Lawn Issue? - Knowledgebase Question

Charlotte, No
Question by keithmcfarla
October 18, 2009
I seem to have in recent weeks some type of fungus or mushroom looking type plants growing throughout my back yard.

I purchased some 'lawn fungus control' to assist. Before I begin using, I wanted to inquire if that is the best route to use in resolving the matter?



Answer from NGA
October 18, 2009


I can't tell from your description whether you are finding mushrooms in your lawn or you see a moldy type fungus. For fungus in grasses, Corn gluten meal is the best control. Apply about 15 pounds corn gluten meal per 1000 sq.ft of lawn, and water it in. Or, you can disolve 4 teaspoons baking soda per gallon of water, and spray it lightly. The corn gluten meal will work a little better and it also adds many nutrients to the soil, as well as being a deterrent to weed seeds to germinate.

If you are seeing actual mushrooms, 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 mushroom body) from the soil. If rotting wood is the source of mushroom growth, remove it and the 2 inches 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 inches of surrounding soil as well. Excess moisture tends to encourage fairy rings, so water your lawn only as needed. There is no easy or inexpensive control of fairy ring 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 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!

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