8 Tips for Dealing With Mushrooms in Your Lawn - Backyard Boss
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8 Tips for Dealing With Mushrooms in Your Lawn

Fungi are a largely misunderstood organism. Their vast reach beneath the ground is far greater than the small aboveground fruit, or mushrooms, that pop up on your lawn. Mushrooms often grow in shaded, wet corners of the yard, or in piles of organic material. Although they are generally an indication of good soil quality, and are a vital part of the ecosystem, they can often be problematic when you find them in your yard.

Learn how to deal with mushrooms in your lawn, along with tips on how to prevent them.

Learning to Co-exist

mushroom in raised garden bed
Image credits: Phoenix Han via Unsplash

Before removing the mushrooms, first, see if there is a way to co-exist. Fungi and mushrooms are vital players in soil biodiversity, and many plants and trees rely on them. In addition to decomposing organic material, certain fungi also help trees and shrubs absorb nutrients. Pine, oak, and other conifers, for example, grow better with the help of these types of host fungi.

If the mushrooms pop up in organic material, they are decomposers and will disappear when they have finished their purpose. So, if you leave them be, they will vacate your lawn in their own due course, usually within a few days.

Hold Off on Mowing

white mushrooms in green grass
Image credit: Sorin Ciupitu via Pexels

Your first thought may be to mow overtop of them, but it’s best to hold off on mowing. Spreading the mushroom spores everywhere is the last thing you want to do. This will only disperse the mushrooms further and you may have them popping up everywhere.

If you can, delay mowing for a few weeks until there are no signs of mushrooms. In addition, there are many benefits to limiting how often you cut your grass. From improving the health of your lawn to drawing more pollinators to your yard, you may be wondering why you didn’t cut back on mowing earlier.

Block Off the Area

dog walking overtop of mushroom
Image credit: Angela_Yuriko_Smith via Pixabay

With wild mushrooms, there is no way to know for sure if it’s poisonous without the help of a mycologist. When it comes to kids and pets, you can never be too safe. Since new mushrooms may pop up overnight, it’s best to block off the affected area of your yard until the mushrooms are gone to keep the kids and pets out. You don;t want anyone accidentally eating a mushroom!

Keep It Dry

white mushrooms in lawn
Image credit: MrGajowy3 via Pixabay

Mushrooms thrive in wet environments, so it’s common to see them popping up after heavy rain or in shaded areas of your lawn. To help keep your lawn dry, water in the mornings to ensure the grass has time to dry during the day. This is especially important in the fall when the temperatures drop overnight.

In addition, trimming trees and shrubs allows more sunlight into your yard and reduces shady areas. Raking up organic material is another way to keep the mushrooms at bay and provide good air circulation for your grass.


close up plugs from lawn aeration
Image credit: Oldboys via Shutterstock

Poor soil drainage which can result in wet soil can also contribute to increased mushrooms in your yard. Aerating your lawn helps strengthen the root system of your grass, and provides proper air circulation and sunlight, which can also help to reduce the mushroom population.

Core aeration is the most effective method. Using an aerating machine, extract cores from your lawn, between 1 and 6 inches in depth. Over time, you should notice a decrease in the mushrooms in the area.

Apply Nitrogen Fertilizer

Fertilizer sprinkled on the ground
Image credits: Antony Trivet via Pexels

Since many mushrooms in your yard are decomposers, you may be able to speed up their departure by applying nitrogen fertilizer to your lawn. Use a readily available nitrogen fertilizer at a rate of 1 pound of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of yard. This should increase the decomposition process and eliminate the mushrooms.

Pick Away

picking mushrooms
Image credit: byrev via Pixabay

Picking the mushrooms is a temporary measure as the fungi are still growing underground, but it will reduce the number of spores that spread through the air. This, in turn, will reduce the number of new mushrooms that pop up. This is also a valid tactic while you wait for the tips listed above to work.

Dig Deep

shovel in soil
Image credits: Andres Siimon via Unsplash

If you want to remove the fungi completely, you will need to dig out a large portion of your yard. With a shovel, dig to a depth of at least 1 foot. Mycelial mats can also be quite large in diameter, so you will need to dig a large circular hole, approximately 18 inches out from the mushrooms.

Un-Fungi Your Lawn

When mushrooms pop up in your yard it isn’t the end of the world, but it can be a nuisance, especially with kids and pets involved. The use of fungicides is not recommended as they are generally not effective, and are instead intended for fungi that damage plants. Mushrooms, the fruiting body, do not harm plants or your yard, and they are even fun to grow at home.

Have you ever had issues with mushrooms on your lawn? Share your tips in the comments!