This is a frequent phone call and/or question we get as a lawn care company. “Why are there mushrooms growing in my lawn?” Sometimes property owners are alarmed at the sudden outbreak of fungi growing all over their lawn, but there really is no need to be concerned because it is a good sign.
Mushrooms are naturally occurring fungi that abundantly appear when they have great conditions to grow. If there is the presence of abundant moisture (usually after an extended rainy period and cool weather) and decaying organic matter in the soil you could see mushrooms popping up like your own little Smurf Village. Organic matter is found in soil of healthy lawns. As matter such as leaves, bark, tree roots, animal waste, and grass clippings decompose in the soil, these fungi naturally occur.
Mushrooms are, for the most part, harmless and even beneficial. The main concern of most property owners are that mushrooms are poisonous and pose a risk to dogs or toddlers that may take a taste of a few. The good thing is that the vast majority of lawn mushrooms aren’t poisonous. A few will cause temporary sickness and fewer are truly poisonous.
It’s not possible to eliminate mushroom growth in your lawn. There is always something decaying in soil. Removing all of that decomposing organic matter would actually be detrimental to the lawn anyway. Fungicides are expensive and would also kill off beneficial fungi, so that is not a viable option as well.
“So what do I do?” There is only one practical method to remove mushrooms from a lawn and that is mechanical removal (mowing, raking, pulling, kicking, practicing your golf swing). Removal of mushrooms is only a consideration if they are identified as a poisonous variety, which again, is unlikely. Resources can be found online such as this website. You can also consult with the extension office at your local university.
As conditions change, the mushrooms will disappear. Since they need moisture to grow, as the area dries out mushrooms will disappear. Until then, have fun practicing your golf swing removing them!
ISA Certified Arborist, Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Technician