How To Get Rid Of Mushrooms In Your Yard (It's Easy To Do!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

When it rains heavily, it’s normal to see mushrooms pop up in mulch and outcroppings of rocks in the forest. It can look like you’re ready to get faeries visiting, right? Cute as it is to see in the forest, it’s not exactly cute in your yard. This is especially true if you have pets that could eat those potentially-toxic mushrooms. So, how do you get rid of these faerie rings in your yard?

Mushrooms pop up in yards as a result of decomposing material, mixed with moisture. If the mushroom growth persists, clean up any decomposing items you may have and then spray your yard with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Since vinegar is a natural fungicide, this should end the growth permanently.

If you live in an area where HOAs clamp down on local vegetation, or if you are just allergic to mushrooms, getting rid of those fairy rings is a must. This quick and easy guide will help you understand what you should expect and how to get rid of more stubborn outgrowths.

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How Bad Is Having Mushrooms In Your Yard?

It’s not very good, that’s for sure. At the very least, mushrooms can be an eyesore on an otherwise perfectly polished lawn. However, they can pose a health risk to people with allergies, not to mention curious children and pets who might want to eat one. To make matters worse, some mushrooms also happen to launch an assault on your nose by emitting a foul smell.

On the other hand, seeing mushrooms on your lawn is actually a great sign when it comes to your lawn’s health. Mushrooms can only grow when a lawn is very healthy and fertile. So at the very least, you’ve got that going for you.

Should You Bother Getting Rid Of The Mushrooms In Your Yard?

Mushrooms are one of the easiest types of plant life to get rid of in a yard, primarily because they tend to go away on their own in a couple of days. This is because most mushrooms require unusually high levels of moisture in order to survive. Once the ground dries up, they’re usually gone.

If you’re not extremely persnickety about your yard or just noticed that they randomly popped up, give them a couple of days to see if they vanish once the soil dries up. If they do, then congratulations. You just got rid of your mushrooms by waiting it out. If not? Well, give the vinegar solution mentioned above a try.

Why Do I Have Brown Rings On My Lawn?

Brown rings on your lawn can be caused by a number of different things, including diseases that affect grasses. However, the most common cause deals with mushroom colonies lovingly nicknamed “fairy rings.”

If you have a mushroom problem, the brown spots on your lawn are caused by species of mushroom that leech nutrients from the ground in order to fuel their growth. As the nutrients leave the ground, the grass starts to run low on nutrients. After they no longer can find nutrients to sustain themselves, the grass starts to die.

This usually happens in a ring-like shape, and the ring starts to grow as the mushrooms spread. If you notice multiple blotches on your lawn without any sign of mushroom growth, then it’s probably not a fairy ring.

Alternative Methods To Remove Mushrooms From Your Yard

Sometimes, vinegar alone will not be enough to get rid of the mushrooms. Or, perhaps it’s a matter of just getting tired of using vinegar for everything. Whatever the reason is, it’s good to have at least a couple of other ways to make sure that mushrooms in your yard go for good. These methods below have proven to be excellent choices…

Rake Your Leaves

Rotting leaves are one of the leading causes of mold and fungus. Translation: they can cause mushrooms to grow. If your yard is littered with leaves, then this could be the reason why you’re having a mushroom problem. Rake everything up and then give your yard time to dry. Chances are you’ll see your problem improve.

Tidy Up Your Yard

Along with raking your leaves, there are other ways you can make your yard inhospitable to mushrooms. Other rotting substances can easily contribute to mushroom growth. Getting rid of animal waste, clearing away tree trunks, and even checking to see if there are rotten veggies in your garden can curb mold growth.

Most of the time, keeping your lawn clean will be enough to ensure that your yard remains fungus-free for as long as you want it to. After all, nothing tends to live very long without a food source.

Get Your Lawn Drier

In order for mushrooms to live, they need shade and moisture. The most surefire way to make sure that mushrooms go away is to just change the quality of your soil to make it less hospitable for them. To do this, reduce the number of times you water your lawn every week. Then, take a lawn aerator and turn over the soil to help it dry.

Another important tip to keep in mind is that you should probably switch to watering your lawn in the early morning, rather than the afternoon. Watering your lawn late in the day runs the risk of having the water avoid evaporation due to the setting sun. Since darkness and moisture tend to yield more mushrooms, watering your lawn during the morning makes a lot more sense.

Use The Right Fertilizer

Though mushrooms love rotting stuff often found in fertilizer, there are certain types of fertilizer that can slow the growth rate of your ‘shrooms. Nitrogen-rich fertilizer speeds up the decomposition process. This, in turn, starts to remove any leftover food sources that your fungi would have.

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth On The Mushrooms

The number one enemy of mushrooms is drying, which is why using desiccants makes a lot of sense. Diatomaceous earth is most commonly used as an insect killer in organic gardens, but it also can help draw out some of the excess moisture in the soil in the right quantities. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to give it a try.

Mow Your Lawn Short

Believe it or not, the length of the grass on your lawn can play a role in how likely you are to have a mushroom problem. Short grass is faster to dry than long grass. To ensure you don’t spread spores, wear some gloves and pick up the mushrooms by hand. Then, mow your lawn more frequently.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great natural fungicide, and a little dab’ll do ya. To make a good fungicide, mix a tablespoon of baking soda to a gallon of water. Then, use this mixture to spray down the area affected by your mushrooms. This will kill off most species and also prevent growth from spreading.

Use A Professional-Grade Fungicide

If you’re still trying to get rid of your mushrooms and they just aren’t budging with more organic means, you may need to switch over to a more chemistry-based solution. Go to the store and grab a bottle of fungicide meant for lawncare, then follow the directions on the bottle to apply it to your lawn.

This is best left as a last-ditch choice in terms of mushroom removal since most commercial fungicides can pose a serious health risk to pets and small children. Should you need to go this route, make sure that you keep kids and pets inside the home for at least eight hours.

What Should I Do If Mushrooms Continue To Plague My Yard?

If mushrooms still persist after you’ve dried out your lawn and done everything else you could, you may need to take control of the situation by going underneath your grass. This will include doing things like replacing old mulch and dethatching your lawn, possibly going so far as to change the sod on your lawn.

Of course, there’s always going to be a point where you just want to “cry uncle” when it comes to your lawn woes. If you’re reaching that level, it’s okay to call lawncare specialists in to diagnose and treat your lawn. With that said, it rarely, if ever, will come down to this by necessity. People who call pros for mushrooms usually do so as a convenience matter.

Do You Have Anything Buried Under Your Lawn?

Most of the time, you can find the cause of your lawn’s mushroom growth by just looking to see what’s around your lawn—brown leaves, a fallen log, roadkill…But sometimes, things aren’t so easy to see. Many people don’t realize this, but it’s possible for mushrooms to get nutrients from what’s underneath your lawn.

In other words, what might be causing all the fungal growth you’re seeing might be buried underneath the lawn. Did you recently have construction crews bury some old wood on your site? Or, did you recently bury a deceased pet? More often than not, this could be a reason for your rampant mushroom growth.

Getting Rid Of A Buried Source Of Mushrooms

Should you be under the impression that you have a buried item that’s causing the fungi frenzy, the best thing you can do is dig in the area where the fungi are concentrated to remove whatever’s causing the mold.

Of course, that can get pretty gross. So, if you want to make sure that the fungi stop growing without unearthing everything, use repeated treatments of vinegar on the affected area until the item in question has fully rotted away.

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Related Questions

Are mushrooms a sign of overwatering your lawn?

Mushrooms love moisture, and yes, it’s true that their presence can be a warning sign of an overwatered sign. However, it can also happen to a healthy lawn. If you notice puddles, muddy dips in your grass, and “sloshy” grass alongside an outcropping of mushrooms, you probably need to dial back your watering a bit.

Can bleach kill mushrooms and mold?

Bleach can absolutely kill mold of all kinds, but it’s not someone that you want to do to your lawn. The bleach can easily kill off your surrounding plant life, especially if it’s not diluted enough. Moreover, bleach has a tendency of being unable to penetrate porous surfaces in your home. Use caution if you choose to try this route.

Could wild mushrooms pose a risk to my dog?

Absolutely. While dogs are capable of eating some kinds of mushrooms, the truth is that they shouldn’t really be eating them. Moreover, mushrooms that are poisonous to people can also kill canine companions if ingested. This is why homeowners would be wise to make sure that you remove any unidentified, wild mushrooms from your lawn before Fido comes by.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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