Fall has arrived, and with it comes traditional autumnal activities like carving pumpkins, crunching fallen leaves, and planning Halloween costumes. But another thing that autumn brings that may not be cause for much celebration? A change in home chores.
Mushrooms springing up from your lawn may look festive to some, but to others, it’s just more work. But why do mushrooms grow on your lawn? And is there anything you can do to get rid of them? Our team discusses:
Why Do Mushrooms Grow in My Grass?
Mushrooms on your lawn are actually a great indicator that your soil is really healthy. Fungi break down organic material (such as animal feces and dead plant material). A lot happens in and on your lawn throughout the year — both wild and domestic animals roam in many yards, grass clippings get left to decompose, and trees and plants die. All create the perfect breeding grounds for fungi.
With higher levels of rainfall in the cooler months, mushrooms spring up and germinate, spreading all over your lawn. The fungi return the favor by helping turn the clippings and leaves into nutrients for the soil.
Are They Dangerous?
Most mushroom growth is harmless, but there are a few drawbacks to having mushrooms in your lawn. Their presence might signal some problems, such as:
- Mushrooms can disrupt the aesthetic of a pristine lawn
- Some lawn mushroom species are toxic, and kids or dogs might eat them, leading to (sometimes severe) stomach upset
- Continued fungi growth above the soil can damage localized areas of grass
- Mushrooms can be an indicator of overwatering of the lawn, which means you’re likely wasting water
How to Prevent Mushrooms From Growing on Your Lawn
There are three simple ways to help reduce mushrooms on your lawn:
- Minimize the effect of old trees and pets - Mushrooms and fungi grow in part by breaking down organic material. Clean up after your pets and remove fallen leaves or dead plant life to reduce sources of nutrients for fungi.
- Avoid compacted soil - Standing water in your lawn is a good sign of compacted grass, which creates excess moisture — conditions perfect for fungi to thrive. Aerate your lawn to increase drainage and reduce fungi growth.
- Decrease shade in problem areas - Mushrooms like shade, so trim back shrubs and tree branches to let the light in.