Toadstools in Lawns. Lawn Mushrooms
Judging by the number and content of many emails we get, not
many gardeners realise the important and beneficial effect of most fungi -
toadstools or mushrooms - that are to be found in the garden! But then, most
fungi related queries are concerning Toadstools in the Lawn.
Under many lawns, there are dead and dying tree roots,
and the like - or even leaf litter that has been taken down into the
ground by earthworms. This is all eventually broken down by beneficial
microscopic fungi - and in doing so, they release nutrients into the
soil. So far so good!
The problem is, that these microscopic fungi normally
produce 'fruiting' growths, by which means they multiply. The fruiting
growths emerge in the lawn (and other parts of the garden) as
They are the 'flower and seedpod' of the fungi. (That is
botanically incorrect, but best describes the appearance of the
toadstool above ground. (The microscopic fungi are the roots - the
toadstools are the flower. I await the indignant emails from the
Insofar as visible fungi - Toadstools - in the lawn are
concerned, then it is mainly the toadstools that make up
Fairy Rings, that are harmful to the lawn.
Most toadstools - mushrooms -
found in lawns are in fact performing a quite natural act - that of further
decaying dead and rotting matter under the surface of the lawn. What we
actually see - the toadstool or mushroom - is in fact the tip of the
iceberg, with most of the activity related to the toadstool going on out of
site, under the turf.
So, decaying organic matter under the lawn is basically the
cause of the problem known as "Toadstools in my Lawn" which then materialise on
the lawn's surface. As with flowers, the toadstools go on to produce spores
which act as seeds, but can easily be blown by the wind to other parts of the
garden. In most other parts of the garden, the new toadstools which will then
appear the following year or so are not a problem, for they are often hidden
beneath the cover of shrubs or other garden plants. They can carry on their good
(essential) work relatively unnoticed and not create a panic. It is only when
they are visible in the lawn that they seem to create the panic emails that
The lawn Toadstool is in fact not harming the lawn at all.
Neither is the network of underground mycellium which is helping nature do its
natural tasks. Nonetheless, generally the toadstools are not 'liked' when in the
The toadstools normally appear in damp periods - Autumn being
a favourite time.
The good news is that the toadstools do not harm the lawn
(unless they are forming fairy Rings).
The bad news is, that there are no chemical treatments that will 'cure' the
toadstools - which are often referred to as mushrooms, but they are NOT the
normal edible mushrooms of the kitchen.
Simply brush off the toadstools as and when they appear, to
prevent them from producing spores (seeds) which will settle in other parts of
the garden and produce yet more toadstool growths eventually. They cannot be dug
out; they cannot be killed chemically; basically they do no harm.
Regular scarifying of the lawn will prevent thatch. before
laying a new lawn, ensure that all dead tree roots etc are removed. (A difficult
if not impossible task!)
Whilst these toadstools in the lawn are not harmful to the
grass, they could be poisonous if eaten.
Lawn Diseases |
By David Hughes -