Maybe this guy is your neighbor. Or maybe it’s you. (nobody has to know 😉 ) Just last night as the sun set beyond the cul de sac, all was well in the garden. The lawn, cut and edged to perfection, has never looked better. This morning though, something is obviously very wrong.
And that’s how it starts. Tunnel vision sets in and the morning symphony of chirping birds is momentarily drowned out as the world slows to an agonizing crawl. “There’s another one, and another one. Oh my God, what’s wrong with my soil, my lawn is ruined!” Then, skipping his morning coffee and constitution, this homeowner makes a beeline for the home and garden store. Does this sound like anyone you know?
It’s an all-too-common scenario. And it’s misguided. And it’s a myth. We’ve grown up believing mushrooms only grow in poor soil conditions. Contrary to popular belief, lawns graced with mushrooms actually indicate a healthy lawn, not an unhealthy one. Mushrooms are the “fruit” of fungi growing just beneath the topsoil in your lawn. Fungi work to break down decaying organic matter in the soil and thrive in moist, healthy, nutrient-rich soils. The fleshy stem and cap of the spore-bearing mushroom are indicative of fertile soil.
Arguably, most mushrooms are unsightly and unwanted- even a nuisance- in suburban lawns. Mushrooms that carry toxins present a real hazard to pets and children. Eradication can be difficult but not impossible. For the homeowner who is compelled to apply something to the grass to “fix” the problem, reach for corn gluten instead of a commercial fungicide. Control excess water and ensure good soil drainage; these are considered best practices for prevention. Remove rotting and decaying organic matter and keep grass short for an effective means of eradication. Finally, pluck the mushroom, stem and all, to ensures spores won’t become established and spread.
Editor’s note- photo credit: thelawncarenut.com
Do you experience mushroom clusters in your lawn and garden? Are you compelled to remove them, or let them be?
This article is the twelfth in a series of 26 consecutive articles, as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the whole month of April. Tomorrow, I’ll post an article with a title that begins with the letter “M”… So goes the rest of the alphabet, through the end of the month.
In closing, I have a little challenge for you. Because the letters “Q” and “Z” pose a challenge of their own, send me a title idea beginning with those letters. If I choose to write your title, I’ll send you a small prize to show my appreciation. Use the comments box below, or email your title to firstname.lastname@example.org