Though lawn mushrooms are mainly harmless, they can be unsightly and some types can even sicken people and pets. Why do they suddenly appear on your lawn, and how can you safely get rid of them? Also, how do Arrow and Shelterlogic sheds help keep your yard mushroom-free? Check out our simple guide below to obtain a beautiful lawn sans fungi.
Why Are There Lawn Mushrooms in My Backyard?
Mushrooms appear when there is a high amount of organic material in the soil. Since fungi break down materials to make the soil fit for plants, they play a vital role in the world's ecosystem. If mushrooms appear in your lawn, there is likely to be significant organic material that needs to decompose. For instance, if you cut down a tree but leave a stump in the ground, mushrooms are likely to grow on the stump for years to break down the wood into soil.
Are Lawn Mushrooms Dangerous?
While most lawn mushrooms are harmless, some varieties are poisonous or hallucinogenic. Typically, mushrooms with white gills are poisonous while red-capped species can cause someone to hallucinate. Other mushrooms may look like tasty treats but can cause stomach aches when consumed. It takes a lot of experience to identify mushrooms for foraging, so never eat a mushroom that you see in the wild — even if it’s in your backyard.
Every homeowner with small children or pets should remove all mushrooms on sight. Mushroom poisoning can happen to dogs and kids when they accidentally nibble or play with backyard fungus. Though a mushroom may not be poisonous per se, it can still make your loved ones suffer from a severe stomach ache.
How Do Lawn Mushrooms Affect My Yard?
Mushrooms aren’t just a threat to the most vulnerable in your household, but they can also damage your lawn. If you want a pretty yard, the mushrooms will eventually have to go. Underneath mushrooms is a mat-like hyphae that serves as its underground supportive network. This hyphae mat can become thick enough to prevent your grass from getting the nutrients it needs, causing parts of your lawn to turn brown.
It’s easy to tell where the hyphae are due to the brown circular ring pattern (often called a “fairy circle”) that appears in the grass. These spots indicate that there is a deeply rooted network of grown fungus spores and the grass cannot thrive. Mushrooms can also decompose in your yard, causing undesirable smells. Some species also smell bad when living and can attract flies.
What Conditions Do Lawn Mushrooms Prefer?
Any site in your yard with excessive organic material that needs to decompose is an opportune location for mushrooms. They also favor damp and shaded areas. So, by improving drainage to your yard, cutting down shady tree branches, and removing materials like tree stumps and mulch, you will make the terrain less favorable to mushrooms.
How do I Stop Lawn Mushrooms in My Backyard?
The best way to stop lawn mushrooms is to first remove them and then the material that they feed on. Next, you must make conditions inhospitable for fungus growth. This is a process that can be done as a DIY project or with the help of a professional. Be sure to not just treat the symptom but get to the cause for visible success.
Make Conditions Unfavorable for Mushrooms
By simply keeping your yard clean, you can stop a lot of mushrooms in their tracks. Taking part in seasonal lawn care can eliminate mushroom hot spots like dead grass, rotting leaves, tree trunks and branches, animal waste, and even dead rodents. For yards that have stubborn mushroom growth, further interventions are needed.
You’re dealing with an already-established hyphae network. These small, thread-like “roots” are busy underneath the surface of a mushroom, wearing down materials of all kinds. To prevent more mushrooms from growing, rake away cut grass, properly dispose of yard waste, pick up pet waste, fully remove old stumps and roots, and don’t let piles of compost lie around without a storage area. By taking away the mushrooms' incentive, you have already fought half the battle.
Don’t Pick or Play with Lawn Mushrooms
Whenever you pick, break, or disturb a mushroom, its spores spread. These spores can then transfer to other parts of your yard by the wind, bugs, and wild animals. The mushroom root mats grow from these spores, which later sprout mushrooms. Before you mow your lawn, remove the mushrooms first. Otherwise, your lawnmower can whip around mushroom spores and make a lawn problem much worse.
Treat Your Yard for Mushrooms
If you have a mushroom problem, a professional gardening service can remove the mushrooms and till the land, plant seeds, and provide appropriate fertilization for the desired plants to grow. You can also dig out the mushrooms yourself and treat your yard yourself with anti-fungus lawn control solutions that are available at a hardware store.
It’s Not just a Surface Problem
The problem with mushrooms is that they are just the fruiting bodies of a fungus network that has deep roots underneath. Just removing the mushrooms won’t fix the established problem that lingers below the surface. Here’s the process to fully eliminate them:
- Carefully dig up the mushrooms with a garden spade. Wear a protective mask and gloves during this task.
- Aerate the lawn and remove any decomposing materials or thatch that is limiting airflow in the soil. This will interrupt the growth pattern of the fungus’s hyphae mat.
- Insert nitrogen-rich fertilizer to decay the carbon-rich organic materials that fungi love. This will slow or stop the growth.
- Apply anti-fungal yard treatment if applicable.
Afterward, do what you can to keep the yard tidy, sunny, and dry. For example, mowing more frequently will keep your grass shorter. This prevents more moisture from accumulating and causing a haven for mushrooms.
Store Mushroom Repellents and Tools in an Outdoor Storage Shed
When you have fungicides and tools to eliminate mushrooms nearby, treating your yard can be convenient and easy. Put mushroom killers and shovels in an outdoor storage shed in your yard so that you always have a solution nearby. This makes it easier to access what you need quickly instead of putting off the chore because it’s hard to find your items.
If you don’t know what type of outdoor shed is right for you, our shed buying guide can help you find the right size and type for your needs. Whether you need a small portable shed for mushroom season or a permanent structure to store more yard gear, there is a perfect option for you.
Don’t Have a Lot of Space? Go Compact!
If you have a small yard but still yearn for the convenience of outdoor storage, our compact storage solutions allow you to keep essential items outdoors. These small sheds hold just what you need to tackle mushrooms such as compostable waste bags, spades, and anti-fungal solutions. These also cost less than large sheds and have more potential sites in your yard due to not requiring as much space.
Got A Stubborn Spot? Install Something on Top
If mushrooms keep on returning to a hot spot and you don't have time to aerate or treat this spot of your lawn, simply place something on top of it like a pergola or gazebo. Either option requires a foundation that can cover up the trouble spot easily. If you choose a brick paver or concrete foundation, it will be extremely difficult for mushrooms to ever reclaim the spot. This option achieves two goals at once: you get rid of the mushrooms and get a fun place to enjoy your yard.
Keep Your Yard Tidy
Leaving objects around your yard can lead to moisture build-up, rotting organic materials, and extra shaded spots that can attract mushrooms. An outdoor storage shed can keep your yard tidy and prevent the clutter and some of the drainage problems that occur when you don’t have a place for your seasonal belongings.
Choose an Outdoor Shelter
With all this talk about portable sheds, pergolas, and gazebos, how do you know which shelter will work for you? Choosing an outdoor building that suits your yard requires some considerations such as your budget, the building’s purpose, its size, and your style preferences. By carefully examining your needs and situation, you will find a shelter that is the best for you.
Set up a Designated Compost Area
If you like to garden, you may use a compost pile to provide low-cost fertilization. Since a compost pile needs a balance of carbon and nitrogen to break down its contents, it’s a hotbed of mushroom-loving materials like roots, mulched leaves, and old wood. To stop mushrooms from having another favorite spot, get a compost bin to keep everything contained. Leaving a heap of organic materials out in the open is an invitation to mushroom spores.
Get a Storage Shed for Yard Care
Mushrooms can be a nuisance to a yard, especially if you want to make it look good and stick to HOA standards. By following these steps, you can keep your lawn looking great and free of mushrooms. Find convenient storage sheds to store all your gardening necessities and optimize your yard at ShelterLogic.