The Q&A Archives: Mushrooms In Lawn

Question: What can we put down on lawn to prevent mushrooms, we tried
lime, also what fertilizer do we use now for the fall?

Answer: Some mushrooms grow in decaying wood or tree roots under the soil surface, and others feed off grass roots, killing the turf. In either case, the only chemical-free way to control the mushrooms is to remove the mycelia (the "stem" of the mushroombody) from the soil. If rotting wood is the source of mushroom growth, remove it and 2" more of soil that surrounded the wood. If you have "fairy ring" fungi that grow in a circle, the fungus is feeding on your turf, and you'll have to remove the grass and 2" of surrounding soil as well. Excess moisture tends to encourage fairy rings, so water your lawn only as needed. Hope this helps!

There is no easy or inexpensive control for this beneficial fungi. The easiest strategy is to mask the effects by fertilizing the whole yard so that the impact of the nitrogen released by the fungi is not so visible. You could remove the sod within two feet of either side of the ring, fumigate the soil, and replant with clean sod. But this seems a drastic, and temporary, solution to a minor issue. Another option is to sit back in wonder and amazement and enjoy the natural cycles of nature occurring in your yard as this beneficial fungi makes fertilizer from leaf litter right in front of your eyes!

Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is a good idea and will help the grass endure cold weather. Choose a fertilizer with a lower nitrogen, higher phosphorus and potassium content. (The three numbers on the package indicate amounts of N-P-K. Choose a low N and high P and K.)

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