You can kill mushrooms in your yard the natural way by spraying them with a mixture of tea tree oil, dish soap, and water. You can also kill mushrooms effectively by digging them up from the base with a weeding tool. If these methods don’t work, use a lawn-safe fungicidal treatment. Then, destroy the under-the-surface fungal network by aerating your lawn, fertilizing with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, and improving yard drainage.
Should You Remove Mushrooms From Your Lawn?
Yard mushrooms are mostly harmless and even play an important role in the ecosystem. Mushrooms break down tough debris—such as stumps, branches, and other dead plant matter—to add nutrients back to the soil. So, in most cases, there is no pressing need to remove mushrooms from your yard.
Are Yard Mushrooms Poisonous?
The mushrooms you find in your yard are rarely poisonous. However, you should not eat any wild mushrooms you find. They may cause slight feelings of an upset stomach. If you are concerned that children or pets may attempt to eat mushrooms in your yard, you can remove the mushrooms to be on the safe side. However, the danger is typically minimal.
6 Ways to Eliminate Mushrooms from Your Lawn and Garden
If mushroom growth is ruining the appearance of your yard, or if you have reason to believe poisonous varieties of mushrooms are growing on your property, you can remove them quickly and completely. Here’s how to destroy the fungus taking over your yard:
Spray Mushrooms with Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal that can be used to kill mushrooms. To make a mushroom-killing spray with tea tree oil, just follow these steps:
- Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of this tea tree oil to a spray bottle.
- Add 1 teaspoon (15 ml) of dish soap to the spray bottle.
- Pour 2 cups (475 ml) of water into the spray bottle.
- Cap the bottle and shake to combine the ingredients.
- Spray the mushrooms in your yard thoroughly with the mixture.
- Wait 1–2 days for the mushrooms to shrivel and die.
Because tea tree oil and dish soap are harmless to grass and other plants, you can spray this mixture on mushrooms in your lawn or garden. The natural fungicide in tea tree oil will dehydrate and kill the mushrooms, ridding your yard of the menace.
Dig Up Mushrooms
Mushrooms are simply the aboveground growths of an underground network of rootlike structures. These mushroom “roots” are called mycelium. Breaking off mushrooms at the surface won’t kill this network. However, if you use a garden spade or weeding tool to dig under the base of the mushrooms, you can tear out the mushroom and the mycelium, killing the entire fungus.
- Use a weeding tool or garden spade to dig under the base of mushrooms and uproot them.
- Mushrooms grow from a mycelial network—similar to plant roots—and can grow back if this network isn’t destroyed.
- Digging up mushrooms kills them permanently.
When removing mushrooms, work to get your weeding tool under the base of the fungus, then lever upwards. If a clump of soil with hairlike “roots” comes up, you’ve succeeded. Removing mushrooms this way keeps them from growing back.
Apply a Lawn Fungicide
If you have a lot of lawn mushrooms, it’s time to use a powerful fungicidal spray. While antifungal sprays are chemical solutions, they are very powerful. They can help reclaim your yard quickly.
- Spray this fungicidal treatment directly onto mushrooms growing in your lawn to kill them.
- The mushrooms and their underground mycelial networks will be killed within days, preventing the mushrooms from returning or spreading their mushroom spores.
- Fungicidal treatments also help prevent other lawn diseases.
As an added benefit, using a fungicidal spray on your lawn will also kill types of fungi besides mushrooms. Grass rust, dollar spot, and even fungus that attacks garden plants will all be killed by a fungicidal spray. So, you can treat and protect your plants at the same time you eliminate mushrooms from your yard.
Aerate the Soil
You can destroy underground mycelial networks by aerating your yard. This process will break up the fibrous rootlike structures that mushrooms sprout from. So, if mushrooms keep coming back no matter what you do to stop them, it’s time to aerate. Just follow these steps:
- Mow your yard and consider dethatching prior to aerating.
- Rent a core aerator from your local hardware store.
- Operate the aerator like a mower, crossing back and forth across your lawn to aerate the entire surface.
- Don’t remove aeration plugs and instead let them break down naturally to provide extra benefits and promote healthy soil.
Aerating your lawn not only destroys mycelial networks that foster mushroom growth, but it also boosts the health of your grass. The improved drainage and loosened soil encourages grass growth. Healthy lawns will choke out mushrooms before they sprout.
Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing your lawn according to our special hybrid fertilizer schedule will discourage mushroom growth at the same time it improves the health and appearance of your grass. Mushrooms thrive in yards that are low in nitrogen. Meanwhile, high nitrogen levels in the soil discourage mushroom growth.
- Apply nitrogen-rich fertilizer to your lawn to kill mushrooms and grow healthier grass.
- Nitrogen in the soil helps break down organic matter faster, denying mushrooms their main food source.
- After fertilizing, the mycelial network of mushroom “roots” will starve and die.
Increased nitrogen levels in the soil encourage faster breakdown of organic material. Since mushrooms feed on this organic material, nitrogen robs mushrooms of their nutrient source by turning it into fuel for your lawn. Who knew you could kill mushrooms and grow greener grass all in one step?
Add a Drainage Trench
Mushrooms love damp conditions. So, you can kill mushrooms by ridding your lawn and garden of excess water. If there are areas of your yard that are prone to soggy ground or standing water, it’s common for mushrooms to grow nearby. You can dig your own drainage trench to drain away surplus water and kill mushrooms.
- Adding a drainage trench to your yard dries out soggy areas and kills off mushrooms.
- Mushrooms and other fungus thrive in overly wet portions of your yard.
- Grass and other plants will grow better in a well-drained yard than in a soggy one.
A well-drained yard promotes healthier grass, resists diseases, and kills off unwanted mushrooms. Plus, it prevents mosquitos, gnats, and other pests from breeding in your yard. If you’ve got a swampy portion of your yard, improving drainage can eliminate your mushroom problem.
How Do You Prevent Mushrooms from Growing Back?
Remove downed tree branches, stumps, dead garden plants, and other organic matter from your yard to prevent future mushroom invasions. Mushrooms love to grow on dead wood and other tough plant materials. It’s also a great idea to pick up any animal waste in your yard and discard it. This will further discourage mushroom growth.
- Clean up your yard to remove the tough organic matter that mushrooms feed on.
- Begin by picking up branches and discarding them.
- Remove patches of dead grass and add new seed or sod to stop mushroom growth.
Areas of dead grass in your lawn also attract mushrooms. Mushroom spores establish themselves quickly in dead grass and begin to break down the dead plant material. So, it’s best to remove dead grass to stop mushrooms from invading. Then, you can reseed your patchy lawn to grow new grass that resists mushroom invasion.
How Do You Kill Mushrooms Growing in Your Yard?
Killing invasive lawn mushrooms is easy as long as you use one of the following methods:
- Spray mushrooms with a mixture of tea tree oil, dish soap, and water.
- Dig up mushrooms with a weeding tool.
- Treat large mushroom colonies with a fungicidal lawn spray.
- Aerate your lawn to destroy underground mycelial networks and kill mushrooms.
- Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer to your lawn to deny mushrooms the nutrients they need to survive.
- Dig a drainage trench to remove excess moisture from swampy areas and kill off mushrooms.
Once you’ve killed the mushrooms in your yard, you can keep them from coming back. Remove dead branches, stumps, plants, and grass from your yard—mushrooms love to grow on these dead plants. Then, reseed any bare spots in your lawn to encourage grass growth and keep mushrooms out.