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mushrooms on lawn

 
                                
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I read your information about mushrooms but had a few questions.  Do I try to remove the mushrooms or do I let them die out?  I have mushrooms that are standing and also clumps of them in lines close to the ground.  We had alot of rain recently when I noticed the abundance of mushrooms taking up residence on my lawn.  Our lawn is relatively new sod that was laid just over a month ago.  Please help. Thanks!
Angie
 
paul wheaton
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The mushrooms that are in lines --- I'll bet that if you look closely, it's actually a large circle.  Maybe six feet in diameter!

I would let them go.  You're probably watering your new sod a lot until it gets roots well established.  When the excess water stops, so will the mushrooms.
 
                                  
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Location: Chicagoland area
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I live in Chicagoland (4 brutal seasons) and I have a new house for a year now.  Seeing shrooms sporadically here and there... some shady, some sunny areas, no real pattern.  Any quick fix?

Also, had a stump removed in the spring, added soil and new seed to an area 20' by 20'... mainly sunny.  Grass came in fine, but now I have shrooms up the wazoo.  I realize the decaying stump and its chips are to blame... but for how long?  One year?  Two?  Forever?

When removing the shrooms, am I actually spreading the spores and making it worse  Should I employ 'careful handling' techniques?   

I have kids toddling around and really want the mush gone.  Plus that spot is right in front of the front door and stoop.  Thanks in advance.  Also, I read through your site for quite some time and I am impressed and getting inspired to change some of my ways...... FYI. 
 
paul wheaton
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Shrooms love the woody stuff.  And moisture. 

I don't remember ever seeing mushrooms in a tall, thick green turf. 

How high have you been mowing?

How much have you been watering?

 
                                  
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Location: Chicagoland area
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Wow, thanks for the prompt reply...

The house/lawn is 22 years old, the prior owner did not keep it up that well when we moved in last summer.  I have done tons to make it thicker, greener, and less weedy.  This spring I got a new Honda mower w/ the 4 blades and the mulching plug, it works well and uses half the gas of my old Toro.  I have bagged only twice.  I have the wheels on the 2nd to highest position (out of 7 positions I believe)...

I've used the Scott's fertilizers, but I did not put down the crabgrass preventer in the spring because I knew I had many spots to dig up and re-seed, and right on the packaging it states that new seeds will also be challenged by the preventer.  That is a battle for next spring, that crazy crabgrass...  I plan on sending in for my soil specs sometime.  Oh yeah, and we have those tiny little ants everywhere.  The whole 'hood does.

Back to mushrooms -- Surprisingly, we have had a ton of rain/storms here in Chicagoland for the past few days...  This has no doubt been a catalyst for the beaucoup shroom breakout lately.  So again, my main concern is removal.  Am I spreading spores and making it worse in your opinion?  My second concern is long-term control and/or removal of them...  Should I add nitrogen?  Man, I truly want the lazy lawn lifestyle but it is work to set it straight.......  So, am I spreading shrooms by removing/handling them?
 
paul wheaton
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Are the ants causing a problem?  There are things you can do about the ants, but the cheapest and laziest thing to do is nothing at all.

The spores are going to spread no matter what you do.  I had mushrooms a couple of times in the past.  I just left them and they seemed to leave on their own accord.    But I might be a bit of a weirdo in your world - I think they're cool.  I think they are a sign of healthy, rich soil.  They don't stick around very long and in a tall, thick turf, they either cannot get started, or they just cannot get above the turf - but I cannot remember seeing mushrooms in a tall, thick turf.  I see them in poor lawns, gardens, in landscaping, etc.

So my advice is:  focus on a tall, thick turf and I think your mushroom problem will stop being a problem.  They will probably still be there - but you just won't see them.

 
            
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I seem to remember that healthy lawns lean more toward bacterial and less toward fungal. The fungus is a sign that there is an excess of carbon that it is trying to break down. This can be found in wood chips,thatch, and wet soils help it along. I would try aerating to break up the thatch layer and allow for better drainage. Only do this when temperatures are below 80 degrees and above freezing as to not expose grass roots to harsh conditions.

Fertilizing in some way may help as well.

 
                                  
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Thanks, guys...  Here's my plan:

Having been here only a full year now, I am working on the thick, full turf approach.  I will have the lawn aerated in the early fall when those temps are optimal.  I know that will help the overall health.  Can I aerate in the fall and in the spring?  The ants are not in those mushroom areas, I just mentioned them because they are always on my mind when I ponder all things "yard"...

So, I guess that I will just carefully pluck out the mushrooms that bother me and leave the rest.  I would also like to get organic or at least close to organic going into the winter months...

I have really picked up on the common theme in all of your collective responses...  just do some research, take the time, and do the work.  I tell ya, I can already attest to the effectiveness of hand-picking weeds.  The work stinks but the results are solid.  Hopefully this next season I can do the hard work getting it all healthy so that Ma Nature can do the rest......  Thx.
 
Jill McPartlin
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Jody B wrote:
I seem to remember that healthy lawns lean more toward bacterial and less toward fungal. The fungus is a sign that there is an excess of carbon that it is trying to break down. This can be found in wood chips,thatch, and wet soils help it along. I would try aerating to break up the thatch layer and allow for better drainage. Only do this when temperatures are below 80 degrees and above freezing as to not expose grass roots to harsh conditions.

Fertilizing in some way may help as well.



This sounds like it is our issue.  We recently moved into a new house - so interesting getting the lawn in shape!  We had dandelions but they have gone away for now with some careful picking and more likely their season is over.  We now see a lot of mushrooms popping up, it has been raining a lot so that could be part of it.  Also we see a lot of grass clippings at the base of the grass.  I bet you are right that it is trying to break down.  We'll aerate in the fall and hopefully next spring.  THat should help us along!  Thank you all for your lawn care wisdom.  This forum has been invaluable trying to sort out our new lawn.
 
                          
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One of the greatest and most wide spread life forms on our planet are the fingii -- mushrooms.  They are an important part of our echosystem and contribute in a big way to the subsoil environment.  They cause no harm, although some are poisonous when eaten ... but, then, many garden plants are poisonous.

Mushrooms are great decomposers and break down organic matter into nutrients.  They are the friends of the earth and together with earthworms contribute a lot to the growing substrate. 

Here in Santa Monica, California we have a group named Gardens of Gratitude, and we go around converting front yard lawns into gardens -- all with volunteer help and professional, expert advice.  Lots of fun and plenty of room for the children to play.

Also, check out, Swan Song for the Lawn with Larry Santoyo, which I mentioned in a different post. 

Enjoy your lawn --- or garden,

Nyna
 
Michael Neavear
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I got a little creative in my approach.
I had the typical circle, read they were the poisonous variety and wanted them gone. Website suggested using a glove as you extract them, which I did. After which I had, fresh off the stove, big pot of boiling water. Yep...I cooked the spores right in the ground! LOL
I just poured that bubbling water right on top of them. Cooked a small patch of grass also, very minor indeed, but I haven't seen them return
Good luck!

Looking forward to comments on the approach
M.
 
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