Many new gardeners get alarmed when they see mushrooms in their garden, and they immediately see them as a threat to the plants in their garden.
Some think they might be poisonous; others believe that they are soaking up the nutrients meant for their flowers and vegetables.
The mushrooms-in-garden problem is common and should not pose a concern to you because they are not a threat to your garden. Mushrooms in your garden can create such a symbiotic relationship that is good for your plants.
The only thing with these fungi is that they might be unsightly in your garden, so you might want to get rid of them. By and large, you are good without mushrooms in your garden, but you are better off with them if you don’t mind their sight.
What Mushrooms Are Not
Many people have wrong perceptions about mushrooms; maybe it is because there are over 38,000 species of them with different colors and shapes, or probably because they have a way of sneaking into your garden despite how careful you’ve been. Many believe that mushrooms are:
- Poisonous to the plants.
- A harbinger of pathogens
- A sign that their garden is not healthy
- A parasite that sucks up the nutrients their plants need.
- A general source of concern.
But contrary to these perceptions, mushrooms are neither harmful to the soil, your plants and even your person because generally, they are harmless fungi beneficial to your garden.
Why Mushrooms Grow in Gardens
Mushroom is found in most gardens because of the following:
- Mushrooms spores are so tiny that they can easily be transported by air, water, animals, and man from one place to another. So, no matter how careful you have been in preventing its growth in your garden, a small wind could drop some mushroom spores in your garden, and the rest is history.
- Mushrooms thrive in an acidic environment, which is easily the pH of many soils, hence their proliferation.
- Many of our gardens have lots of organic matter like debris, animal poop, decaying leaves and the likes and these materials are the very substance that mushrooms feed on. So, ‘If you prepare meals for mushrooms’ it is only right they will come and eat.
- Is your garden always damp, receiving more water than it should, shaded from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, then you just invited mushrooms to invade your garden.
Mushroom Can Be Beneficial to Your Garden
We have already said that mushrooms are only a concern to gardeners because of their looks and probably because they don’t want their pets or kids eating them because they are not edible. Mushrooms, in the real sense, benefits your garden in these ways:
- They improve the nutrient content of your soil because as they feed on the organic matter in your soil, they release the nutrients in these materials for your plants to enjoy.
- They are decomposers, and so they can break down heavy organic matter in the soil, thereby improving the soil texture of your garden.
- As they help improve your soil texture, it gives your soil the ability to retain more water, thereby helping your plants absorbed more moisture from the soil.
- With the improvement in your soil’s soil nutrients, texture, and water retention ability, it ultimately means your garden will thrive.
- Mushrooms can also help destroy moldy bacteria in the garden, posing a disease hazard to your plants.
- Mushrooms also helps your plants resist disease because the nutrients released by the mushroom are instrumental in making them strong and healthy and so able to fight disease.
A Few Mushrooms Can Be Harmful
While we have stated that mushrooms can be good for your garden, that doesn’t mean they are good for you. Some people would say I love mushrooms in my pizza; why can’t I pick some of my gardens and eat.
That is a big NO. It is not advisable to eat mushrooms from the wild, your garden or any other ones you are not sure of its source. This is because inedible mushrooms can pose a health risk if eaten.
There are mushrooms, too, which are not just harmful; they are out tightly lethal. An example is Amanita phalloides, also known as Dead cap. This mushroom looks just like your everyday mushroom but can kill after a few hours of ingesting them.
After 20 to 60 minutes of eating these deadly mushrooms, you will start having stomach trouble that might recede after some minutes, only to return with serious clinical signs like septic shocks, internal bleeding, and liver failure.
The sad thing about this all is that the condition has no cure. So, watch that mushroom properly before your make a meal of it.
How To Get Rid of Mushroom in Your Garden Without Killing Grass
Sometimes mushrooms can invade our lawns and deface that beautiful green scenery that can make you feel so relaxed. The concern is how to rid my yard of this fungi while maintaining my grasses. You can do the following to rid your yard of this nuisance:
- Handpick them: this can be a daunting task if your yard is big and the mushrooms are many, but this is a very safe way to rid your yard of mushrooms. When you cut off the flowering part on the soil surface, then use a hand trowel to dig out the mycelium underneath the ground, which is like the root so that they do not resurface later.
- Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil: the use of a fast-release Nitrogenous fertilizer on your lawn will work wonders in ridding you of your mushroom problem. These fertilizers speed up the rate of decay of organic matters like debris that the mushroom feeds on, and this will cause them to die out. A pound of a fast-acting nitrogen-based fertilizer can be spread over 1000 square feet of the yard.
- Use bleach: when I part bleach is mixed with 10 parts water and spread on your lawn, it can kill the mushrooms in your yard, but before you spread the mixture on the whole garden, spread it on a small area in your yard and see the effect and if it’s okay with you then you can spread it on the whole yard. A better application option is to dig a hole close to the mushroom roots and then pour the bleach mixture into the hole; this will prevent the vegetative part from resurfacing.
- Use vinegar: this is another life hack that has proven useful. Your typical vinegar can be used to rid your farm of mushrooms; however, the better option is the horticultural vinegar which has the right concentration.
Before spreading the mixture, a hand glove and goggles should be worn for safety reasons because concentrated vinegar can be corrosive. 1 part water is dilute with four-part vinegar and sprayed around the yard. A hole can also be dug close to the mushroom, and the mixture poured inside to eliminate the fungi.
Killing Mushrooms With Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used effectively in killing the mushrooms in your garden if you do it well. A mixture of 2 spoons of baking soda and 1 gallon of water is made and sprayed around the garden where mushrooms are spotted.
Alternatively, baking soda can be poured directly on the mushroom and even into the mycelium to destroyed them. As a fungicide, baking soda has the following advantages:
- Unlike bleach and even vinegar to some extent, baking soda is not toxic to your plant, pets, and young ones; hence, when you use it in your garden, it saves the stress of keeping your pet and kids away from your garden.
- They are inexpensive and readily available. You can use the typical baking soda for making pastries to eliminate this menace.
- It is very effective because it can raise the pH of the soil to levels that the mushrooms cannot stand, and hence, they die.
The downside to using baking soda to eliminate mushrooms
- The effect of baking soda is subtle and must be applied over a period.
- Baking soda effect on mushrooms does not last as long as commercial fungicides.
- If it is applied and rain falls, it can be washed off the garden meaning the effort was futile.
Killing Mushrooms With Dish Soap
Gardeners soon realize that some of their household items have wider use beyond their kitchen and house. Your typical dish soap can be the solution to those unsightly fungi in your garden.
A tablespoon of mild dish soap mixed in a gallon of water can be sprayed on your garden to rid your yard of mushrooms.
This mixture can also be poured directly into a hole dug near the mushrooms; this also helps eliminate the vegetative part of the mushrooms that are underground.
When this mixture is used, you will notice that the mushroom will start wilting in a matter of hours.
Pros of using dish soap as a fungicide:
- It is cheap and can be found easily anywhere.
- It is safe to use in your garden and will not harm your soil or other organisms when applied adequately.
- Since it is a soap that you are used to, what it means is that it will not irritate your skin.
- It can kill other weeds and pests like bugs in the garden.
Cons of using dish soap in your garden to eliminate mushrooms.
- They are not as effective as an industrial fungicide. They only keep the mushrooms dormant, and when the conditions become favorable again, they can resurface, except you pour this dash soap mixture into the mycelium underneath the soil.
- The effect of dish soap on mushrooms must be frequent if it is very effective.
Getting Rid of Mushrooms in Flower Beds
While getting mushrooms out of grass can be quite easy, it is a little harder to get rid of mushrooms in flowerbeds because flowers are delicate, which calls for extra caution. The following ways can be used to rid your flowerbeds of mushrooms:
- Hand pick all the mushroom caps you can see, bag the mushrooms, and dispose of them properly. Afterwards, wash hands and clothing properly before going into your garden again not to carry the mushrooms’ spores back to your garden.
- Remove two inches of soil on the flowerbed and replace them with fresh and uncontaminated soils to remove any spore or mycelium that is still left in the soil.
- The whole soil can be removed and replaced with fresh, uncontaminated soil for potted flowers. This soil should be bagged and disposed of properly to prevent the reintroduction of mushrooms in your garden.
- Whatever will change the plant environment, including reducing the shade of the flowerbeds, will prove useful in ridding your garden of mushrooms.
- Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that will impede the growth of these mushrooms.
- Ensure that the soil is well-drained as mushrooms thrive in a damp environment.
How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Gardens
There are many ways to get rid of the mushrooms in your garden, including the use of nitrogen-rich fertilizer, vinegar, baking soda, bleach solutions, dish soap solutions and other commercial fungicides.
Always remember that using these solutions is only effective when the vegetative part of the mushroom’s underneath is destroyed. Care must be taken when disposing of the mushrooms picked from the garden so that their spore doesn’t get back into the soil.
It is also worth noting that mushrooms removed from the soil should never be used to make compost because the composting process does not destroy the mushroom spore; it merely makes it dormant until it gets back to the garden mushrooms re-emerge.
Fungicide for Getting Rid of Mushrooms in Garden
There are a wide variety of fungicides that are effective in taking care of mushrooms. These fungicides come in liquid and powdery forms, and they take care of mushrooms by doing the following:
- They slow down the growth of these fungi.
- They inhibit new mushrooms from growing.
- They can completely kill the mushroom at the surface
As you apply these chemicals, apply caution because there are other beneficial fungi, and these fungicides can destroy even the soil itself. Some fungicides are in use but not approved by the appropriate authorities.
A few of the approved and effective fungicides include ProChloraz, Chlorothalonil and Thiabendazole. These fungicides come in different brand names like Captain 50, a broad-spectrum chemical that can take are of different fungi.
Mushrooms are just an unsightly nuisance in our garden which pose little or no danger to us, our pets, kids, and plant. However, if you can’t stand them in your garden, the use the different household items like dish soap, vinegar and baking soda that are proven effective in ridding you of these fungi are readily available.
So, go ahead and enjoy growing your flowers and vegetables, and when those elusive fungi surface, don’t panic because they don’t hurt; rather, they help.
You May Also Like:
- 5 Best Composting Grinder for Home Use
- How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Mulch
- Guide to Prevent Mushroom in Mulch
- Is Urine Good for Compost?
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