Campus News

Mushrooms pop up after recent rains

Recent rainfall has led to an explosion of mushrooms in lawns and mulched areas. 

Mushrooms usually emerge when rain follows extended dry periods. Dry weather stresses the fungi, and when water becomes available, it triggers the reproductive mechanism and mushrooms pop up. 

Most of these fungi are completely harmless, but they can be removed to keep children and pets from eating them and to improve a lawn’s appearance. Never eat an unidentified mushroom, as some are poisonous to humans and animals.

The best way to keep mushrooms out of the landscape is to irrigate before the lawn gets too dry. If it stays somewhat moist, the fungus will stay underground and will not produce mushrooms. The lawns that tend to be covered with the most mushrooms are those that never get watered during droughts.

To rid the lawn of mushrooms, pull them up, kick them over or run over them with the lawn mower. This will keep them from -releasing the spores that spread the fungi. Aerate lawns to prevent further damage to turfgrass. After aerating the soil, water the area to dilute any toxins and wash them through the soil profile. If a patch of grass is dead, -re-establish that area next spring, and keep it moist to prevent new mushroom growth.