Not long ago, a customer of ours asked about mushrooms growing in their yard. To most homeowners and commercial property owners, these umbrella shoots are an eyesore, a visual nuisance, and quite frankly look horrible to the landscape. Furthermore, due to some prolonged overdue rain, you may have notice mushrooms starting to pop up in your Tallahassee or Leon County yard too.
At first glance, you might think something got in your lawn, and you need to knock those toadstools down or pull them up, so they won’t spread, or your children and pets try to taste them. But before you reach for that umbrella shaped lawn fungi, did you know you might have uncovered something vital growing in your yard that it wants?
Are mushrooms good or bad for your lawn?
Generally, healthy lawns usually have mushrooms and are not bad for your yard. Furthermore, when they pop up in your yard, it is a sign you have a healthy underground fungus iceberg below the surface. This lawn fungi, buried in your soil, is helping you boost the ecosystem of your yard as it breaks down the organic materials into healthy nutrients your lawn needs and will use.
The way a mushroom does this is by reproducing spores, similar to seeds from a plant or tree. As the fungus releases its spores, they get spread by water or the wind. Once the spore finds its resting spot, a new fungal colony begins and starts the organic breakdown process.
What causes mushrooms to pop up in your lawn?
It is common in Tallahassee and north Florida to see mushrooms popping up when we’ve had periods of excessive moisture during our hurricane season, or it begins raining steadily after our regular periods of drought comes to an end.
Believe it or not, that extra moisture is stimulating soil microbial activity, which is beneficial for your lawn to grow and stay robust.
How did the mushroom fungi get in your yard?
As mentioned above, below the surface of your soil is the fungus iceberg. It is usually the source where the mushrooms are coming. Typically, most fungus grows to break down organic material. So, what could that material be?
That organic matter could be, buried timber or shrub roots that got left behind when the tree or plant got uprooted and removed. Other organic material might be an old tree stump, or the tree itself got plowed under to develop the land where your home or your commercial building sits.
How to lower mushroom count in your lawn?
Now that you know that decaying wood produces large amounts of mushrooms, how can you reduce the quantity of them popping up? You begin by introducing more leafy material such as grass clippings, rather than tree leaves, back into your soil. To do this, you will mulch these clippings back into your sod. What you want overall is a bacteria-rich soil instead of a woody-rich soil.
Another area for prevention is cutting back shaded areas where mushrooms typically grow. Dark, damp, and shaded areas provide the right environment for fungi to keep reproducing even after they were initially removed or mowed down.
Finally, if you notice mushrooms continuously growing in an area of your turf, where there is no shade, it is possible that area of the lawn may have drainage problems. The moisture from over watering or rain is collecting and not receding which over feeds the lawn fungi and reintroduces the shoots. In that instance, contact Dickerson Landscaping and Lawn Care to evaluate and repair your lawn is the next step.
If you found “Are Mushrooms Popping Up in Your Tallahassee Yard Good or Bad?” helpful, then check out our other article, “What’s Bugging Your Tallahassee Yard This Season?”