Hi all, longtime lurker, first time poster... Would really appreciate any
ideas on how to get rid of mushrooms from our lawn. We live in a really wet
area, with about 3 inches of topsoil over clay. We were able to get rid of
all the weeds and crabgrass and bugs and the lawn is so lush and green but
the mushrooms are really thriving. Nothing against them, just worried my
son will pull one and eat it.
Circular or semi-circular green bands of grass in a lawn may be caused by
fairy ring fungi. Rings may be from 1 to 12 or more feet in diameter and
mushrooms may or may not be present. Fairy rings get their name from the
ancient belief that mushrooms grew in circles where fairies danced. All
grasses are susceptible to fairy rings and several species of
mushroom-producing fungi may be involved. In central and northern California
Marasmius oreades is a common species, while in southern California Lepiota
species are more common.
Sometimes the only effect of the fungus is to stimulate grass growth in arcs
or circles; this growth is caused by the release of plant nutrients as the
fungal hyphae decompose organic matter in the soil. In other cases the soil
just inside the ring may become so permeated by the fungal growth that water
penetration is retarded and the grass in that area grows poorly or dies.
Fairy rings often continue to enlarge for many years. As the ring expands,
the older portions of the fungus die, leaving a larger area in the center
where weeds and undesirable grasses may become established.
Management. When the only effect of a fairy ring fungus is a ring of tall,
green grass, increasing fertilizer and irrigation will usually mask these
If fairy ring has caused significant dying or dead areas of grass, then lawn
renovation may be required. If the grass is not dead, it can reestablish
itself if water penetration is improved by breaking up the dense fungal mat
of mycelia. To improve penetration, remove cores of soil that are at least
1/4 to 1 inch in diameter and slightly deeper than the fungal mat.
Determine the depth of the fungal mat by probing the lawn area with a
trowel, shovel, or long screwdriver. If the mat is less than 3 inches thick,
the use of a lawn aerator a few times a year may be sufficient to improve
water penetration. Begin 2 feet outside the margin of the ring and work
inwards. Sweep or rake up the cores and remove them from the turfgrass.
If the fungal mat is more than 3 inches thick, a lawn aerator may not be
able to effectively remove cores of sufficient length. Also, lawn aerators
may not be powerful enough to penetrate some soils. In these cases, a soil
probe, small auger, or shovel may be needed to penetrate through and break
up the fungal mat. Remove as much of the infested soil as possible. Refill
large holes with fresh soil that is relatively free of organic matter.
Dead areas in tall fescue or other bunch-type lawns may need to be reseeded.
Creeping grasses like bermudagrass will eventually fill in. After treatment,
water until the soil is thoroughly wet. Be sure to wash the coring implement
before using it in healthy lawn areas.
In general it is more effective to manage fairy rings in the home lawn with
the cultural practices mentioned above than with a fungicide. Fungicides
usually require multiple applications and proper timing over a long period
Where complete eradication is desired, remove the soil and sod to at least a
depth of 1 foot and 18 inches beyond the outside edge of the ring. Refill
the trench with fresh soil and reseed the area. Be careful not to spill any
infested soil on adjacent healthy areas.
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