Are the wild mushrooms in your garden an eyesore? Many gardeners who want to get rid of toadstools and fungi in their lawn have a hard time doing so because they only deal with the symptoms and not the underlying cause.
Don’t worry though, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we offer you effective tips to finally rid your garden of fungi.
These are the simple tools and supplies you will need to remove mushroom from your garden:
- Plastic bags
- Grass seeds
- Fresh soil
- Protective garden gloves
- Lawn aerator
- Garden rake or hoe
- Nitrogen fertilizer
How To Get Rid of Toadstool and Fungi In Lawn
Follow these easy tips to get rid of toadstools and fungi in your lawn. Toward the end of the article, you will find a few recommendations for preventing fungi from growing in your lawn in the first place.
1. Uproot the toadstools by their base
Once toadstools sprout, they release their spores and spread them on the ground for new toadstools to grow. To prevent new growth, pull out the mushrooms as soon as they sprout so they will not have a chance to spread their spores.
If you are dealing with just a few toadstools, you can pull each one of them by hand or cut with a kitchen knife from the base. For larger patches, you will need a mow.
Just make sure to pull out the entire mushroom including the stalk and roots. Chucking out the top part and leaving the roots intact will allow the toadstools to grow back again in no time.
Pro tip: Avoid disposing cut toadstools in your compost. Instead, put them up in a plastic bag and throw in the trash to prevent the spores from spreading.
2. Get rid of rotting organic debris
To get rid of toadstools and fungi, you must understand how these organisms work. Fungi require moisture, darkness, and decomposing material.
To kill fungi and prevent toadstools from sprouting, you must eliminate the source of food. So, if your lawn is full of organic material such as pet waste, dead grass, decaying leaves, and fallen tree branches, you want to get rid of these.
Some of that organic debris might also be trapped underneath the soil. Cutting trees and leaving the roots intact provides the perfect environment for fungi to thrive. Toadstools also like to grow around construction sites where things like timber scraps have been left to rot.
So, sweeping the surface debris is not enough; you might have to dig out any buried material to prevent new toadstool growth.
3. Practice good watering methods
Water is another culprit that encourages fungi growth. You might have noticed that toadstools regularly grow in damp and shady areas in your yard. One way to kill off wild mushrooms is to keep your lawn dry and only wet when necessary when watering the lawn
We recommend watering in the morning as this allows the grass to soak up enough water before the sun dries up the water. This will allow the grass to soak up more water so you do not have to keep watering the lawn.
Watering at night is not a good idea because the water will stagnate on the lawn and create the ideal conditions for fungi to thrive.
You should also consider trimming shrubs or nearby tree branches to allow more sunlight to reach the lawn and dry up the grass faster, making the environment in your yard less favourable for fungi growth.
4. Aerate the soil
In addition to water and organic material, fungi also need a non-aerated environment to thrive. So, by improving the airflow in the soil, you will prevent the fungi from growing into toadstools. Of course, this should be accompanied by removing any organic debris and minimizing moisture on the lawn.
Toadstools grow in soil that is packed together. Use a rake or hoe to dig up the lawn and loosen up the soil to prevent fungus growth. Just do this gently to avoid spreading around the fungi spores.
You can also keep the soil aerated by mowing the lawn more frequently to keep the grass short. Short grass allows more airflow and sunlight and therefore dries faster and is less likely to support fungus growth.
A lawn aerator can make your work easier. This garden tool, which you can buy or rent, pulls thin cylindrical pieces of soil out of the lawn, creating holes that assist with better airflow and improves drainage too.
Pro Tip: Pull out the toadstools before mowing to avoid spreading the fungus spores around your lawn and making the problem worse.
5. Use nitrogen oxide
Nitrogen oxide breaks down the organic debris in your lawn. Without organic material to feed on, fungi cannot grow. Be sure to apply the nitrogen-rich fertilizer in wet or shady spots on your lawn where fungi tend to grow.
6. Dig Out the Sod
If all else fails, you might consider digging out the grass and soil in the affected area of the lawn and installing new sod.
This option can be a bit time-consuming and is best if the mushrooms are a real bother. To reach and take out the fungus pores, you will have to dig up to 20 inches deep and another 25 inches further away from the affected area.
You can then add new soil and new grass seeds to start afresh that part of the lawn. Going forward, you should take steps to prevent the regrowth of new fungi, for example, removing organic waste from the lawn.
7. Avoid Fungicide
Fungicide might seem like the easiest way to get rid of toadstools and fungi but it is just a temporary solution at most.
Fungicides might kill off the visible part of the fungi spores i.e. the mushroom but the plant will still grow back. This is because fungicide does not penetrate deep into the soil to reach and kill the fungi spores.
Instead of completely killing the fungi, fungicides only form a coat on the mushrooms and prevent them from spreading spores around your lawn. Once the surface mushrooms die, others will sprout out when the conditions are right.
Keep in mind that it is against the law to use many of the fungicides are advertise for killing mushrooms. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of using chemicals to kill mushrooms in your garden.
That is all there is to getting rid of fungi in your lawn. We have some extra recommendations for maintaining a healthy and fungi-free lawn.
Here are some amazing tips for a fungi-free lawn.
8. Avoid spreading fungi spores all over your lawn
When fungi spores migrate from one spot to another, they can make a bad problem worse. Innocent activities such as mowing or walking across your lawn can spread the spores far and wide, resulting in a fairy ring infestation in your yard.
Be extra careful when handling mushroom. Do not mow them down; instead, pluck them out by hand or dig them out using a garden spade. Dispose of mushrooms in a plastic bag as soon as you dig them out.
You should also avoid walking over the fungi as your footsteps can also spread the spores to other parts of the lawn. Cover your shoes with a plastic bag, and remove and dispose of the bag before stepping elsewhere in the garden or surrounding areas.
9. Use the right lawnmower setting
Although short grass tends to be inhospitable to toadstools, we do not recommend cutting your grass too short. After all, you want a healthy and lush lawn. Try cutting just about 1/3 of the height of the grass and leaving the rest intact. Ensure that the blade of the lawnmower is adjusted to the highest setting.
10. Improve soil drainage and aeration with top-dressing
Top-dressing, also known as mulch, consists of materials such as compost and sand and is important for the health of your lawn.
Every once or twice a year spread some healthy mulch on your lawn. This will help grow a thick and lush lawn, minimize moisture, and prevent the growth of fungi.
Remember to improve airflow in the soil and to clear your lawn of organic material before spreading the top dressing.
In this guide, we have provided some key tips on how you can get rid of toadstools and fungi from a lawn. The secret here is to starve the fungi in the first place by minimizing moisture, air and organic matter.
Where the fungi spores are stubborn and they will not respond to any of the suggestions, your best bet is to dig up your lawn, replace the soil and plant new grass seeds.
Which other method have you used to get rid of wild mushrooms in your lawn? Leave your comments and questions below—we’d love to hear from you.