Mushrooms and toadstools often pop up in lawns and can give some homeowners cause for concern, however don’t be alarmed – they are actually the product of naturally occurring fungi which keeps grass healthy. Find out more about mushrooms and toadstools and how to deal with them, with advice from Paynes Turf.
Fungi is a naturally-occurring organism in turf which feeds on organic matter and dead plant material. Most fungi present in turf is completely harmless and actually helps to keep grass healthy by releasing nutrients into the soil which provides the grass plants with a growth boost.
Mushrooms and toadstools are the reproductive (fruiting) structures of fungi and therefore cannot be eradicated from the turf whilst fungi exist in the lawn. Damp, wet, conditions and excessive thatch will encourage mushrooms and toadstools to grow quickly. If your garden is affected by excess water it’s important to aerate the lawn regularly in order to keep mushrooms and toadstools at bay. In addition, an abundance of thatch in your lawn will provide an excellent food source for fungi – ensure you keep on top of thatch by regularly scarifying your lawn, and also reduce the amount of fertiliser that you use.
Newly laid turf often develops mushrooms and toadstools and this is because the process of harvesting, transporting, and laying the turf can sometimes stimulate the naturally-occurring fungi to produce mushrooms or toadstools. Fortunately, they should disappear within a few weeks with no remedial action, and are unlikely to return once the turf is established.
Established lawns can also be affected by mushrooms and toadstools. Use a brush to remove them or pick them off by hand. Clumps of mushrooms could mean that there is plant debris under the soil which the mushrooms are feeding from – use a knife to dig under the mushrooms and remove any plant material.