How do I permanently get rid of mushrooms?

Mushrooms can be a pesky garden guest. When the little heads begin to appear in the lawn, confront the issue quickly. There are a few ways to remove the threat of mushrooms from the yard naturally and with little overall effort.

When Mushrooms Appear

When mushrooms are popping up in your yard, it means you have a fungus deep in the soil. The mushroom is the result of the fungi thriving in the garden bed or lawn. They don’t typically harm a lawn or flower bed.

The fungus thrives on organic material. This can be shrub roots, underground plants or buried timber in larger lawns or wooded areas. Often, the mushrooms will disappear as soon as they have gobbled up the organic material that is hosting them.

Areas that receive prolonged bouts of rain can create groups of mushrooms. Overwatering a lawn or an unnoticed leak can also cause mushrooms to sprout in the yard. Low light paired with moisture is also a perfect combination for mushrooms to make a temporary home.

Mushrooms as Good Guys

In the ecosystem of the yard, mushrooms are a beneficial guest. They break down organic material into nutrients that the lawn can then use.

There are many types of mushrooms that make a home in the garden. These include the Phallaceae puffball, shaggy mane, stinkhorn, Japanese parasol or the more traditional toadstool. The fungus spores find their way to the yard via the wind or when transferred in soil and plants.

Getting Rid of Mushrooms Naturally

If you prefer a garden without the rounded or pointed heads of mushrooms bobbing up, then you can hasten the fungi’s retreat from your garden with a few natural solutions.

The mushrooms and fungi can be dug up by hand if there are just a few scattered around the garden bed or lawn.

Remove the water source if the area is soaking wet or fix any leaks that are causing soggy spots in the lawn or garden bed.

Remove tree branches to add a bit of light to an overly shaded area where mushrooms tend to grow.

Regularly maintain the yard and pick up fallen branches, leaves and needles to reduce the amount of decaying organic matter that attracts the fungi.

Aerate the lawn each spring to break up and kill the fungal mat below the surface of the lawn and toss the plugs immediately after aeration.

Fertilizer to Kill Off Mushrooms

If you’ve had a continual mushroom problem on your expanse of emerald green grass, then you may want to choose a fertilizer to combat the unwanted lawn guests. A nitrogen-rich fertilizer can stop the fungi before it can start. Nitrogen increases the decay rate of fungi food so that the mushrooms can’t gain purchase in the yard. Don’t use a slow-release fertilizer.

Tips on Controlling Mushroom Growth

A mistake many gardeners make is simply plucking the mushroom head and throwing it in the garden bin or, even worse, the compost pile. Use a small bag and tie it off so the mushroom’s spores can’t travel to other areas of the yard. When placed in the compost bin, the mushroom lays in wait to rise another day in a different area of your yard.

Mushrooms can also grow indoors and should be immediately plucked. A simple solution of a few drops of dish soap to a pint of water will kill off mushrooms. Stick holes in the top of the indoor potted plants' soil and spray the solution onto the mushroom, making sure not to spray the plant stems or leaves.

Mushrooms may taste good in dishes or look cute as a ceramic decoration, but some homeowners tend to get frustrated when pesky mushrooms pop up on their lawn. Although most mushrooms won't harm your yard and can actually benefit your lawn's health, you can kill mushrooms with vinegar if you aren't a fan of them.

Video of the Day

The next time you're going through a rainy season and mushrooms start popping up in your yard, don't rush to the store to pick up a fungicide. You can grab vinegar right from your cabinet and get rid of the mushrooms.

Types of Mushrooms in Yards

Different types of mushrooms can show up in your yard, with some being totally harmless and others being toxic. Three types of mushrooms you might find in your yard are horse mushrooms (​Agaricus arvensis​), meadow mushrooms (​Agaricus campestris​) and death angel mushrooms (​Amanita virosa​). Horse mushrooms have white caps that look a little bit yellow, and they're not toxic.

Meadow mushroom caps are also white, but the gill (the inner side of the cap) is dark brown. Just like horse mushrooms, they're not toxic. Death angel mushrooms have caps and gills that are both white, and they are toxic.

What Causes Mushrooms to Grow?

Mushrooms appear in a yard for a variety of reasons. Lawn mushrooms are types of fungi, so they thrive in moist conditions. You'll notice mushrooms growing in your yard if you're experiencing a lot of rain, if you're watering your yard more than usual or if they're breaking down decaying matter, such as animal excrement and grass clippings.

Effects of Mushrooms on Grass

Most mushrooms won't damage your lawn, so if you're not super worried about the way they look in your yard, you can just let them be. Although most mushrooms won't damage your yard, you want to ensure that your soil isn't always soggy because soggy grass can cause turf disease. Mushrooms can help, though, because if your yard has a lot of dead plant matter or debris, mushrooms will help break down those materials and add extra nutrients to your lawn.

Controlling Mushroom Growth

If you don't want mushrooms in your yard, the best course of action is prevention. Since mushrooms like to grow in damp and dark environments, you want to make sure that your yard is getting a lot of sunlight. If your area is experiencing a lot of rain, make sure that you have a good drainage system set up so your yard isn't developing a lot of moisture. Also, make sure there aren't piles of dead or decaying plant debris in your yard.

Killing Mushrooms With Vinegar

If you want to get rid of mushrooms, the easiest way to remove them is by picking them with your hands. Make sure that you remove the entire mushroom by the root and always wear gardening gloves. Although you can use a to kill off mushrooms in your yard, you can also create your own fungicide by combining vinegar and water.

Vinegar has an active ingredient called acetic acid, and acetic acid does an amazing job of killing garden mushrooms. All you have to do is mix 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts water in a spray bottle. When spraying the homemade fungicide, make sure that you're only spraying it on the mushrooms because vinegar can kill plants and grass.