Mushroom problem

Asked December 4, 2016, 7:18 PM EST

My front lawn is shaded most of the day. This fall (and last fall) I had dozens of huge mushrooms in the lawn. I have several kinds but most are dark brown with a flat top and measure up to eight inches across. I realize they can be spread so I was very careful last fall not to walk on them. I have been removing them by breaking them off at ground level. Is there anything I can put on my lawn to discourage their return next fall?

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

The response to your questions is one of those good-news-bad-news stories. The good news is that mushrooms are a normal event in lawns; then, at least as far as you are concerned, the bad news is that nothing is available to get rid of them entirely.

This year, the environment – the combination of rainfall, temperatures and time of year – has been perfect for mushroom growth. Some sprout from naturally-occurring mycorrhizae -- fungi which have a beneficial relationship with roots of trees and shrubs in your landscape and will assist those plants to acquire various required nutrient elements. At the same time, other fungi are helpful in a different way; they decompose dead organic matter in the soil, releasing the basic components for use by living plants.

The bottom line is that mushrooms come and go on their own schedule. Some years, such as this fall, they are especially numerous; other years, none may appear. You can remove them as you see them. You can safely discard them in the trash or in the yard debris bin.

If you have additional questions, please ask when you reply to this email.