Even though they may look troubling, toadstools in your lawn is actually a great sign. It means your grass has a healthy ecosystem and enough nutrients to thrive.
But that doesn’t mean you should keep them around. You never know if the toadstools on your lawn are poisonous, which can be worrying if your kids or pets play outside.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of toadstools (and prevent them from recurring), here’s everything you need to know about what causes toadstools and how you can get rid of them for good.
What Causes Toadstools in Your Lawn?
The most important thing to know about toadstools on your lawn is that they’re not a sign of a serious fungal infection. It’s usually just that you’ve created the perfect ecosystem for toadstools to thrive.
Most of the time, a toadstool outbreak on your lawn is caused by things like:
- A build-up of organic matter – Twigs, leaves, animal waste and even thatch (which is a build-up of dead matter at the base of your grass) are great food for toadstools. If you have enough of it on your lawn, fungi can easily appear.
- Changes in temperature or moisture levels – Toadstools love cool and damp conditions. That’s why autumn often invites toadstools onto your lawn. Shady areas beneath trees or shrubs are particularly at risk, especially since they shed a lot of debris.
- It’s a new lawn – If you’ve laid new turf, you may spot toadstools almost immediately afterwards. This is usually because harvesting and laying turf can stimulate any fungi spores that were hiding within.
Are Toadstools in Your Lawn Poisonous or Bad For It?
Contrary to what you may think, toadstools aren’t normally bad for your lawn. It just means that your grass is healthy and full of nutrition. If you leave the toadstools to break down naturally, they can provide even more nutrition for your grass.
They can however spread very easily, through mowing or even walking across the grass. If you want to avoid a ring of mushrooms smothering your lawn, it’s best to nip it in the bud and get rid of them while they’re small.
When it comes to eating lawn toadstools, it’s not recommended. Most aren’t poisonous, but some can be. Unless you’re an expert, it’s hard to tell the difference. If you have kids or pets, it’s a good idea to remove toadstools to prevent them from being consumed accidentally.
How to Get Rid of Toadstools in Your Lawn
1. Pull Them Out
A quick and easy way of getting rid of toadstools on your lawn is to simply pull them out. If you can, try to remove the root at the same time, as you do with weeds. Otherwise, the mushrooms will just sprout again.
To be on the safe side, use gloves whenever you handle toadstools and wash your hands afterwards. Toadstools are not usually poisonous, but they can be. Taking extra safety measures won’t do any harm.
2. Fertilise with Nitrogen Oxide
When twigs and leaves break down on your grass, it creates a build-up of dead, organic matter at the base. This dead matter is the perfect food for toadstools.
If you want to get rid of toadstools on your lawn, a good nitrogen oxide fertiliser can kill them off and break down organic debris to prevent regrowth. Just make sure you don’t apply too much fertiliser and that you’re applying at the right time of year, according to the instructions.
3. Dig Them Out & Re-Seed
Since toadstools can leave spores in your lawn, pulling them out may not remove them entirely. If you want to completely eradicate the issue, you can dig them out and start again.
To do this, dig up the patch of soil at the problem site. You’ll need to dig down at least 20 inches deep and around 25 inches wide to reach the spores. Once removed, replace the soil and plant new grass seeds.
4. Wait Them Out
Toadstools have a short lifespan. If you leave them alone, they should break down naturally and go away by themselves in around a week.
Just bear in mind that toadstools can easily spread. Mowing and even walking across your lawn can scatter the spores, so make sure you avoid walking or mowing until they’re gone.
How to Prevent Toadstools from Returning – 3 Top Tips
1. Clear Debris Immediately
Fungi thrive on organic matter in your lawn, especially from rotten leaves and twigs. One of the best things you can do to prevent toadstools is to keep grass clear of debris. This is especially important in areas underneath trees or shrubs, as shady patches create the perfect conditions for toadstools to spawn.
2. Water at the Right Time
Moisture is a toadstools paradise. They love wet and shady patches of grass, which is why you normally find mushrooms growing beneath trees and bushes.
But it’s not just shady areas that can lead to toadstools. If you water your grass late at night, the lack of sunlight and warmth create the damp conditions that toadstools love. To prevent fungi (and other fungal infections), only water your grass in the morning or early afternoon.
3. Aerate Regularly
Aerating your grass at least once a year can significantly improve the drainage and airflow in your lawn, which can help prevent mushrooms from sprouting. A lawn aerating tool, like a roller or a pair of aerating shoes, are easy to use and can help get rid of toadstools for good.
Even though toadstools are a sign of a healthy lawn, you never know whether they could be poisonous to you, your family or your pets. If you want peace of mind, proper treatment and prevention is key to getting rid of fungi. With these handy tips, there won’t be mushroom for toadstools on your lawn anymore!