These lawn mushrooms are no fun guys!

You pour a cup of morning coffee and glance out over your lawn. Wait a minute! What are those little white bumps? They weren't there last night. If you've ever had that happen to you, you can sympathize with the frustration felt by this reader...
QUESTION: "What can I do to stop the growth of mushrooms in my backyard? I have to remove them sometimes twice weekly." - Dorothy Branch
ANSWER: Mushrooms (or toadstools) are often a sign that your lawn has insufficient drainage and is staying wet. Addressing the drainage problem is the best first step.
Simply picking the mushrooms won't get rid of the problem. The mushrooms are the reproductive (or fruiting) structures of certain kinds of fungi that are present below the surface of the lawn. The caps contain millions of microscopic spores that are wind-carried until they find a favorable site in which to grow. They then send out long filaments deep into the soil below your lawn.
An excellent online resource is this publication from the University of California http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74100.html and you can click on a direct link to that report when you find this column under the Plant Man heading at my Web site www.landsteward.org
Even though picking the 'shrooms won't do much to prevent the underlying problem, the primary reasons for removing mushrooms from lawns are to keep them away from children and pets and to improve the lawn's appearance.
Always bear in mind that some species are poisonous and you should never eat mushrooms picked from your lawn unless you are a fungi expert and you are certain they are edible! It's a good idea to keep a pair of dedicated mushroom gloves handy if removing them really is a frequent chore. This will help to keep the spores off your hands so you don't ingest them or pass them along when you touch Fido or the kids.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column titled "Turn wet land into spectacular bog garden." Recently I received the following e-mail from a reader: COMMENT: "In light of the concern with rapidly disappearing wetlands and the recent Supreme Court decision concerning filling wetlands as a possible violation of the Clean Water Act, I think you might at least have mentioned wetlands protection and [its] importance. The Corps of Engineers is responsible for monitoring and enforcing activities involving wetlands. I realize you were probably thinking about rather small tracts; still it may not take much disturbance such as excavating soil to come within the terms of wetlands protection." - John Watson
ANSWER: Good point, John. I am a strong supporter of wetlands protection and I'm pleased to take this opportunity to remind readers about the importance of wetlands preservation. As you note, I was specifically talking about those small patches of lawn or garden that are simply "wet land" rather than "wetlands." Again, you can refer to that column by visiting my Web site.
Here's another reader comment that you might find helpful:
COMMENT: "I would like to pass on some information to other gardeners. We have tried to plant a weeping cherry tree three times and every time it grows well and all of a sudden all the leaves fall off and it dies. We were told to use Bayer Systematic Insect Spray. Hopefully this is not premature but it is doing fantastic and so far the cherry tree borer has stayed away from it. I also used it on the crepe myrtles and no longer have the "sootie mold" on the leaves which comes from the aphids. Hope this helps someone." - Bob Steffon
ANSWER: I have not tried that particular product so I have no personal experience, but I'm glad to know it seems to be working for you. I always like to receive ideas and recommendations from readers and then pass them along.
The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and for resources and additional information, including archived columns, visit www.landsteward.org
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"This reader" needs to get a life, a job, or a hobby.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Good grief, are you serious? Do you really care?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
g'day earl,
for me mate that just means i have good healthy soil with oodles of organic matter in it, the mushies are there doing their bit to help in the break down process and they will of course get fewer and fewer.
so unless they are the edible ones that can be picked i'd either leave them be as they don't last long after the pop out, or just go kick them over and let them return to the soil as organic matter.
On 30 Aug 2006 09:09:53 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@Greenwoodnursery.com"
snipped With peace and brightest of blessings,
len
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.gardenlen.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Does anyone have a favorite book title, for wild mushroom identification? I'm often around where there are wild mushrooms, but have never collected any, because I don't know how to tell the edible ones from the poisonous.
Myrl Jeffcoat http://www.myrljeffcoat.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
g'day myrl,
maybe visit your local library they are bounbd to have a book, but a word to the wise after reading the book if you aren't sure then don't eat them. if you can try and find a mushroom/fungii club or seek out gardening type clubs so you can learn from and get first hand information from people who gather and eat mushrooms.
On 30 Aug 2006 21:25:56 -0700, "Myrl Jeffcoat"
snipped With peace and brightest of blessings,
len
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.gardenlen.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Myrl Jeffcoat wrote:

You are in Sacramento? For your area, the best books are the two by David Arora.
This one is a pocket guide, with many color photos: http://tinyurl.com/ozx7a
This one is more encyclopedic: http://tinyurl.com/pahof
I recommend those in particular not only because they are excellent books, but because the mushroom flora varies from place to place, and they are written by a local expert.
The Audubon guide by Lincoff is also good, but Arora is better for your area.
BEWARE of those generic, large-format, glossy mushroom books sometimes found in bookstores. Many of them are translations of European books and, while there is a good deal of overlap, you would be much better off with a local book.
Finally, I suggest you join (or at least go walking with) a local mycological club. Such clubs usually have a published schedule. Though it can be very pleasurable, mushroom picking is a risky business for most who try to learn it alone. Mushroom ID is no harder than tree ID, but the stakes are higher, and some experienced help is useful for the beginner.
Mike On the North Carolina coast - Zone 8a (Remove spam traps from email address to reply.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here's a great fungus site here in Wisconsin: http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi /. Even if you don't id the ones you have, you'll enjoy checking out the site. Suzy O, Zone 5, Wisconsin

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
>

This one is one of the best ones on line covers European and Nort American fungi
http://www.rogersmushrooms.com
-- Granity
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They are nature's golfballs, get a five iron and get some excercise.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
lol Hi David.. I never thought to practice my swing with them. I'll have to give that a try, there's this one neighbour's dog I'd love to send some peaceful warnings to ;-)
David Hare-Scott wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Box turtles like mushrooms. If you live by a field or woods in which box turtles live, throw the mushrooms you pick off the lawn there and perhaps a wandering turtle will have lunch.
Alan
--

----------------------------------------------------------------------
** Please use address alanh77[at]comcast.net to reply via e-mail. **
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All fungi is not bad. Most are not.
--
Sincerely,

John A. Keslick, Jr.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.