In the home garden mushrooms appear again and again. However, they are often not very popular with amateur gardeners. Especially not on the lawn.
Mushrooms can grow in the garden virtually overnight. Often they are so-called Schwindlinge, which – depending on the perspective – provide surprise or frustration. The clove swindler, for example, is considered a delicacy by gourmets. Amateur gardeners, on the other hand, are annoyed by the stains the fungus leaves in the lawn. For them, there is no question: the mushroom must go.
To avoid accidentally spreading fungal spores, there are a few things to keep in mind when removing mushrooms from the garden. However, not only for mushroom lovers the question arises: should you ban mushrooms from the garden at all?
How to remove mushrooms from the garden
If a mushroom in the garden partout disturbs, it can be gently cut off with a sharp garden knife. However, only the fruiting body is removed. The actual fungus is the mycelium, which lives on in the garden soil.
Which mushrooms are harmless in the garden and which you’d rather give a wide berth?
Some species of mushrooms that grow in the home garden.
Some mushrooms are inedible, other species can be made into tasty dishes after careful examination. But be careful: some of these mushroom species have poisonous doppelgangers. To avoid mushroom poisoning, therefore, only mushrooms that can be identified beyond doubt should be processed. Five species of mushrooms that appear in the garden:
clove swallow (Marasmius oreades).
The clove swallow (Marasmius oreades) is one of the edible mushrooms in the home garden. The garden mushroom, also known as the field swallow or lawn swallow, has pale lamellae and a slightly brownish cap. This is two to six centimeters in size and initially domed. Later it spreads out flat. The cap edges often appear slightly frayed. Amateur gardeners do not like this fungus, because it stresses the lawn with its witch rings.
However, if you can identify it without a doubt as a clove swallow, you can dry the cap and the tip of the stem wonderfully and use it for sauces and soups. The clove swallow is also delicious fried. Unfortunately, it has several poisonous doppelgangers.
But clove swallows can even be confused with deformed, slightly poisonous carbolic mushrooms (Agaricus xanthodermus) or even with deadly poisonous green bulbous mushrooms (Amanita phalloides) if the characteristics are not properly observed.
giant puffball (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant puffballs can grow up to 50 centimeters. They are spherical and first white, later yellowish-brown. Impressive: the mushroom can draw a witch’s ring up to ten meters in size. Whoever discovers this mushroom in his garden can look forward to a rich meal. Because the relative from the family of the Champingons is considered one of the largest edible mushrooms.
recognize tintlings (Coprinus sensu lato) in the lawn.
Mushroom lovers will be delighted with this find in the garden: crested tintlings (Coprinus comatus) are considered excellent edible mushrooms with a mild flavor. The other tintling species are often more delicate and not necessarily edible mushrooms. Good to know: These mushrooms tend not to form witch rings. You can recognize the tintling by the white to gray or brownish acorn-shaped umbrella that forms a bell shape over time.
white anise mushroom (Agaricus arvensis or Psalliota arvensis).
Also known as sheep mushroom or sheep oyster mushroom, it is one of the edible and very tasty cap mushrooms.
How to recognize the anise mushroom? “The mushroom has grayish-white to slightly pinkish lamellae when young and chocolate-brown lamellae when old. A very important characteristic is the smell of anise or bird sand. This can best be determined by peeling off the cap skin a bit and smelling the released flesh of the mushroom.
This is how you can distinguish it from tuberous-leaved mushrooms. Moreover, mushrooms do not have pure white lamellae (see above). It is more difficult to distinguish carbol mushrooms, which have lamellae that turn chocolate brown – just like their edible relatives. However, as their name suggests, the “carbolis” do not smell of anise, but of a pharmacy, hospital or chemicals,”
Thus, in Europe, the green amanita (Amanita phalloides) and the cone-hooded amanita (Amanita virosa) are present in many regions. Especially in the Mediterranean region or in warm areas, the white tuberous-leaf mushroom (Amanita verna) is also present. All three species are deadly poisonous!
common giant umbrella mushroom (Macrolepiota procera).
When it is there, this mushroom is hard to miss in the garden. The common giant umbrella mushroom (Macrolepiota procera) is also known to many mushroom hunters as Parasol or giant umbrella mushroom. Its trademark is the large, scaly cap. In the early stages, it can be recognized by its tympanum-like mushroom head. When it opens its umbrella, the skin cracks and the characteristic scales appear. The head of this mushroom makes it to 30 centimeters.
The common giant umbrella mushroom also belongs to the mushroom relatives and can be found frequently throughout from July to October. Unfortunately, however, this species of mushroom is little appreciated by amateur gardeners because of its tendency to form witches’ circles. The common giant umbrella mushroom should not be eaten raw. However, it can be wonderfully breaded and fried like a cutlet. But be careful! In the process, the fruiting bodies readily draw fat, which makes the mushrooms harder to digest. Regardless of this, giant umbrellas are generally not tolerated by some people. However, those who like it will also enjoy dried and powdered stems, which add flavor to dishes.
Are tree mushrooms poisonous?
Mushrooms don’t just grow on lawns or meadows. Tree mushrooms can also be found on garden trees. Although they resemble common edible mushrooms that you can also grow yourself in the garden, it is better not to eat them. Some of them are suitable for consumption. However, as a layman, it is better to refrain from doing so.
Matching: Which tree fungi are really harmful – and what can you do?
Some tree mushrooms are not only inedible, but quite poisonous. These include the cinnamon soft fungus (Hapalopilus nidulans). Other tree fungi, such as the widespread sulfur fungus (Laetiporus sulphureus), can be harmful to health if they grow on a poisonous yew tree, for example. When in doubt, as always with mushrooms, if you are not sure, be sure to consult an expert who can accurately identify the mushroom.
Sulfur porcini are also poisonous when raw. Some of them also contain bitter substances. They should first be scalded and then fried. Only younger specimens that can be easily cut are used. Some people recognize in the mushroom a taste of chicken, so it is also called “chicken of the woods”. Discussed sulfur porcini and several other species of porcini are now even used for medicinal purposes.
Mushrooms in the garden – be careful when removing them
Mushrooms spread through their spores. These can be carried away by a gust of wind, for example. But they also adhere to the fur of a passing animal or to a human trouser leg. And it is also the human being who inadvertently spreads the fungal spores by removing the fungi incorrectly.
In general, fungi have an important function in nature. Biologists know various terms for this, such as “subsequent decomposer”. In a nutshell: Mushrooms clean up in the forest and garden and enrich the soil quality.
In addition, there are symbiotic and parasitic lifestyles among fungi. “The former is practiced, for example, by many species of red fungi, which includes porcini (Boletus reticulatus, Boletus edulis, among others). These fungi form communities with trees, from which both benefit. So if you remove the fungus, the tree also suffers.
“Many gardening enthusiasts bring the reticulated witch bolete (Suillellus luridus) to me at the mushroom consultation at the Botanical Museum in Berlin,” says Beyer. The fungus forms communities primarily with beech, birch and linden trees, and loves mineral-based soils, which are abundant in gardens and parks. Mushroom expert Beyer says: “Due to its red to orange-yellowish tubes and the blue discoloration of the flesh, the compact mushroom looks quite a bit “spooky” for some garden friends. It is poisonous when raw, tasty when well cooked, but not tolerated by all. It also dries well.”
Parasitic, on the other hand, are the Hallimasch species (Armillaria solidipes and others), for example. If one has the latter in the garden on living trees, one should have it checked whether the tree must be felled, since its stability may be impaired. Incidentally, this also applies to infestation by the aforementioned sulfur fungus (Laetiporus sulphureus),” explains Beyer.
Last but not least, however, many mushrooms are protected by law. So anyone who wants to remove them from the garden should always carefully consider whether they are not doing more harm than good.
How to properly dispose of mushrooms in the garden?
Mushrooms are generally disposed of in household waste. They have no place in the compost. There they would continue to multiply and then be distributed throughout the garden when the compost is discharged.
The situation is different, of course, if you want to grow mushrooms on the compost, such as mushroom species (but then poisonous mushrooms can also “sneak in” unintentionally). By the way, mushrooms have an easy time reproducing if you accidentally cut off the fruiting bodies while mowing the lawn.
When do mushrooms grow in the garden?
Mushrooms thrive particularly quickly after a late summer downpour. On the other hand, they do not like full sun and usually prefer to find a shady spot under a tree or shrub. A lush lawn or dead wood also magically attracts the spores. A matted lawn also provides an ideal bed for the spores to settle. If you do not feel like picking up and removing the fungi, you should regularly maintain, fertilize and scarify your lawn. Many types of fungi disdain a nutrient-rich soil, they rather like it low in nutrients.
But the fungus expert qualifies: Many species of fungi also grow precisely on nutrient-rich soils! Heavy fertilizing can also be detrimental to the plants.
To prevent greater colonization by fungi, you should also regularly measure the pH value of the garden soil. If the value of the soil measures 6.5 or less, the soil is acidic. Fungi particularly like to sprout in it. You can neutralize the soil with lime. To determine the pH, you can use a soil meter that can also measure moisture, among other things.
Fungi experts urge caution with pH levels
However, fungus experts say that while you may drive away some fungi if you change the pH of your garden soil. However, in this way you attract other fungi in turn.
Witch rings in the lawn – what is behind them?
Various cap fungi, such as the meadow mushroom (Agaricus campestris), the carnation swallow (Marasmius oreades), the Mairitterling (Calocybe gambosa) or also the alkaline redling (Entoloma rhodopolium) tend to spread in a circular or semicircular orientation in so-called witch rings. In the long run, the witch rings with their fungal fruiting bodies tend to damage the turf. Dry damage and discoloration are the result.
Alternative: Simply do not remove the fungus from the garden
If you are not bothered by the sight of the mushrooms, you can simply leave them until they disappear on their own. Not all types of fungi cause harm. On the contrary: as already mentioned, mushrooms are basically also important helpers in the forest and garden. And some edible mushrooms are also quite easy to grow yourself in the garden.