The Q&A Archives: Mushroms

Question: I have an odd new growth of mushroms coming up in differing areas of my yard. I have them in the lawn and in barked areas where I would anticipate the soil would be more acidic. I fertilize and care for my lawn both in the spring and fall, and my barked landscaped areas I keep clean and weed free with Preen which I apply twice a year. The yard seems to get a different crop of these things each fall. Last year they were multi layer and bright orange, this year they are either tall and snow white, or they are brownish grey and short with small flat heads. I would like to know what caues them, and what the commnon denominator is that causes them to come up in differing soils! Thnaks ahead of time!

Answer: The mushroooms are the fruiting bodies of underground fungus. They appear when weather conditions are right, and disappear when conditions change. They feed on decomposing organic material under the soil, often dead tree roots or wood material possibly used at some time as a soil amendment. Once the organic matter is used up, the mushrooms will stop. You can rake them up if they bother you, but they are not harming your plants -- they are just a part of the natural cycle of decay and renewal and ultimately are part of the natural renewal process for the soil. I hope this helps.

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