The weather in South Australia recently has provided the perfect conditions for mushrooms to grow in your lawn. So, what do you do?
What are mushrooms?
Mushrooms are the fruit of a fungus and appear above ground when the conditions are at their optimum. This is usually when conditions are warm and humid, or cool and damp. Mushrooms will have a cap and a spore bearing surface (gills) that it will use to disperse spores and spread.
Why are there mushrooms in my lawn?
Many fungal diseases thrive in warm, humid conditions, others set in during cool, damp conditions. The reason they have appeared is because the environmental conditions are at their optimum for the fungi to fruit.
Mushrooms are a great sign that you have lots of organic material in your soil, which is good news for your lawn. Mushrooms will help to break down organic material and help your soil to be more nutrient rich and productive.
How to treat mushrooms
Mushrooms themselves do not do any damage to your lawn, so they are nothing to seriously worry about. But if you don’t like their appearance and would prefer them gone, you can easily remove them by hand. Usually in a short amount of time, the favourable growing conditions for mushrooms will have changed and they will naturally disappear on their own.
If you would prefer a quicker fix than waiting for conditions to change, you can use a fungicide such as Mancozeb.
You can also apply this if you have continued issues with mushrooms that don’t seem to be related to weather conditions, in addition to alleviating some natural causes of ideal growing conditions.
You may need to reduce surrounding humidity and improve your lawns drainage, which will reduce the ability for fungus to grow. It is important that you do not water your grass in the evening, by doing so only in the morning or day time, you will allow the moisture to dissipate and absorb.
Additional shade will also improve conditions for mushrooms, so make sure you trim back your trees regularly. This will also naturally help more sunlight to your grass which will improve its ability to create food and oxygen.
If your lawn is compacted, water will be unable to drain away or be absorbed properly, which will also encourage mushrooms. Giving your lawn an aerate will improve drainage and allow oxygen and nutrients to penetrate to the roots of your lawn.
Just remember, mushrooms aren’t always a bad thing to grow in your lawn as they occur mainly when conditions are just right for growth! Pick them out or treat with Mancozeb and you will be mushroom free in no time at all!