Friday, June 20, 2014

No Need to Spray Fungicides on Lawn Mushrooms

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Rainfall, followed by a few days of warm temperatures, will usually bring out mushrooms.

When that happens, local University of Missouri Extension centers start getting telephone calls from homeowners wondering about what to do with the new mushrooms (or toadstools).

According to Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist, University of Missouri Extension, mushrooms may be unsightly to homeowners, but they do little damage to lawns and trees.

“In some cases, mushrooms benefit the landscape by releasing nutrients,” said Byers.

In some cases, the mushrooms may grow in a circle, forming “fairy rings.”

Grass inside the rings is darker green and may grow taller as nutrients released as organic matter is decomposed by the fungal bodies. In other cases, the soil inside the ring may become engulfed with fungal growth that water cannot penetrate into the soil and patches of grass may dry out.

“Homeowners can just mow over the mushrooms with the lawnmower, and not worry too much about them,” said Byers. “If you are having some dead areas appear, aerating those spots with a soil probe or using a core aerator will help alleviate the problem.”

Many homeowners are also concerned about mushrooms being poisonous to children and pets and want to apply fungicides because of this concern.

“For the most part, mushrooms and toadstools are unaffected by the application of fungicides,” said Byers. “The best solution for most people is to remove the mushrooms by hand or simply mow them off.”
For more information, or answers to your specific lawn and garden questions, contact the Greene County Master Gardener Hotline at (417) 881-8909.


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