How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Yard

How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Yard Once and for All

Mushrooms are interesting (and sometimes tasty), but when it comes to mushrooms in your yard, they aren’t that fun(gi). Sorry, had to! Mushrooms can be an eyesore in an otherwise lush green lawn. They are a byproduct of something happening below the soil surface, so it can be frustrating trying to figure out how to get rid of mushrooms in yard areas. Thankfully, more often than not, mushrooms are relatively harmless and most types of lawn fungi don’t create disease.

However, they can be poisonous to children and pets in some cases, so it’s important to remove them or at least check their toxicity before you decide to accept their presence in your lawn.

Trust and Accuracy Information

This article was last updated on by Lawn Chick Owner Sarah Jameson
Article content reviewed for accuracy by Certified Horticulturist Nicole Forsyth, M.S., and by Horticulturist Arthur Davidson, A.S.

There are so many different kinds of mushrooms.

There is the highly recognizable umbrella-shaped mushroom, but there are also mushrooms that look like fingers, jelly, bird nests, and puffballs to name a few.

Mushrooms can even be an assault on your senses; some are smelly to attract flies.

There are so many different varieties of mushrooms that there are people who actually make a whole career out of studying them (mycologists). is reader supported. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Why do Mushrooms Grow in Lawns?

Mushrooms thrive in damp and dark environments with a lot of decaying organic matter.

This can include rotting leaves, dead grass, tree trunks, animal waste, and more.

Mushroom in Lawn

How They Spread

Spores spread when a mushroom is picked, broken, or disturbed. They can be carried by the wind, insects, birds, and other animals.

These spores establish threadlike roots called hyphae that become established under the soil in mats. You can actually see these mats by cutting out a small piece of the lawn.

The Value of Mushrooms

Fungi actually serve an important purpose in the garden by digesting decaying organic matter and providing nutrients to the surrounding soil and plants.

In addition to providing important nutrients, this function is key to preventing organic matter from piling up.

In ideal conditions, happy and thriving fungi will sprout mushrooms, which are actually the fruiting bodies responsible for the propagation of spores. This is sort of like a dandelion puff with all of its seeds.

By this time, the fungi are already well-established below the surface. The mushrooms just serve as a visual notification that there is a thriving fungus in your lawn.

Brown Grass Caused by Fungi

The other way that fungi can become problematic is when the mat-like hyphae grows so thick that it prevents your grass from getting the nutrients it needs. This can cause grass to turn brown.

When this occurs in lawns, you may see a circular ring pattern in your grass. When mushrooms follow this ring pattern it is colloquially referred to as a fairy circle or ring.

How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Yard Areas

One of the reasons homeowners struggle to remove mushrooms from their lawn is that they treat the symptom, not the cause.

Getting Rid of Lawn Mushrooms

Removing mushrooms above the surface will not fix the fungal problem below the soil surface.

That being said, it is still important to remove them in order to prevent further spread.

As mentioned above, mushrooms are the fruiting bodies and they are solely responsible for the spread of spores.

Some homeowners recommend that the best way to remove them is by digging up the mushroom in its entirety with a garden spade, but Nicole Forsyth, a certified horticulturist and member of our expert panel cautions that “this will not always get rid of the fungi issue below the soil surface.” She shares that “usually one mushroom is the tip of the iceberg, and the infection spreads way farther under the soil.”

So what should you do instead?

Make Your Yard Less Hospitable to Mushrooms

If you’re wondering how to get rid of mushrooms in yard areas, my advice is to do what you do to get rid of your in-laws. Make your home a place where they don’t want to be.

Fungi thrive in damp and shady environments where there is access to a lot of organic debris or waste. The best way to eliminate fungi is to create a less ideal environment.

There are a few ways to do this.

Less Water

Shady areas of lawns should be watered less frequently and allowed to dry more fully between instances of watering.

I recommend that you water deeply but infrequently as opposed to watering more frequently but for shorter periods of time.

Watering in the morning allows the grass to absorb the water it needs before the sun helps to dry things out. You should avoid watering at night because the water will stay on your lawn and create a perfect damp and dark environment for fungi to grow.

More Air

Aerating your lawn’s soil and removing any thatch can help improve airflow and water penetration so that soil dries quicker.

Aeration may also penetrate the existing hyphae mat and interrupt its growth pattern. Even mowing more frequently to keep grass shorter can help prevent accumulating moisture.

Shorter grass tends to dry more quickly than tall grass. It also allows for more air and sunshine to reach the soil.

Just be careful to pull up mushrooms before mowing. Otherwise, the mower can whip around mushroom spores and make a lawn problem much worse.

Apply Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer

Lawn Mushroom

Spreading a nitrogen-rich fertilizer on your lawn will accelerate the decay process of the carbon-rich organic matter in your soil. This can slow, or prevent the growth of fungi.

A good example is ammonium sulfate applied in a ratio of 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

You can also remove decaying organic material such as rotting wood, leaves, grass clippings (bag them in problem areas until the issue is resolved), and pet waste from the surface of your lawn.

This effectively removes the fungi’s food source.

It’s particularly important to do this in shady areas of your yard or spots where water tends to accumulate.

Keep in mind that some sources of organic material might actually be buried. This is especially true if you’ve had any recent renovations where lumber has been left behind and covered up with dirt (we’ve all met at least one contractor like that, right?)

Alternatively, if you’ve removed trees or shrubs but left the roots behind, those carbon-heavy materials may very likely be decomposing beneath the soil and encouraging fungal growth.

A compost pile needs a balance of carbon and nitrogen to break down quickly, and balancing the carbon from old wood, roots, and mulched leaves in your lawn with nitrogen will speed up the process.

Using Fungicide to Kill Mushrooms in Your Lawn

It’s worth noting that fungicides don’t work in these situations.

This is contrary to what a lot of companies who sell fungicides will tell you, but it’s true.

How to Stop Mushrooms from Growing in Yard

The reason fungicides will not correct the problem causing mushrooms to grow in your yard is that they don’t penetrate through the soil deep enough to reach the hyphae.

The surface mushrooms might die, but then guess who’s running back to Home Depot in a week or two to get more Funigicide?

Lawn fungicides are intended for leaf mold or root rot … shorter living fungi.

Fungicides don’t actually kill the fungi as the name would imply. Instead, they primarily work by coating the existing fungus and preventing it from spreading its spores.

In this way, a fungicide can help contain the issue and eventually the fungus runs its life span and dies off.

But lawn fungus tends to be more prolific and longer-lasting.

Most products or fungicides marketed specifically for killing mushrooms are actually illegal now, so your best bet is to take the holistic approaches I’ve outlined above.

Start from Scratch

If you try the above solutions and still find that there are mushrooms popping up, then you can dig up that part of the lawn.

This is the nuclear option, and you’ll have to consider if digging up a big section of your lawn is an improvement over a few mushrooms.

For most people, it’s not worth the trouble.

But if you decide to go this route, then you’ll need to dig at least 12 to 18 inches deep into the soil. You’ll also need to remove up to 18 to 24 inches outside of the affected area to ensure that you get all of the hyphae beneath the surface.

Following this, you can spread some new soil and grass seed to create new growth in that area. Ensure that you continue to follow the advice above in doing so, otherwise, you’ll be straight back to square one.

Learn to Love the Mushrooms & Peacefully Coexist

Mushrooms don’t look great in a lawn, but they aren’t usually problematic or dangerous. They are actually a sign of fungi doing their job to provide nutrients to the soil.

Like most things in nature, they exist to help achieve a balance, and if you accept that this is part of your soil achieving that balance, you might start to like them.

As long as you aren’t worried about pets and kids getting into them, then it’s okay to leave mushrooms where they are in your yard.

Eliminating Mushrooms in Yard

They’re actually quite harmless and mostly just a sign of good soil health, so long as the grass isn’t dying.

Grass dying and turning brown would indicate that the hyphae mat has grown too thick, and you should probably do something.

How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Yard Areas? With Patience

Mushrooms are harmless but can be frustrating to a homeowner wondering how to get rid of mushrooms in yard areas where he or she has spent time and energy cultivating a beautiful lawn.

By the time you see mushrooms, there will already be significant fungal growth beneath the surface of the soil.

Removing mushrooms can help prevent further spread, but it doesn’t kill the fungi below the surface, so you can expect to see more.

For the best chances of eliminating the fungi:

  • let your lawn dry out before you water it,
  • ensure that there is adequate drainage and airflow, and
  • remove organic debris and waste that acts as a food source for fungi.

At Lawn Chick, I am committed to publishing accurate, useful, and trustworthy resources for my readers. As part of this commitment, I’ve invited subject matter experts to review our articles for accuracy. I invite you to read our editorial policy and publishing standards which outlines in detail how every article on this site is sourced, edited, fact-checked, and vetted.



Sarah Jameson’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When - Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

12 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Yard Once and for All

  1. Cary J Romero

    Hello, I was wondering how to get rid of mushrooms that are growing in my rocked landscaped areas, not so much in the grass. They seem to pop up all over in the rocks after rainy days. Any advise?

    • Hey, Cary

      It sounds like they’ve got some good organic food source in and around those rocks. Maybe some old rotting tree roots or something? You’ll want to address the issue in some of the same ways I’ve outlined in the article above. I’d probably try to apply some nitrogen rich fertilizer to the area to speed up the rate of decay of their food source under the ground. You can also try to pull the mushrooms and dispose of them when you see them so they don’t spread any spores and spread in the area. A third option that you can try is to poke some holes in and around those rocks and pour some soapy water into the ground in those areas. I use a mixture of 3 tablespoons of organic dish soap mixed into 2 gallons of water for this. Use a long screwdriver, pitchfork, or other tool to create some deep holes and then pour the soapy water right in there.

      Good luck!

  2. Glenn MacDonald

    Thanks for your blog on mushrooms.

    I just purchased a house in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada, and every four or five days I pick off about 5 to 7 pounds of mushrooms from my front yard, and the lawn is not that big. Yes, I have a huge (I think its an) oak tree and a couple of other trees on the lawn, so shading is a problem, but I won’t be removing them. I believe your comments about a contractor leaving wood in the ground is probably at the heart of it all because my neighbours, who are right next door on either side, have no mushrooms and have even more shade from trees. My house is 11 years old and their homes are considerably older. So I’m going to start digging the mushrooms up per you suggestion and use the nitrogen rich fertilizer. I’m thinking though, that next year, some serious yard work might get done and the lawn will get dug up, raised, and evened out.

    Some of the mushrooms are actually beautiful, but there a so many of them that I’m sure people driving by on the busy highway in front of my home are wondering if hobbits live within or there’s some kind of resident evil living in my home. The latter is how I feel sometimes because I’m not overly fond of mushrooms, even as a food, although I’ve learned to tolerate them as comestibles. No, I won’t think for one second of eating the mushrooms from my lawn. I don’t know what they are and there are at least five different kinds sprouting–and I cannot believe how fast they grow and mature, then die (to stink and gather flies), if I don’t get them first.

    Again, thanks for the informative blog. It’s given me a place to start.

    • Glenn, this comment was such a joy to read!

      Thanks for taking the time to read my article and for commenting and sharing what you’re dealing with. I laughed out loud at the part about hobbits!

      Best of luck as you tackle that big project next year!

  3. Stephanie

    Hello! Thanks for all the great information about mushrooms! I am trying to determine which of the many mushroom varieties we found in our yard are poisonous to our dogs. Is there a resource that makes this information easy to understand? Our 2 year old puppy got VERY sick last Thursday night and when we began mushroom hunting we found so many different kinds. We found mushrooms growing in our wood pile, mushrooms in our mulch and then also in our grass….so many of them. I am trying to determine which of them were toxic to our puppy. He is better now but we are keeping an eagle eye on him because we aren’t sure which ones are bad….and if they happen to be the ones in the grass, how on earth we treat the whole yard (1 acre) .

    • Hey, Stephanie!

      Boy, puppies are great but they try to eat EVERYTHING. Our lab thought every stick, rock, and pinecone was a delicious treat so I had to keep my head on a swivel to save on vet trips. I feel you.

      Something like that would be an incredible resource – maybe over the winter when I have more time I’ll think about putting that sort of resource together. For now, I can’t really recommend another one because I feel like if you get bad information that can be deadly. My advice is to contact your local county cooperative extension office and ask if someone might be able to come out to help you identify any potentially harmful or poisonous mushrooms on your property. Usually there’s an expert who is happy to make the trip out for no charge, and the peace of mind that comes from something like that can be a game changer. I’d start there, and get some knowledgeable boots on the ground on your property. They can make recommendations for remediation and removal of any harmful mushrooms (or it may turn out that you’re in the clear and your pup ate something else altogether).

      Either way, good luck!

  4. Tharesa

    Thank you so much for this article. I am allergic to mushrooms of all kinds and have been very sick the past 2 weeks because of them growing (and spreading spores) in my front yard. I can’t personally dig them up, and don’t have anyone I can count on to do it for me. So I will be doing a soapy water solution and then getting some nitrogen rich fertilizer since I have been wanting to make part of the yard into a garden anyway. The sad thing is, if I remove the shade trees, the house will be like 10° hotter during the summer… And we never water, the rain does that more than enough.

    • Glad this helped, Tharesa!

      Sounds like you’ve got a good plan. And I agree with you about shade trees – they make lawns a challenge, but I love them in the summertime so I’ve kept most of the large ones around my lot. You can’t beat the color this time of year!

  5. Marlene Pereira

    Actually, I found that salt works best. Several years ago I had some giant fungi in my yard. I tried everything, finally I put some rock salt on them and it worked. The fungi were gone in a few days never to return.
    I’ve also had some toadstools pop up after heave rains. I just put table salt on them and, again, in a couple days they’re gone. The salt doesn’t hurt the grass or other plants.

  6. Pat O'Connor

    Thanks for the tips, Sarah. Would dethatching a spongy lawn be a good first step in addressing a burgeoning mushroom population? Is early November too late in the Pacific Northwest or should I wait for spring?

    • Hey, Pat!

      I’d wait until spring if I were you, but dethatching can be great for a lawn. While it may not directly address your mushroom issues, it can be a good way to open up the soil and allow whatever treatment you opt for to be more effective. Spring is a good time of the year for it, because you are less likely to be spreading around the spores. Be sure you clean up whatever your power rake kicks up in that area and dispose of it off your property. Good luck!

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