Mushrooms in my lawn

Asked August 3, 2019, 12:05 PM EDT

Hi my name is Steve and I live in Gladstone OR. I'm having a real issue with mushrooms in my lawn. I'm also battling with keeping my grass to stay green. This is brand new house, I think the soil is one issue, it's clay like. What can I do about the mushrooms and what can I do to help the soil. I'm constantly having to fertilize to keep my front yard green. My backyard is where I'm having the issue.

Clackamas County Oregon lawns and turf mushrooms

1 Response

Thank you for your question, Steve. You are experiencing two phenomena common to a newly built house. These, too, shall pass! First, you have mushrooms because, at the base of each mushroom there is a valuable soil fungus that is decomposing a tree root (or eight or twenty) that remained after the developer cut down a tree to construct your house. Just cut or mow off the mushrooms, and they will soon be gone. (Well five years give or take.) Second, in the process of construction, heavy equipment compacted the soil, driving out air and water from the already challenging clay soil. It will take time, but loosening up the soil is best accomplished by adding organic matter. You don’t need to bring on more (lighter) equipment for it to ‘work.’ There are trillions of soil microbes to do it for you—bacteria, fungi, nematodes and their larger ‘cousins,’ the earthworms. The important thing to keep them alive and ‘working’ is to apply water, since they all need a certain amount of soil moisture to live. Here is an OSU Extension article with more information: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec1561 Good luck!