Rain, rain, and more rain – it has been an incredibly wet summer so far. With record breaking rainfall over the past few weeks, there are bound to be some issues. From downed trees and broken limbs to flooded basements and pond-like lawns, excess amounts of rain seems to always create some kind of trouble.
One thing that we have seen a lot of lately is mushrooms. Masses of mushrooms are literally popping up overnight. They are under shrubs, around trees, and taking over our lawns. Combine the amount of moisture that we have had lately and the days and days of shady cloud cover and you get the perfect environment for a complete fungal takeover.
If you have mushrooms in your lawn, do not panic! This means that you have a lawn comprised of healthy organic material; mushrooms will break down and make your soil even healthier! If it doesn’t bother you to have them in your lawn, the best thing to do is to just wait for the sun to come back out and dry them up. Sunlight is a mushroom’s worst enemy.
If you hate seeing these little guys in your lawn, there are a few things you can do to prevent them. Keep all trees and shrubs trimmed to decrease the amount of shaded area. Sunlight and mushrooms do not mix. Increase the drainage in your lawn by aerating occasionally. Aerating your lawn will make the soil less compacted and increase drainage, leading to less of the excess moisture that encourages mushroom growth. Also, make sure to dethatch your lawn when aerating and keep your lawn free of pet waste – mushrooms thrive in both thatch and pet waste.
Although a fungus, mushrooms are definitely not the worst thing to happen to a lawn. However, damp conditions do occasionally bring on more serious fungal problems that you should keep an eye out for. Brown Patch, Fusarium Blight, and Rust are a few diseases that thrive in damp grass. See the photos below to help identify what you may have in your lawn.