If you have a lawn or any kind of vegetation around your house, there is a chance that you noticed some mushrooms growing that you did not plant. If you’re wondering why mushrooms are growing on your lawn, I can assure you it’s not an unusual or worrisome thing.
This happens yearly, around the fall (autumn) months, especially when there is rainfall. Rainwater in the autumn seasons can stimulate the growth of substances like fungal mycelia, which are fungal threads that catalyze the development of mushrooms and similar fruits.
Mushrooms in your lawn are a tell-tale sign of the health of your soil.
You might find it irritating that random mushrooms are growing on your lawn – especially given some can be poisonous and contaminate other fruits you might like to plant. However, these mushrooms feed on decomposing plants, converting them to humus, making your soil more fertile for the upcoming season.
Moreover, the growth of similar fungi species can be related to the existing plants, such as trees and shrubs, in your lawn. These plants have a symbiotic relationship with mushrooms. Here, the woody plants in your lawn supply sugars and other nutrients to the mushrooms. In turn, this produces beneficial minerals to support the growth of trees and shrubs.
Is It Bad That Mushrooms Are Growing On My Lawn?
To answer the question simply, no, mushrooms growing in your lawn is not necessarily a bad thing. These mushrooms are growing on their own due to organic matter present in the trees and shrubs in your garden. This lignin-based organic matter in woody plants is decomposed by fungi, which assists the growth of mushrooms that you see on your lawn.
These mushrooms can be really good for the soil in your garden. There are several benefits of having soil that is rich in fungi. One such benefit is the decomposition process, whereby the enzymes in fungi help break down dead leaves and stems from trees and other decaying material like dead animals. So, one reason for sporadic mushroom growth can be the presence of decaying organic matter in your lawn.
Other kinds of mushrooms may also grow near the trees in your lawn, mainly around and under the drip line. This is known as mycorrhiza activity. Mycorrhiza is fungus roots that aid plants to survive and thrive in stressful and non-ideal growth conditions, including low fertility and harsh temperatures in the following winter months. So, if you see mushrooms growing in your lawn, you should know that they are simply a part of the ecosystem of your yard, reflecting the presence of excellent and beneficial microbes in the soil that keep it healthy.
Are Lawn Mushrooms Poisonous?
Many people get concerned about mushrooms growing on their lawns because they worry these mushrooms might be poisonous. This is especially concerning if you have toddlers, young kids, or pets who might touch or even eat them when you are not around.
Another primary concern is undiagnosed mushroom allergies that might cause a reaction without you realizing it. So, knowing whether the mushrooms in your lawn are poisonous is extremely important. There are some simple ways to tell whether mushrooms are poisonous or not. First, you need to identify poison profiles in mushrooms, so you can remove them before someone gets hurt. One way to keep you and your family safe is to look out for mushrooms that have warts, scales, or lighter white gills because they are most likely to contain poisonous substances. Other features of dangerous mushrooms include a ring visible on the upper area of a mushroom stem or a bulb-shaped base.
If your child or someone in your family accidentally touches or eats a mushroom that you did not plant yourself, it is crucial to see a medical professional immediately. You can also be on the lookout for common symptoms of mushroom poisoning, like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomachache. Signs of severe toxicity may include vomiting with blood. It is advised that you see a doctor immediately if you eat a wild mushroom, regardless of any symptoms.
How To Stop Mushrooms From Growing On Your Lawn
It is better to be safe and prevent the growth of mushrooms in your lawn, even if they seem harmless. As discussed, the main reason for mushrooms growing in your yard is decaying wood, so to prevent this growth, you can remove any rotting wood or similar materials you see in your garden.
Adding more leafy plants in your garden or even just leafy materials, like vegetable waste and grass clippings in the soil, can help increase bacteria, restore a neutral balance in the soil, and combat the fungi problem.
Mushrooms tend to grow most in shady areas, so you can trim the trees and reduce shade in areas that are most prevalent to have mushrooms sprouting. This will help the soil get more sunlight and reduce the growth of fungal species like mushrooms.
Aerating the soil is another excellent way to prevent mushroom growth. Standing water and puddles can cause the soil to get too compacted, producing damp conditions ideal for mushroom growth. Aerating your lawn can not only reduce mushroom growth but also prove beneficial for better drainage and nutrient supply to grass roots.
Other practical ways to reduce and prevent mushroom growth in your lawn include removing thatch buildup, replacing old mulch, limiting fertilizer use, and removing grass clippings and debris.
Mushrooms growing in your lawn is a sign of decaying organic matter like shedding from your woody plants. While many mushrooms are harmless, some can be poisonous. If you are unsure of whether the mushrooms growing are safe or not, it’s best to err on the side of caution and limit their growth.
You can do this by trimming your trees and shrubs, reducing the shaded areas, removing any rotting wood, and aerating the soil on your lawn. Most people resort to using fungicides to prevent mushroom growth however, DIY home methods, like the ones discussed above, are generally enough to manage the issue.