Toadstools and Mushrooms
Although you may associate mushrooms with woodlands and wild grass areas, there are many species of mushrooms and toadstools that will potentially grow in your grass. But, if you are aiming for a perfectly uniform and luscious lawn, the appearance of these little fungi may not be exactly welcome.
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about mushrooms growing in your lawn, and how to deal with them.
What are mushrooms and toadstools?
Mushrooms and toadstools are the large fruiting bodies of specific types of fungi. They produce and spread spores, so the species can continue to reproduce.
Fungi are a part of your garden’s ecosystem, helping break down organic matter like tatch and replenish the soil with nutrients. Most of the fungi in your lawn are invisible to the naked eye, but a few species produce large fruiting bodies, and others become noticeable when they cause diseases, such as fusarium patch and red thread.
Why are mushrooms growing in my lawn?
The sudden appearance of toadstools in your lawn may be alarming, but they are generally a sign that your soil is nutrient rich and balanced. Fungi love cool, damp, and nutrient- rich soils.
The spores of various types of fungi are permanently present in virtually any lawn. When the external conditions change, the dormant spores may be triggered and become active. These changes include:
Warm and Humid WeatherYou will generally see mushrooms & toadstools appearing for a few weeks in the autumn, when the weather conditions are still warm and more humid. The fruits appear during this season and spread their spores, only to disappear once the weather conditions change or when they have completed their life cycle.
Newly Laid TurfIt is not uncommon for toadstools to appear in newly laid turf. This is because the harvesting and transportation of the turf disturbs the soil, activating the spores. The mild weather and additional watering that is common for newly laid turf, creates the perfect conditions for mushrooms to grow.
Poor Soil DrainageExcessive moisture in the soil due to poor drainage can also create the conditions for mushrooms and toadstools to develop. Regularly aerating your soil can help improve drainage and air circulation, preventing excessive moisture from being held in your soil.
Lack of LandscapingPoor ventilation, rotting wood, and dried leaves also help to create the perfect environment for mushrooms to develop. So trimming bushes, hedges, and trees around your garden will help reduce the shady and damp conditions that help mushrooms thrive.
Are toadstools bad for your lawn?
Mushrooms and toadstools are actually a very important part of our ecosystem. If you find mushrooms growing in your lawn, consider this to be an excellent sign that you have healthy soil and a strong ecosystem, which will in turn help your lawn grow strong and healthy.
The fungi benefit your soil, as they break down decomposing leaves, grass cuttings, and other organic matter, which in turn replenished the soils with nutrients and help your lawn grow strong and healthy.
Should you get rid of mushrooms in your lawn?
Mushrooms have a short lifespan and will normally disappear on their own, so you do not need to get rid of toadstools in your lawn. They are usually only present for a few days or weeks a year, and their appearance one year does not always mean that they’ll return the next.
However, some lawn owners may want them removed as soon as they appear, whether it is for aesthetic reasons or as a safety precaution for children and pets. Although it is unlikely that mushrooms found in your lawn are poisonous, it is always best to assume they are not edible and keep children and pets away.
How to get rid of toadstools in your lawn?If you do wish to remove the toadstools in your lawn, mowing the lawn as regular, and collecting the clippings afterwards should help get rid of the toadstools. You can also simply brush the toadstools off your lawn and collect them, as they easily break off.
How to prevent the appearance of toadstoolsTo reduce the appearance of toadstools and mushrooms, you can discourage the conditions in which they thrive.
AerationAs mentioned above, aeration improves drainage and improves airflow in the soil, reducing moisture levels. You can read all about the benefit of aeration, and how to carry it out in your garden, on our blog.
ScarifyingScarifying can also help prevent the appearance of toadstools by removing excessive organic matter, and getting rid of the spores that may be present in the thatch layer. Read more about it here.
Keeping your lawn well fed helps it grow strong and healthy. A healthy lawn is usually denser, leaving less gaps for mushrooms to get established. The extra nitrogen added to the soil by feeding will also help to alleviate the issue. So & Mo’s Performance Liquid Lawn Feed is designed to deliver year-round performance, keeping your lawn healthy and resilient and helping reduce the appearance of toadstools as well as the likelihood of fungal diseases like fusarium patch.
For more information on how to keep your lawn healthy, check out our blog!
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