Weird Looking Mushrooms in My Yard [How to Identify Them]


yard mushrooms

How do you know that you have a good and healthy lawn? Through the growth of mushrooms. They are the fruity body or the reproductive part of the fungi growing on your lawn.

These mushrooms help with the breaking down of the organic material in your yard hence making it more healthy and productive.

Therefore, if you see a mushroom, just know that there is a fungus growing somewhere in the soil of your yard. As well as some sort of decaying of wood or trees.

Mushrooms are almost always a good thing. This is because they represent beneficial microorganisms in the soil. Also known as the living soil. Meaning your soil is very healthy and fertile.

These microorganisms break down lignin-based organic matter otherwise known as wood, decaying tree roots, tree leaves, or the bark.

Fungi is the only one that can decompose wood. How wonderful is that?

In order to get rid of them, you have to first learn how to identify them. This will help in avoiding the problem of being overwhelmed and discouraged by all the weird-looking different types of mushrooms.

Sometimes you will not see the whole plant, just the head of the mushrooms. So just mowing over the mushroom is not going to solve the problem.

The only way to completely get rid of mushrooms is by generously spraying your yard with fungicide. It is even advisable to do a double treatment, the granular fungicide then the spray fungicide.

These herbicides will kill not just the fungi but also every other good organic bacteria in your yard.

Another option would be getting rid of all trees and woody materials that are growing in your yard. Which is not realistic is it?

The majority of the mushrooms are harmless. However, there is a remote possibility that there is a poisonous mushroom growing in your yard. for example the popularly known destroying angel mushrooms.

Although poisonous mushrooms are rare, it is hard to distinguish between a toxic mushroom and a non-toxic mushroom.

The best option for getting rid of the mushrooms is by leaving them alone because they will disappear. They mostly grow in cool environments that consistently receive rain. 

Keep in mind that although these fruiting bodies or mushrooms disappear, the fungal mycelium is still growing in the soil. And it will continue to grow and persist as long as there is organic matter in the soil. 

Therefore the mushrooms will appear again when the conditions are right. Maybe in a year or so.

Mushrooms barely survive in soil that is dried out. So if they appear during the rainy season, they will disappear when the sun comes back on. 

However, if they constantly appear on your lawn, despite the season, then you are probably overwatering your yard. That sogginess in the soil makes the perfect conditions for the growth of mushrooms.

Ensure you are watering the lawn with the right amount of water required that will allow the soil to completely dry out. This will greatly reduce the number of mushrooms in your yard.

There is also a home remedy that you could use to get rid of the mushrooms. All you need is the dishwashing liquid detergent and water. Begin by mowing over the mushrooms then punch a bunch of holes around where they are growing.

After that, put 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid detergent into 2 gallons of water. Then walk over to where you punched the holes and generously pour the mixture. The sulfate in the detergent will kill the fungus.

You will have to repeat this method two to three times to effectively clear up fungus. The good news is, that the sulfate will not kill the grass in your yard.

In the morning, the mushrooms are usually very large and white in color, but by the time it is evening. They usually have turned into a brown color.

Overfertilization can also cause a reaction with a lot of moisture and heat which are the perfect recipe for the growth of fungi. Especially those fertilizers with urea.

Another reason for having mushrooms could be that you cut the grass too short. This causes the grass to be exposed hence being susceptible to fungus.

On the other hand, when the grass is too long, they usually create a mat that prevents sunlight from penetrating through. That area then becomes hot creating a conducive environment for the fungus and mushrooms to grow.

Keep in mind that fungi reproduce at a very high rate. You might clear out all the mushrooms while going to bed and wake the following morning to a lawn full of mushrooms.

The white mushrooms are usually taller than the Brown mushrooms.

Avoid mowing over the mushrooms because you might help in increasing their population. The mowing spreads the spores of the mushrooms.

If your yard is a small area, opt to pull out the mushrooms by hand. Ensure you pull out as much of the stem as possible. In case you have a shady area try to shed some more light. For example, trimming the trees with overhanging branches.

This method could be tedious if you have a bigger yard. In this case, you could opt to live with the mushrooms. They have a short lifespan and will die out as soon as it is hot.

Another great option of reducing the mushrooms in your lawn would be through improving the airflow of your soil. Here you could till the yard in order to turn over the soil while getting rid of the dead matter within the soil.

You could also try to minimize the number of mushrooms in your yard by introducing more leafy materials to your soil. An easy way to do this is by mulching your grass clippings.

Sometimes mushrooms can grow in a perfectly circular pattern. These types of mushrooms are called the fairy ring fungus. When they grow in such a perfectly circular pattern it would mean that something organic is going on in that specific area.

It could be a stump of a tree that was cut down a few years ago and then covered with soil that is now decaying. During this process, some gases and fumes are usually released to come up to the ground surface. Hence creating a mushroom pattern.

Heavy rains do enhance the growth of mushrooms around the tree stump. As mentioned earlier, they can’t survive on dried-out soil. Here you have two options. 

Either dig up the stump or wait it out to fully decay and enrich your soil with nutrients while in the process.

Most mushrooms that are poisonous will either give you a headache or make you throw up. It’s rare that one of the mushrooms will kill you except for the death cap. It kills your cells and concentrates in your liver, and kidney causing the organs to shut down.

Death caps are amanita mushrooms that grow on the roots of trees. They take on the sugar of the roots while giving back nutrients thus creating a symbiotic relationship.

Their pores degrade quickly hence not traveling far. However, They can easily move to a new host of trees through the roots.

There is really no easy way to tell if a mushroom is poisonous or not. You have to become an expert and do your research. Especially if you are a mushroom enthusiast who enjoys eating them. And you would not mind having them in your garden.

Gardening mushrooms in your yard is a good idea if you live in an environment that either rains a lot or has high humidity. They don’t take up much of your space and they will be inevitable in such a moist area. Why not take advantage of making delicious meals with it?

Here you get to buy the spores or the seeds of the mushrooms. They are usually ready to harvest when the cap has fully opened and separated from the stem. This happens in about 2-3 weeks.

Keep in mind that once you harvest them, the roots will rot. Therefore, you have to pour the spores again for them to regrow. 

Moreover, ensure that you consult with experts about which mushrooms are safe to grow, and eat plus how they are cooked. You don’t want to end up poisoning yourself.

When eaten, mushrooms are a rich, low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and an antioxidant. They are also known to mitigate the risk of developing serious health conditions. Such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Each mushroom has different traits to tell them apart. For example, there are those that turn blue when you cut them into two while there are those that glow in the dark.

Other examples of mushrooms in your yard include chicken of the woods. Which have a bright yellow color and grow in clumps on top of the other. Rumor has it they taste like chicken when well cooked hence their name.

We also have the wine cap mushrooms. They are wine red in color and commonly grow in wood chips and mulch. 

Another one is the Spring field cap which grows in large numbers in any area that is woody. They are brown in color and develop cracks on their cap when they mature.

Then there are the stinkhorn mushrooms. These ones grow everywhere. On the lawns, flowerbeds, woods, and on trails. They are known for their unique variety of shapes and their smell.

You might have noticed on the trees in your yard the bird nest mushrooms. Their fruit is egg-like and is usually attached to anything woody, even on the sticks.

Another common yard mushroom is the weeping widow. It grows in clusters on the grass near tree stumps. They are hairy, and turns brown in color but turn into a dark grey color when they mature.

Those mushrooms that appear in the morning and disappear in the evening are known as milky cone caps. They enjoy the early morning dew when the temperature is cool and disappear in the afternoon.

There is also the mower mushroom. Named after its constant appearance in the lawns. Its color changes with moisture levels.

Not forgetting the puffball mushrooms which can be large or small. When they grow in your yard, you might mistake them for your child’s ball. Don’t kick it, because you will end up spreading the spores all over your yard and increasing their population.

Last but not least is the ringless honey mushrooms. They mostly appear during summer in dense clusters with dry clusters and are covered in dark scales. Their name comes from the fact they have no ring on their stems.

When mushrooms appear on your lawn, it does not necessarily mean that it is time to spray fungicide. It is a very normal thing for them to appear, especially in moist environments. They do very well.

Mushrooms may taste very good in dishes and look good as ceramic decorations. But also be visually frustrating when they pop up in your beautiful yard. Especially if you are not a fan.

It is true that they are harmless and would benefit your yard with nutrients. If you can’t hand pick them out, you could pour white vinegar in the ratio of 1-4 with water. Ensure you pour only on the areas with mushrooms because the vinegar tends to kill the grass and plants.

The vinegar contains acetic acid which is an active ingredient in killing the garden mushrooms.

In conclusion, if you don’t want the mushrooms in your yard. The best course of action would be to prevent them. You do this by ensuring that your yard is receiving ample sunlight.

Have a good drainage system set up so that your yard is not developing moisture. In addition to that, get rid of piles of dead or decaying plants in the debris.

Remember if you have mushrooms on your lawn, it means that there is beneficial microbial activity occurring in your soil. Which is important for a series of soil reactions, organic matter decomposition, and nutrient cycling. Don’t be too harsh on them!

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