Among the fungus that can grow up in your lawn, mushrooms are the most common yet also the most curious. These specimens are the fruits, if you will, of fungus that feeds on organic matter in the earth. They are also the spore-bearers, helping the fungus to continue the circle of life. If you discover mushrooms in your yard, here’s what’s going on and what you can do.
When fungi flower, they do so when weather and soil conditions are just right. As mentioned before, fungi feed off of organic matter, helping to hasten the decomposition process. Moist, organic soil and shade are its perfect growing conditions. After a long rain, you are more likely to find the fungal fruits than not.
To prevent mushrooms in your yard, take away the conditions in which they thrive. Although you can’t keep rain away, you can reduce shady areas by trimming back or thinning trees and shrubs to a healthy shape. You can also limit organic matter in the yard like dog feces or rotting tree stumps.
Excellent lawn care practices will also reduce mushroom growth. For example, if you have compacted soil, rainwater can pool and create a soggy haven for fungus. Aeration can fix this problem, though, and bring necessary oxygen to the soil. Should your yard have clay soil, a drainage system can help reduce not only fungal growth but property and lawn damage as well. Meanwhile, if your lawn has a build-up of thatch, you will need to remove it lest fungus begins to feast on it.
One should consider how mushrooms in your yard can be a good sign. Organic matter gives rich nutrients to the lawn, and mushrooms help to break it down faster. Should the odd growths bother you, you can always knock them over. Typically, they die out when the sun is out and the soil is dry.
Fungi to Worry About
Mushrooms may proliferate through their spores, but they are generally self-contained and do not pose a threat to the grass. Rather, they may help give the grass more nutrients on which to feed. However, there are some types of turf fungus that are a threat to lawns, including fusarium blight, brown patch, rust, and dollar spot. While some fungicides can put out those issues, proper lawn care will most easily remedy the problem.
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