How Do You Stop Mushrooms Growing In Your Garden?

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Fungi in the lawn

Fungus in the lawn is one of the biggest nightmares for garden owners and lawn enthusiasts. The unwanted roommates in the lawn often come overnight and literally shoot out of the ground overnight. Fungi in the lawn can be black, white or brown, they can appear singly, in groups or even in an arc or even circle. The roll lawn guide from explains where fungi in the lawn come from, how you can prevent it and what countermeasures you can take.

Only ugly? Or also dangerous?

Mushrooms in the lawn, which are mostly those from the groups hat fungus or bovist, such as meadow mushroom or field gerling. Since they are naturally completely different in color from the turf, they are immediately noticeable at first glance, and for this reason alone, mushrooms in the lawn are simply unpopular: they cause unsightly stains. But in general, you do not have to worry much about the fungi themselves, because they alone are not dangerous for your lawn at all. However, they are often the symptoms of a lawn disease, and you will have to take care of them.

How do fungi develop in the lawn?

For example, fungi can be the result of a fungal network in the subsoil of the lawn. Then, in principle, they are only the symptom of a literally deeper disease in the lawn, or in the soil, which you need to address. But fungi in general always like to grow where they find the optimal living conditions for them. This is the case, for example, in shady, moist areas. So if you have an area of the lawn that is permanently shaded, the chances of fungi growing in the lawn are presumably higher with it.

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Fungi due to improper lawn care

However, it is also possible that you yourself have provided such good conditions for fungi in the lawn, for example, by ensuring the high humidity yourself. Wrong lawn care, more precisely too frequent or intensive watering can also be a reason for fungi to develop in the lawn. Proper watering is generally enormously important for a healthy, well growing lawn. You can read more about this here. Especially waterlogging can quickly cause uninvited co-inhabitants in the lawn.

Turf is even more susceptible

Special care must be taken with rolled turf. It is particularly susceptible to fungal growth directly after installation. Freshly laid turf has not yet fully developed and does not yet form such a strong root system at the beginning. This is one reason for fungi in the lawn. Second reason can also be organic components in the soil, which are now, during the processes of growing more decomposed and cause fruiting bodies on the surface. Third reason is again too frequent watering in the growing phase.

What to do against fungi in the lawn?

However or wherever the fungi in the lawn come from – much more important is the question of how to remove the fungi again. The rule here is: don’t just run over the mushrooms with the lawn mower, because that way you spread the spores of the mushrooms all over the lawn, which in turn could end in a “fungal” disaster. Instead, proceed as follows: Carefully cut off the mushrooms with a knife and prick out the affected areas of the soil a few centimeters deep. This is the only way to ensure that the fungal tissue in the soil is also removed. Remember, the fungi are only the fruiting bodies, the cause is deeper here. It’s like when you weed, that must eventually be removed including the root, otherwise it will come back.

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Fruiting body and mycelium

A good comparison, because it is similar with mushrooms and their “roots”. The root of the fungus is called mycelium. This is the actual fungus, a network that is in the soil and which also has root-like growth. The fungus that we see on the surface, in the turf, is just the fruit that serves as a spore distributor for the fungus. So, to completely remove the fungus, all the infested soil must go. In severe cases of fungal infestation – such as witch rings – this may also mean that you need to do a complete soil replacement. Dispose of the soil thus excavated in the trash and do not compost it, otherwise the fungus would just sort continue to proliferate.

Fungi in the lawn: Precautionary measures

But before it gets to the point where you may have to replace your soil extensively, you can take preventive measures against fungus in the lawn well in advance. To prevent the unattractive, annoying fungi and their fruiting bodies from growing in the lawn in the first place, you should dig up the subsoil well before you lay your sod, or remove plant residues, such as the old sod. In this way, you will avoid large accumulations of dead root debris, dead wood and the like, on which the fungi would feed extensively. Fungi also form more frequently in places where dead plants stood.

Scarifying against fungi in the lawn

And – as mentioned – moisture and wetness are also ideal for fungal growth. Now, it may be that your lawn is too compacted or that lawn thatch has settled on it. In this case, you should scarify your turf, because such a carpet of lawn thatch, consisting of lawn clippings and mosses, is an ideal breeding ground for fungi. In addition, the lawn felt robs the soil of light and water. That’s why we advise scarifying the lawn in such cases – typically done during lawn care in spring – to remove the felt and ultimately prevent the “secondary disease” fungus.

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Fertilizing can also help

Sometimes it is also due to the proportionality of nutrients in the soil that fungus spreads in the lawn. If your lawn is weakened for any reason, it will not be able to defend itself as well against fungi, or dead lawn elements will be food for fungi. Strengthen your lawn by fertilizing it properly. It is best to choose a slow-release fertilizer with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus to strengthen the lawn’s defenses, growth and also its roots. By additionally adding soil activators, you give the lawn a mineral support that naturally prevents fungal growth.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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