Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:53 pm
Mushrooms in the lawn can appear quite suddenly and unexpectedly.
They do not fit visually into the overall picture of a well-maintained lawn. However, you are lucky that the fungi do not cause any damage to your lawn. Sure, they don’t look nice, but fortunately that’s about it.
What is the right thing to do when fungi start sprouting in your lawn and how can you prevent a fungal infestation?
I would like to give you the tips now, so that the fungi in the lawn disappear permanently and you can take the right measures, so that they also do not come back.
- 1 Causes of fungi in the lawn
- 2 Fungi in turf
- 3 What fungi occur in the lawn
- 4 Bovists in the lawn
- 5 Cap fungi
- 6 Expel the fungi in the lawn
- 7 Cut out the mushrooms
- 8 Fighting fungi with chemicals
- 9 What does not help against fungi in the lawn
- 10 Mowing down the mushrooms
- 11 Prevent fungi in the lawn
- 12 Scarify the lawn
- 13 Eliminate wood
- 14 Prevent waterlogging
- 15 A healthy lawn prevents fungal infestation
- 16 Lime the lawn
- 17 Author
Causes of fungi in the lawn
First of all, you should realize why the fungi appear in the lawn and where they come from.
Do you consider mushrooms as a symbol of a poorly maintained lawn and think that the mushrooms would not appear in a good lawn?
Then you are wrong here, because especially in a well-maintained lawn can quickly come to the fact that the fungi sprout from the ground. This is because mushrooms love a humid climate and, moreover, they prefer a rather shady place.
So it can happen that mushrooms can grow out of the ground on rainy days and nights as if suddenly. But also if the lawn sprinkler is applied too often, then these are the best conditions for the fungi.
Therefore, you should not overdo it with the lawn love and make sure that the lawn is not supplied with too much water. Because if this is not 100% ground level, the water can accumulate and thus the fungi have found your needed moisture.
Especially in summer, when the moisture is joined by warm temperatures, you should not overdo it with watering and watering the lawn. Here the danger is particularly great that the fungi can grow overnight.
If the lawn is also matted, then the liquid will literally collect in it. A matted lawn is therefore the perfect breeding ground for the fungi.
The fungal spores are driven into your garden by the wind and if you find the ideal conditions described here, they can quickly thrive. But these spores can also be found in wood. So the spores can also get onto the lawn via wood that has been stored on the wood composter.
Fungi in turf
A special preference of fungi is a freshly laid sod. There are several reasons for this, which can be attributed to the special behavior of a freshly laid sod.
- In order to maintain the turf as well as possible and for it to grow well, it is watered too much and too often. This creates an optimal breeding ground for the fungi. Therefore, even with sod, care should be taken to limit the water supply.
- In addition, the turf is not yet particularly resistant. The turf is not rooted to the subsoil and therefore there is a particularly large attack surface for the fungi.
- However, there may still be residues in the soil and subsoil that promote fungal growth. This includes, for example, wood components that decompose in the subsoil.
What fungi occur in the lawn
All the mushrooms are not particularly harmful. But if you might be interested in identifying the types of mushrooms, I will now list the most common ones found in the garden.
Bovists in the lawn
One of the common species of mushrooms that appear in lawns is the bovist. The bovist is a very conspicuous mushroom with a large round fruiting body. The mushroom looks as if it is somewhat swollen. This is to some extent true, because if this mushroom is touched, it shoots its spores explosively. The spores are located inside the mushroom, which is an adaptation to a rather dry climate.
The second large group of mushrooms in the garden are the cap mushrooms. They can be recognized mainly by their characteristic “hat”, which is located at the top of the mushroom. They appear more often in late summer and autumn, but can thrive all year round if the climate allows it.
The hats can reach a diameter of 1cm to 50cm. Unlike bovists, the spores are not located inside the mushroom, but the cap is the home of the spores. They are located on the underside of the cap and are carried by the wind.
Even though most cap fungi are not harmful to the lawn, there are nevertheless certain types of fungi that form a particularly dense “mycelium”. In this case, so many mushrooms are formed in one place that the water absorption of the soil is impaired. The caps are then so close together that rainwater is repelled by the mushroom caps. Thus, the fungi can still indirectly cause damage.
Expel the fungi in the lawn
So mushrooms do not really do any harm, but you are not really useful either. The fungi are particularly unwelcome when the lawn is actually to be used for other purposes. Then you should take the right measures to get rid of the fungi in the lawn.
Cut out the mushrooms
If it is only a few mushrooms that have spread in your garden, then you can simply proceed mechanically and cut out the mushrooms from the garden.
You can easily do this yourself with a spade. However, make sure that you also destroy the roots. Otherwise, the fungus may start sprouting again. The roots can still be up to 30cm in the ground. Therefore, you need to make a relatively deep stab.
The advantage of this method is that it is very easy and gentle to the lawn. If the roots are also cut off, the method is also particularly effective and you will not encounter any new fungi.
Of course, it is a pity for the lawn in the affected area. This is of course also destroyed with the fungus. In any case, new turf should be sown at the site.
When disposing of it, you must make sure that the fungi cannot drive their spores back onto the lawn. Therefore, the safest way is to dispose of the mushrooms in the residual waste. Disposing of them in the compost, on the other hand, is not recommended.
Fighting fungi with chemicals
Very many alternatives to fight the fungi do not exist. Besides pricking them out, of course, you can still use chemicals to kill the fungi.
However, it must be said here that there is no agent that can be used specifically against fungi. Especially for the so often occurring hat fungi there is no approved agent.
However, there are also quite conventional anti-fungal agents for the garden. These can also be used for the lawn. Whether these are strong enough to kill the fungi in the lawn is rather doubtful.
What does not help against fungi in the lawn
So the only true effective way to combat fungus in the lawn is to cut it out. But maybe this is too troublesome for you and you have a more “creative” solution?
If so, this one will probably work better in your theory than in practice.
Mowing down the mushrooms
Cutting them out involves a lot of work. After all, the mushrooms here must be cut out individually. So why not just run the lawn mower over all the mushrooms and kill them that way?
Well at first glance, the result may well be convincing. Are the mushrooms now but razed to the ground. However, you have now achieved exactly the opposite.
Thanks to the lawn mowing you have now spread the spores over the entire green area. The next time there is a heavier rainfall, more fungi will now appear, and those that you have mowed down may be able to grow back.
Therefore, mowing the fungi is not recommended.
Prevent fungi in the lawn
To prevent fungus from forming in your lawn in the first place, you can take some precautions. These are aimed at making the lawn healthier overall and worsening the conditions for the fungi.
If you take the following tips to heart, you are guaranteed not to have any problems with the fungi.
Scarify the lawn
Felt is one of the main causes of the fungus in the lawn. However, dethatching can eliminate the felt and allow moisture to better penetrate the lawn again.
Dethatching should be done about once or twice a year, for example, with a hand dethatcher. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for this. Scarifying should also be started when a layer of moss is already visible on the lawn.
Fungi do not only need moisture. Organic material is also an important nutrient for them. Old wood, which lies on the lawn and penetrates into the soil, is especially useful for this purpose.
In order to deprive the fungi of nutrients, all cut wood should be removed. Without organic material, the fungi lack nutrients.
One of the most important factors influencing the growth of fungi is moisture. If waterlogging forms on the lawn, the fungi will find an ideal place where you can easily spread.
Therefore, the lawn should always be laid out so that rainwater can drain away.
This means, on the one hand, that the lawn should be level and not have deep indentations, and on the other hand, that the lawn should be aerified.
Aerification should be distinguished from dethatching. Aerification actually works the soil as such and favors rain runoff.
A healthy lawn prevents fungal infestation
If the lawn is healthy, then it is also more resistant to fungal attack. In order for the lawn to be strong and healthy, a fertilizer should be added.
The fertilizer should have the ingredients potassium, phosphorus & nitrogen.
Potassium is crucial for the resistance of the lawn. If potassium is added, the lawn gains overall strength.
Phosphorus has a positive effect on the roots and strengthens them.
Nitrogen is beneficial for the overall growth of the lawn.
So, with this combination, you can grow a healthy lawn.
Lime the lawn
Fungi also like a lawn and soil that is slightly acidic. So if the pH is below normal, this is wonderful for the fungi.
In order for the soil to end up in the optimal environment again, lime should be added to the lawn.