Tip #186: Mushrooms in the Garden

Tip #186: Mushrooms in the Garden

After a heavy rain, you may be surprised to find mushrooms appearing on your lawn. In this week’s tip, we’ll go over the primary causes of mushrooms and what you can do.

The first thing we should mention is that mushrooms in the lawn and garden are not harmful. In fact, they often are very beneficial, breaking down extra wood or dead tree roots left behind in the garden. As the mushrooms grow and die off, they work to feed the garden. There is little you can do to kill them directly as the majority of their biomass is buried underground safely out of the reach of garden tools and most fungicides. So embrace the mushrooms and think like the Irish who consider mushrooms good luck.

In most cases, the symptom of seeing mushrooms growing in the lawn/garden is caused by poor drainage or over watering.

For over watering issues, reduce the frequency of watering, and increase the volume and saturation each time you water. For lawns, you should not need to water deeply more than once a week. For vegetable gardens, 2-3 times per week should be sufficient for most plants (though there are some exceptions like keeping new root vegetable beds moist immediately after seeding).

Drainage issues can be more difficult to solve, but can be aided by aerating the lawn. This is best dime is in the spring or early fall as the plants are still actively growing and there is less risk of them getting stressed by the heat of the summer.

By improving drainage and not over watering, most issues with mushrooms should naturally go away on their own. And if you do decide to eat any of the mushrooms, consult an expert or be 100% sure it is an edible variety that isn’t poisonous.

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