Why Are Mushrooms Growing In My Garden?


Wild mushrooms. Photo by Jonti Bolles

Imagine going out to water your plants one day and seeing bulky, white mushrooms growing beside them. As a beginner in gardening, this may seem like a nightmare. However, this is nothing to worry about.

Mushrooms are a type of harmless fungi; producing white, umbrella-shaped offspring in favorable conditions. No matter how harmless they may be, you are not wrong in questioning, why are mushrooms growing in my garden?

This comprehensive guide contains information on the different types of mushrooms you will encounter on your gardening journey. From their growing conditions to knowing how to get rid of mushrooms from the garden; this article tackles it all.

Once you understand the root cause of their growth, you will get rid of them effectively.

Why are Mushrooms Growing in My Garden?

If you are new to gardening, your first instinct upon seeing a mushroom would be harming your garden. However, in reality, mushrooms are anything but harmful. These harmless fungi are a sign that you have healthy, thriving soil and plants.

The thing is, fungi, like other microorganisms, are present everywhere. They are inside the soil, so you cannot see them. However, with the provision of adequate nutrients and optimum conditions, they start reproducing. The fungi inside the soil produce mushrooms above, which then release spores for further growth.

While mushrooms are entirely normal, several factors are causing and facilitating their growth. The most essential one of them is the weather. You see, mushrooms require a humid, damp, and shady environment to grow.

This is why you see a vast majority of mushrooms growing in your garden after a rainy spell. Moreover, plants that do not get adequate sunlight and are overwatered also tend to grow mushrooms.

Are Mushroom in my Backyard Good or Bad?

One way to judge if mushrooms are good or bad for your garden is by analyzing their effects on the soil. Fortunately, mushrooms are a sign of a healthy, flourishing garden. Moreover, they help make the soil more nutritious by providing it with organic matter.

This means that apart from the aesthetics, mushrooms are not a bad guy in your yard. How is that possible? Why are they a sign of a healthy garden?

Well, it lies in the basics! Mushrooms are an outgrowth of fungi present in the soil. The fungi decompose dead plants and other materials, turning them into organic matter. The organic matter thus enhances the quality of your soil, helping your plants grow well.

3 Most Common Mushroom Species Likely to Grow in your Garden

The variety of mushrooms varies from location to location. However, since they all need the same conditions to grow, you can expect the mushroom growing in your yard to be one of the common ones.

1. Agaricus (Field Mushroom)

Field mushrooms are the most common kind of mushroom you will find. They are fast-growing and usually found in areas with human influence, like garden beds, and around fences. While some field mushrooms are edible and even tasty, some may be highly toxic.

They have a pure white cap with a short stem. More often than not, the mushroom species growing in your garden belongs to field mushrooms.

The Agaricus mushroom. Photo by Jason Hollinger

2. Coprinus (Inky Caps)

Inky caps are an interesting mushroom type, widely known for their unique spore dispersing technique. They are generally found in areas with excessive wood, mulch, and dung. It helps digest these materials, resulting in extreme fertility of your soil.

As soon as the mushroom matures, its gills liquefy into a black-colored substance that highly resembles black ink. This is what gives it the name “Inky Caps”. The liquid which is a source of spore dispersal then washes away with rain or is blown away through the wind.

The Inky Cap mushroom. Photo by Rob Mitchell

3. Calvatia (Puffballs)

As the name suggests, puffballs are large, white, and oval species. They can grow to as large as 80 cm and weigh several kilograms when matured. It either has holes around the top or splits into two to release spores.

They are found mainly in nutrient-rich areas, such as near plants or field growths. The large, rounded shape may seem exotic or gross to you, but they do not cause any harm to your vegetation.

Puffball mushrooms. Photo by GLJIVARSKO DRUSTVO NIS

How to get rid of Mushrooms from the Garden

Now that you have your answer to how mushrooms form in the garden, it would be easier to eliminate them. But here is the catch! Since mushrooms are produced by fungi that are deep-rooted into the soil, you can never actually eliminate them. You can remove the mushrooms, but they will reappear once they get optimum growing conditions.

Can you leave them be? Of course, you can. Mushrooms do not harm your plants, so you can leave them as is. Once they release their spores, they will go away anyway. However, mushrooms may sometimes grow in unwanted areas, like the center of your flower bed. This not only takes away the charm but also makes it a hassle caring for your plants. Learning how to get rid of mushrooms from the garden will help get your garden back to its full glory.

How to Remove Mushrooms growing in Outdoor Garden

1. Take away the mushroom

You must remove the mushroom from the ground as soon as it appears, even if you are not bothered by it. This is because you may accidentally step on it or rake it, causing it to release spores resulting in an alarming growth of mushrooms at your place.

2. Rake the soil

Fungi need nutrients, and a lot of them to grow and fertilize. This means that the compost, dead leaves, and other organic matter in the soil are the source that causes fungi and ultimately mushrooms to grow. By cutting down on its source of nutrients, you can minimize the growth of mushrooms. Raking your garden frequently removes all dead plants and leaves that may provide nourishment to the fungi.

3. Mow the grass

Long grass beds are more prone to retain moisture and provide suitable conditions for mushroom growth. Therefore, you must mow your garden regularly, so the grass does not get too long. However, make sure there are no mushrooms already present since cutting on them will cause them to release their spores.

4. Add a fertilizer

Nitrogen fertilizers are a great source of decomposers. By introducing decomposing material, you are speeding up the breakdown process. This gives less time to the fungi for absorbing nutrients, halting their growth. However, this is a short-term fix since the cause of growth is still present. Make sure the fertilizer is not water-soluble or slow-release because that takes away the whole purpose.

How to Remove Mushrooms growing in Indoors Plants

1. Pull out the mushrooms

Since you cannot eliminate the mushroom-producing fungus, it is a good idea to prevent further growth through spores. When it comes to getting rid of mushrooms, the first thing is to stop the spores from dispersing and growing elsewhere. This can be done by removing the mushroom cap or plucking the mushroom from the pot. Moreover, getting off the mushroom caps reduces the risk of unwanted chomping by your child or pet.

2. Replace the soil

Start by replacing only the top layer of the soil to see if it makes any difference. However, fungi are usually deep inside the soil, so chances are the mushrooms will grow again. Therefore, the only solution is to change the potting soil entirely.

3. Stop overwatering

Mushrooms need a moist and damp environment to grow. This means that excessive watering along with prolonged shade is the main culprits for the growth of mushrooms in indoor plants. Place your plant near the window where it gets adequate sunlight, and water it only when needed.

4. Control the conditions

It is evident how the growth of mushrooms majorly depends upon their growing conditions. Getting rid of mushrooms from your indoor plants is relatively easier in terms of environmental control. You can place a fan near your plants to decrease humidity and increase air circulation.

Conclusion

While it is helpful knowing how to get rid of mushrooms growing in the garden, what is even more important is knowing the cause of their growth. By knowing the reasons why mushrooms are growing in your garden, you will be able to tackle the issue more effectively.

Having a mushroom-free garden is not impossible, but it will take effort on your part. Controlling the environment, plucking off the mushrooms, and a lot more precautions will prevent the growth of mushrooms giving you an attractive, clean garden. That being said, there is no issue in letting the mushrooms grow either since they are not a threat to plants. Hence, do not fret a lot over it at the start. You will get it under control with time and practice.

AskthePlantician

Hi I'm Mike, a self-proclaimed plantician (an invented profession to describe a plant enthusiast). Based in Sydney Australia, I enjoy the great outdoors and the greenery things around the garden, in particular, indoor climbing plants.

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