The Q&A Archives: Mushrooms In My Lawn

Question: My lawn has mushrooms in a fairly shady area. How do I get rid of them without spreading the spores and what can I do to prevent them from coming back? I prefer organic methods, if there are any.

Answer: If the mushrooms are random, or scattered, rather than in a circle, they are probably growing because there's something underground that's decomposing. Usually an old tree stump, tree roots, or even leftover wood from construction are the causes for mushrooms growing on the soil surface. You can dig up the debris, or you can just rake up the mushrooms before they mature and release spores (that will produce more mushrooms).

Mushrooms can also be a result of poor nutrition and poor drainage in your lawn. Rake to remove the mushrooms, then put your lawn on a regular maintenance schedule. You may need to aerate the lawn to remove decomposing thatch and help with the compaction problem. Fertilize four times a year with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, applying one pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn per year. Be sure to water regularly so the lawn will grow thick enough to crowd out (or hide) the mushrooms.

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