Mushrooms growing in your lawn is one of the most common issues UK gardeners have to deal with. These unsightly little toadstools can really ruin the look of that perfect lawn you’ve spent months getting just right.
Thankfully, getting rid of them isn’t the hardest thing in the world, as long as you know what you are doing, and we are here to educate you abut how to get rid of mushrooms in your lawn with this short but informative article.
Are mushrooms bad for my lawn?
Actually, they are not, and some are even very beneficial to the heath of your lawn as they breakdown organic materials into nutrients. The fungi roots of the mushrooms you see on the surface also help to retain water in the soil which is obviously not a bad thing at all.
While they are not bad for your lawn, mushrooms are a bit unsightly and do tend to stick out quite a lot against an otherwise lush green lawn.
In addition to this some mushrooms are harmful if eaten so it’s a good idea to get rid of them quickly if you have small children or pets who like to play in the garden.
Why do I have mushrooms growing in my lawn?
Mushrooms growing in your grass can just be a sign of a healthy lawn that has plenty of nutrients in the soil. If your soil isn’t healthy and fertile, the mushrooms wouldn’t grow.
Having said that, there are some common things that lead to mushroom growth.
If your lawn has poor drainage, it’ll result in excessive surface moisture and this will create a welcoming environment for mushrooms to grow in. Take a look at our article on a waterlogged garden to solve this issue or buy an aerator.
To prevent this happening, you should use an aerator to pierce the ground and allow the moisture to sink into the soil where it is needed.
Your garden is shaded, damp, and has a lot of organic material.
Leaving organic material rotting on the ground such as wood, leaves, wood chips, etc. is just asking for mushrooms to grow. The same can be said if your garden is in a lot of shade caused by a large tree or some other obstruction blocking sunlight from getting to your lawn.
Unfortunately, mushrooms love the kind of weather we get all too often here in the UK: rain followed by cold, which keeps the ground damp. Having shade only accentuates this problem, so taking a set of pruners to overgrown branches might be a good idea.
letting your lawn thatch grow out of control will also encourage mushroom growth. My advice is to take your scarifier and give your garden a good going over on a regular basis.
How to get rid of mushrooms from my lawn:
There are lots of different ways people try to tackle their mushroom problem, with varying levels of success. For people new to gardening, they might think going over them with the lawnmower or rake is a good idea as they will instantly disappear. However, this is not a good idea and is very likely to make the problem worse as the spores from the mushrooms will be spread further around your garden.
Picking them out by hand can be effective but it is very time consuming if you have a big lawn or a particularly large mushroom infestation. If you do decide to go with this method, make sure you wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. It is also important to note that pulling the mushrooms out like this will only temporarily solve the problem as the fungi that causes the mushrooms will still be under the ground, alive and kicking.
Using a nitrogen rich fertiliser can deter mushrooms from growing on your lawn. It does this by speeding up the rate of decomposition of organic matter in your garden and thus leaves the mushrooms with nothing to feed upon. Again though, this is only a temporary solution and you will need to repeat the process when you see the mushrooms coming back, and the same applies to our next solution:
A cheaper way to rid yourself, and your lawn, of mushrooms is to use good old soap and water. Simply mix three tablespoons of washing up liquid with seven and a half litres of water and you’ve got your mushroom killer. Then all you do is poke holes around the mushrooms and pour the solution in.
How can I get rid of the Mycelium that causes the mushrooms?
Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus colony and the thing that is responsible for the mushrooms on your lawn. The only way to truly rid yourself of mushrooms once and for all is to kill the Mycelium. So, how do you do it?
Well, the bad news is, you can’t really. And even if you could, it would be a bad idea and detrimental to your lawn. You see, apart from the few weeks in a year when mushrooms sprout on your lawn, Mycelium actually helps promote a healthy lawn.
If your garden is completely overgrown with mushrooms, then you might want to consider removing it and starting all over again with fresh turf. However, fresh turf is usually another breeding ground for mushrooms. You can also try a lawn weed killer but it won’t be that effective.
How to dispose of mushrooms
If you have picked or dug out your mushrooms, you now need to dispose of them properly.
The best thing to do is to put them and any contaminated soil in a bin bag that is properly sealed and throw it in the wheelie bin.
Please don’t leave them lying around or place them on the compost bin/heap as this will simply lead to more spores getting blown around your garden, compounding the problem.
I know mushrooms can be an eyesore, but you can get rid of them easily, if only temporarily. As already mentioned, they are usually just a sign of a healthy lawn ad won’t do any damage to it, and the roots of the mushrooms will even help your lawn to grow, so there’s no need to worry if you see a few toadstools popping up from time to time.