lawns and how to get rid of them

Mushrooms and toadstools are visible, spore-spreading fungi with dense root systems that develop beneath the ground to feed on decaying organic material such as fallen leaves, old grass cuttings, animal waste and old wood including twigs, tree stumps and roots. They love warm, moist conditions so tend to be prevalent in autumn when the change in weather and daylight hours coupled with the seasonal shedding of foliage by trees, shrubs and garden plants create the perfect environment for these fungi to flourish.

Most people consider mushroom and toadstool growths on their lawns to be a sign of poor soil health. However, these fungi are unable to grow in unhealthy, nutrient-deprived soil so their appearance means your soil is generally healthy and in fact, through the recycling of the organic materials they feed on they can help make it even healthier.

Despite this potential benefit, their appearance on a lawn generally triggers several concerns. Firstly, they ruin the aesthetics of a luscious lawn and secondly, they may be poisonous or harmful to both humans and pets.

Whilst some mushrooms growing on your lawn may look very similar to ones available in the fruit and veg aisles of grocery stores and supermarkets, there are so many different varieties and colours that make identification difficult and with many being extremely poisonous, eating them should definitely be avoided.

How to get rid of mushrooms and toadstools

Unfortunately, there are no fungicides available that will deal with mushrooms and toadstools on your lawn. The best way to stop their spread is to remove them and reduce opportunities for growth.

If mushrooms or toadstools have already started to grow, then pulling them out of your lawn at the base as soon as possible will help reduce the spread of spores. Removing them will also reduce the risk of children or pets eating them. Don’t forget to wear gloves when handling them to protect your skin and always wash your hands thoroughly when finished.

Raking up leaves and other waste materials will remove the organic matter they love and create less of an opportunity to thrive and multiply.

Thatch build-up in lawns is another issue which can help create the perfect environment for mushroom and toadstool growth. Scarification will help remove this layer of moss and waste material the fungi feed on and allow water and nutrients to reach the grassroots. Hollow Tine aeration will improve drainage and aeration helping to prevent waterlogging and build up of moisture which are the perfect conditions for mushrooms and toadstools to develop and thrive in.


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