Mushrooms and Your Lawn – Part Two: Killing and Preventing Them

In my first article of this two part series on mushrooms, I discussed why and how they appear on your lawn.

In part two, I will discuss how to kill them as well as prevent them from appearing on your lawn in the first place.

In part one I pointed out that a mushroom grows from a fungus network called a mycelium that takes root under your lawn. So plucking the mushroom cap from the ground is not going to rid your lawn of these pesky growths. Still, it’s a start. Lawn care specialists suggest that you pluck them as soon as they appear so they don’t release spores, which results in more of them. Besides pulling them from the ground, you could also mow or rake over them. However, this action could cause them to release their spores.

Mushroom fairy ring. (Courtesy: Timo Newton-Syms at

Mushroom fairy ring.
(Courtesy: Timo Newton-Syms at

Once you have pulled the mushroom from the ground, dispose of them in a plastic bag. Once the bag is full, tie it up securely, and toss it into a trashcan. This prevents any chance that their spores could be spread.

Next, it is advised that you spread nitrogen fertilizer on your lawn to deter their growth. We learned in part one that mushrooms grow in organic matter. Fertilizer will decompose this matter and leave nothing on which the mushrooms can feed. It is suggested that you use a pound of nitrogen fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. It is also recommended that you don’t use slow release or water-soluble fertilizer. It might help to add some phosphorous and potassium too. The ratio breakdown is three parts nitrogen, one part phosphorous, and two parts potassium. Moreover, be prepared to do this procedure every year.

You will also have to kill the mycelium. Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of dish soap with 2 gallons of water. Poke holes into the soil around the mushrooms using a shovel, trowel or screwdriver and fill them with the soapy water.

Potted plants are susceptible to mushrooms and other kinds of fungi. That’s because there is a good chance they will be over-watered. If the potted plant is indoors, then the air is warm and still, a perfect environment for the creation of mushrooms. To keep potted plants free of them:

· Pluck them as soon as they appear and throw them into the trash immediately.
· Keep plants near a window or fan so they get enough circulated air.
· Don’t over-water. Let the soil dry at the top between watering.
· Use a watering bulb to get water deep into the soil inside the pot to moist it while keeping the upper layer of soil dry.

Often a fairy ring of mushrooms will appear on your lawn. This is a ring of mushrooms. Sometimes the mushroom caps are not visible. If this is the case, the fairy ring will appear as a ring of dark green grass or circle of dead grass.

Get a trowel, shovel or screwdriver and scrape the soil around the mushrooms. You may see a white, fibrous substance in the soil. This is the fungal mat. You will need to eradicate this.

Use a lawn aerator on the area if the mat is fewer than 3-inches thick. Start aerating 24-inches outside the outer rim of the area, and work your way towards the center.

You will have to dig out the fairy rings if the fungus mat is deeper than 3-inches. Take a shovel and dig out the soil that includes the mushrooms. Dig about 12-inches deep. Once the mushrooms are out, expand the ring by 12-inches to 18-inches to either side. 24-inches would be even better. Dig already to the center of the ring.

Throw the mushrooms and contaminated soil into a large garbage bag, tie the bag up securely, and throw it in the trashcan.

Fill the plugs with fresh soil.

Repair the area with a quick-growing grass. Be aware that it will take some time for the grass to grow. If you wish to hurry the process, cover the bare soil with turf or sprinkle some grass seeds over the soil.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.