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Why Are Mushrooms Growing In My Yard?

Posted by Nate Bahler on Jul 28, 2020 4:32:42 PM
Nate Bahler

Mushrooms might be a nuisance in your yard but...mushrooms are not harmful! We repeat, they are not harmful. They are actually helpful!

Having mushrooms in your lawn means it is healthy! They are a natural part of your lawn’s ecosystem. Mushrooms help a lawn by feeding on decomposing organic matter to improve your soil quality.  

Where Do Mushrooms Come From?

The majority of a mushroom’s fungal mass lies below the ground (mycelium). The mushrooms that we see rise up are the fruiting body of the fungal mass in the soil.

The mushroom that rises from the existing fungi in your soil is the reproductive, spore carrying part of a mushroom.

Mushroom mycelium cap diagram

What Causes Mushrooms to Grow in My Yard?

Mushrooms need the perfect combination of conditions to arise. This is why they sometimes disappear just as quickly as they appear. 

Conditions that encourage mushroom growth are:

  • Areas of decaying wood such as rotten tree roots or stumps.

  • Areas with poor drainage. 

  • Periods of excessive moisture or humid weather. 

  • Overwatering your yard. 

Mushrooms in my yard

Where Do Mushrooms Grow?

Mushrooms help out your lawn by feeding on decomposing organic matter that would otherwise settle into the thatch layer of your soil, causing more soil compaction.  They contain an enzyme that breaks down woody material. 

Mushrooms can be found where the following exists:

  • Thatch

  • Stumps

  • Roots

  • Animal feces

  • Sticks/branches

  • Fallen leaves

How To Reduce Mushrooms in My Yard?

Now that we have identified which conditions mushrooms grow in and what they like to feed on, we can reduce them by removing these conditions. Below are a few tips.

  • Keep your soil moisture low with proper drainage.

  • Avoid compacted soil with Core Aeration. Compacted soil does not allow water to move downwards into the ground as deep as it should.

  • Trim trees to allow sunlight to shaded areas.

  • Remove any rotting wood from your property. 

  • Regularly pick up any fallen branches/ leaves in lawn.

Pro tip: If shade and soil drainage are not issues, we recommend just kicking them over or getting the mushrooms next time you mow. You can also always just wait for the sun to come out!  

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