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Why Are Mushrooms Growing in My Yard? (5 Likely Reasons)

macro shot of red-topped mushroom

Multiple mushrooms spread across the yard can be a strange sight and can cause many homeowners to worry that there is a problem. Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to figure out why the mushrooms are growing, and you can easily get them to stop. Keep reading as we list several reasons that mushrooms grow in yards and what you can do about it.

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The 5 Likely Reasons Mushrooms Are Growing in Your Yard

1. Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons that mushrooms grow in people’s yards. While you want to water your lawn to help it look nice, if one part of your lawn doesn’t get enough sunlight, watering it too frequently can lead to mushroom growth.

What Can You Do About It?

If you typically water your lawn later in the day, switching to a morning routine might help. The warm sunlight will have more time to dry up the surface, making it less likely that the mushrooms will grow overnight. If that doesn’t help, you might need to adjust the total amount of water that you put on the lawn until the mushrooms disappear.

2. Heavy Rain

a flooded backyard garden after rain
Image By: Kokhan O, Shutterstock

Another reason that your yard might get too wet is recent heavy rains. Everyone gets unseasonal rain now and then, which might cause your yard to start producing mushrooms, especially if there are many trees on the property casting shade.

What Can You Do About It?

Unfortunately, this is one cause of mushroom growth that you can’t do much to stop. No one has control over the weather, but the good news is that it will not continue forever. Once the heavy rains stop pouring down, the mushrooms will likely go away.

3. Compacted Soil

While most garden plants enjoy well-draining soil, mushrooms prefer it when the dirt is hard and compact. The more compact the soil is, the easier it is for them to grow and the more you will have. If you are experiencing mushrooms in your yard for the first time or get more every year, your soil is likely becoming more compact.

What Can You Do About It?

The best way to deal with compacted soil on your property is to aerate your lawn. Many tools will help you aerate your lawn, and most are inexpensive and easy to use. They essentially poke holes in the ground, enabling air and water to come in so the soil isn’t so compact and plants can receive the nutrients that they need, which will push out the mushrooms.

4. Rotting Material

mushrooms in the wild amidst dry and rotting leaves
Image By: Tania Malréchauffé, Unsplash

A large amount of rotting and decaying material on your property, like dead leaves or wood, can create an environment that favors mushroom growth. Mushrooms help break down these materials and are a natural part of decomposition.

What Can You Do About It?

Raking your lawn can help you collect and remove any rotting material. Spend more time in areas where there are more mushrooms. If you notice a clump of mushrooms in a single spot, check under the ground too, as there might be a dead animal buried there that is causing the mushrooms to grow.

5. Too Much Shade

If you have many large trees around your home, they could be blocking out too much sunlight, enabling mushrooms to grow on the damp shady ground. You will often find them at the base of trees.

What Can You Do About It?

If you have too many trees around your property, the only thing that you can do about it is to prune them back or cut them down so more sunlight can reach your property. Pay attention to where the mushrooms are growing and where the sun is getting blocked, so you only remove what is necessary.

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Is It Bad for Mushrooms to Be Growing in My Yard?

Mushrooms growing in your yard are not necessarily bad, especially if you only see them occasionally after heavy rain. However, if they are always there, it can mean your soil is compacted, making it hard to grow plants, and even grass can have difficulty. It can also mean there is too much moisture in the ground, which can cause root rot and other problems for your plants and grass. The upside is that mushrooms usually only grow in fertile soil, so once you aerate it or reduce moisture buildup, your other plants should grow well.

mushrooms growing in the yard
Image By: SEspider, Pixabay

Are the Mushrooms in My Lawn Poisonous?

Many different mushrooms can grow in your yard, and it’s not always easy to tell which ones are poisonous. Fortunately, there aren’t many reports of poisonous mushrooms appearing in people’s lawns, so most are probably safe, but we still recommend that you avoid eating them and remove them as soon as possible to protect your health.

Should I Use a Fungicide to Remove the Mushrooms on My Lawn?

If the mushrooms on your property are out of control, a commercial fungicide can often get rid of them with a single application. However, many gardening experts recommend using it only as a last resort because mushrooms signify beneficial microbes at work that the fungicide might destroy.

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The most likely reasons mushrooms are growing in your yard are that the lawn is too wet, the soil is too compact, or there is a large amount of decaying material, especially wood, on the property. To eliminate them, reduce how much you water the lawn, and aerate it to help moisture and nutrients penetrate the surface. Remove any decaying material that you might find, and prune surrounding trees to allow in more light. As a last resort, a commercial fungicide can help you eliminate mushrooms once and for all, but it can also destroy important bacteria that keep your lawn healthy.

Featured Image Credit: Igor Yemelianov, Unsplash


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