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Mushrooms in lawn

by Bethany
(Spokane, Washington)

QUESTION:


How do I get rid of mushrooms in my lawn? My grass is real pretty except for the ugly patches of mushrooms that started growing. Where did they come from? I'm also worried that my dog might eat them and get sick.


ANSWER:

This is a question that I get asked a lot. After a couple of wet days, I find mushrooms in lawn after lawn...and customers asking how to get rid of them.

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies (reproductive structures) of fungus living in your soil. They occur naturally and are harmless to your grass, flowers, and trees...they just look ugly.

Most fungi living in your lawn is beneficial, they are breaking down rotting wood, old tree roots, buried stumps or leaves. Their job is to decompose organic matter in the soil releasing nutrients for your grass to use. Some, called mycorrhizae, actually form a mutually beneficial (symbiotic) relationship with plant roots by increasing water and nutrient uptake.

The only way to get rid of them is to remove the food source. This could be as simple as digging up a piece of buried construction debris or waiting for an old stump to decompose.

The best way to keep them away from pets or kids is to mow, pick or rake them up.

DO NOT eat wild mushrooms found in your yard! They are poisonous and will kill you or make you sick. Only an expert with plenty of experience can identify edible mushrooms.

DO NOT Use chemicals to control mushrooms! They will not work! There are no fungicides labeled for mushrooms and it is against the law to use pesticides in a manner not on the label.

I've adding some pictures of mushrooms that I found after a couple rainy days in October.



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How Can I Get Rid of Mushrooms? Fairy Rings?

QUESTION:

I have small mushroom type things growing in my lawn, they are increasing in number and are in a curved, almost semi-circular shape.

How can I get rid of them?

ANSWER:

Mushrooms usually show up this time of year especially after rainy weather or heavy irrigation. They are a sign that decaying organic matter (stump, roots, piece of wood) is present in the soil.

The only practical way to get rid of them is to remove them by hand or mow them when they show up - eventually they will stop.

Could it be Fairy Ring?

When you say they are in a arc or semi-circle and are increasing that makes me think it could possibly be a fairy ring.

Fairy rings appear in lawns as dark green circles or arcs. They can be caused by any one of 60 species of soil fungi that feed on decaying organic matter. Often mushrooms appear in the circle or arc.

Fairy rings are not easy to control. I recommend hiring a lawn service that has had experience and success controlling Fairy Ring in your area.

Check out this link for more info on fairy ring: www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0372/

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Puffball Mushrooms

by Mark

Question: I have some holes growing in my yard (zoysia grass). They are dirt divots. They seem to be growing in number. The divots are small and circular. When I hit them with my foot, dirt clouds surface. Do you
have any idea what this is? Thanks for your feedback.

Answer: Those are puffball mushrooms. The "dirt clouds" are actually spores being released when you kick them. There are several types of puffball mushrooms and they come in many sizes, most 3-8 inches in diameter. The giant puffball will sometimes grow up to 15 inches.

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