Stepping out into your front yard after a hard rain can feel like jumping headfirst into Wonderland with the number of mushrooms peeking out from under the grass. Mushrooms are delicious in ravioli and on pizza, but they're not so tasty when they've over taken your yard. Thankfully, mushrooms in your lawn are not invasive, so they're not here to stay. It only takes a couple steps to get rid of mushrooms in the yard.
How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Your Yard for a While
Unfortunately, there's no way to get rid of mushrooms permanently. You can take preventative measures to help stop them from growing, but there isn't a onetime cure to protect your yard from a mushroom invasion. Instead, routine maintenance and understanding what conditions to avoid in your yard will give you the best chance of not having mushrooms come back anytime soon.
Remove Shaded Areas
If you have any permanent or semi-permanent shaded areas and find that mushrooms specifically grow under them, then consider removing the thing that's creating the shade altogether. While trees can be cut back to limit the amount of shade they create, things like trampolines, deck stairs, and awnings are all fixtures that create permanent shade which you might want to remove if the mushrooms are problematic.
Aerate Your Lawn
This is an expensive option, but it's one that serves a purpose beyond preventing mushrooms. Aerating your yard will remove the compact soil that was letting water pool and allowing mushrooms to grow. But it also helps with your grass health by increasing oxygen flow into the soil and allowing water to permeate deeper into the roots.
Keep Your Pet's Waste Picked Up
The fungi in the ground need something to feed on, and they love organic material. That includes your dog, cat, and other pets' waste. Of course, we know that life gets in the way, and sometimes you skip a few days of cleaning the yard up. But, if you're having a mushroom problem, then consistently keeping this mushroom food off the ground is a must.
Put Dish Soap Into the Mushroom's Hole
Some people like to use a more DIY method to get rid of their mushrooms. They prefer to dig their mushrooms up with a trowel, put it in a bag (making sure to not crush it and send the spores everywhere), and then put a few drops of dish soap into the hole with a little water. This acts as a natural, mild, fungicide.
Why Are Mushrooms Growing in My Yard?
Mushrooms don't only grow after a heavy rain; there are many reasons why you might be having a mushroom bloom in your yard. Getting rid of them can start with figuring out the reason they're growing there in the first place.
Heavy rain creates the perfect storm for mushrooms to grow. They love moist and dark environments. Rainstorms bring enough water to saturate the soil and the clouds that create an overcast wide and long enough to let the fungi in your soil turn into mushrooms.
Too Much Shade
If you have a heavily shaded backyard, you're probably going to run into a mushroom problem at some point. Lots of tree foliage and awnings are two of the biggest perpetrators of creating constant shade. Cut back as much overgrowth as you can to let the sunshine through and warm up that ground.
Compacted soil is soil that's very dense, and because of its density, it's not as permeable to water. This means that the water isn't draining through the ground, but it's pooling at the top. Since water is one of the main ingredients for creating wild mushrooms, you can see how this can be a bad thing.
What Do You Do With Live Mushrooms in Your Yard?
Now that you know what to do to prevent mushrooms from taking over your yard, you might be wondering how you should tackle the colony that's already living there.
It's important when you're removing mushrooms that you follow certain steps to keep them from spreading their spores all over your yard.
- Dig the mushroom(s) up with a garden trowel, making sure that you don't crush or smash the mushroom, as this sends its spores everywhere.
- Put the discarded mushroom into a waste bag.
- Throw it away.
Getting Rid of Mushrooms Doesn't Have to be Hard
For people with carefully manicured lawns and pets and children who can accidentally eat wild things, taking the necessary steps to prevent mushrooms is important. Getting ahead of the problem is the most vital step. Although we love having mushrooms in our kitchen, we don't love seeing them in our yard, and with these easy tips, you don't have to see them in yours anymore, either.