Why am I seeing mushrooms in my lawn?

Mushrooms can appear in any lawn at any time as long as the conditions are right. All the spores need is some decomposing material and the right weather. The warm damp weather we've been having recently is perfect for mushrooms to develop. The good news is, they might actually help your lawn.

New or recently laid turf?

It is particularly common for mushrooms to appear in recently laid turf. This is due to the fact that, when the turf is harvested, the roots have to be cut, which in turn causes damage on the bottom layer. This damage then decomposes after the turf has been laid, helped by microscopic bacteria and fungi present in all soils and vital to the biodiversity of your garden. For the most part, these fungi work away quietly underground, too small to easily see. However, in the right conditions, they move into their reproductive phase producing the toadstools you can see on the surface of the turf. These toadstools then release microscopic spores, that work in the same way as a plant’s seeds and are spread over long distances by the wind. These spores will only grow where there is suitable dead material for them to feed on, once this material is gone, the toadstools are not likely to return.

Should I be worried?

Fungi are an important part of the eco-system, breaking down and decomposing dead material in your lawn and, in most circumstances are only temporary and will cause no long-term damage. More mature lawns may have issues with fairy rings, which have been known to cause issues with turf (give us a ring on 01935 850388 if you’d like further advice on this matter), but by and large, there is no need to treat them.

Are they poisonous?

It can be difficult to identify whether a toadstool is poisonous without assistance. If you are worried about small children or pets eating toadstools, the best idea is to remove the top of the toad stool (preferably with a biodegradable bag much like you would pick up a dog poo) in order to prevent the spores from spreading, then cut down the stalk when you mow your lawn, keeping the height at no less than 25mm in order to prevent any damage to your turf.

Remember not to mow newly laid lawns until the turf is established. You can check this by trying to pull up an edge of the turf. If it comes up easily, it is not ready to mow yet.

Can I use fungicides to remove mushrooms from my lawn?

There are no treatments available for toadstools in the UK, however, there should be no need to treat them as they are not damaging to turf and, in fact can add beneficial nutrients by adding organic matter to the soil when you mow.

Though there is no reason to be concerned should you start seeing toadstools in your turf, we are always happy to help if you would like advice. Give us a ring on 01935 850388, email us at enquiries@sherborneturf.co.uk or send us a message on Facebook Messenger or on Instagram – we’d love to hear from you.