Why are there mushrooms in my lawn?

This is one of the most common lawn care questions we get during the spring and fall months, as homeowners are often frantic to get these pesky fungi out of their lawn. It’s true that, with fast-spreading spores, mushrooms can spread out rapidly, and they can be more difficult to get rid of than it might seem at first. But, it’s important for homeowners to remember that they might not want to be so hasty in ripping them up when they appear.

The genius of mushrooms is not only in how quickly they spread, with spores literally floating through the air, but also how they grow. Mushrooms are really just fungi that are regularly present in the soil. This fungus works to break down organic matter such as tree stumps and old mulch and by breaking it down, it actually turns it into organic matter the lawn can actually use.

This natural process is always occurring in the soil, whether we see mushrooms on our lawn or not. However, when conditions are just right, that fungi will burst into bloom, forming the familiar caps that we know and then so desperately try to get rid of. But we shouldn’t.

Firstly, it’s ineffective. Fungi are actually made up of complicated networks of fibers that lie deep within the soil. Simply snapping a cap off at surface level will only take the bloom away. While this can help prevent the spread to neighbouring lawns, it’s not going to prevent mushrooms from appearing again.

When left alone, mushroom caps will go away in time with no interference at all. These caps will only bloom and thrive under the right conditions – typically slightly moist, cooler, and darker conditions. Once the sun comes out and dries things up again, those caps will also dry up and no longer appear in the lawn.

Secondly, getting rid of fungi at all is getting rid of a natural component that’s essential to the soil. Organic matter will break down on its own in time, but it needs those fungi, and those mushrooms, in order to speed the process along and help lawns and turf maintain its natural succession.

Of course, other lawn care companies don’t want to worry about the fungi mushrooms are representative of. They only want to destroy them, because a customer has complaints. So they apply toxins in the form of herbicides and fertilizers and yes, the caps go away. And because these substances are meant to kill, so too probably do many of the fungi.

But if your lawn is truly over run with mushrooms, and you do need to find a solution to better manage them, there are natural lawn care solutions. We’ll look further into those in our next blog post.

If you need something done about mushrooms in your lawn now, and you’re tired of the toxic chemicals that continue to make us sick, give us a call at Stangl’s today.

We are the Niagara lawn care company that’s making a difference, and we have the solutions that work!