Mushrooms in The Yard Are Mostly Harmless

Mariah Bock  |  9/29/2014 9:18:18 PM

Mushrooms come in an array of shapes, sizes and colors.

After extended periods of rain it is common to see mushrooms popping up everywhere. Homeowners often find them unsightly and a nuisance, especially when they appear on well-manicured lawns. And while mushrooms may be an eyesore to some, it is important to recognize that they are not harmful to your lawn or other plants in your yard.

Mushrooms are a product of fungi living in the soil. These fungi do not cause plant disease, but rather are beneficial to plants. Saprophytic fungi, in particular, are critical to the health of our landscape and vital in the process of turning organic matter into compost. Saprophytic fungi are always present in our lawns and gardens. We just usually don’t take notice. When conditions are right they make their presence known by sending up mushrooms.

Mushrooms come in an array of shapes, sizes and colors. They are actually the reproductive structures of fungi and are sometimes referred to as “fruiting bodies”. Their role is to produce spores and release them into the environment.

The fungi that produce mushrooms cannot be controlled through the use of chemical fungicides. Homeowners who find them bothersome can remove them by hand or mow them off. However, do not be surprised when mushrooms begin to pop up again after the next stretch of wet weather. LSU AgCenter Horticulturist, Dan Gill, explained it best, “A rose flower is a product of the rose bush. You can pick and remove the flower, but the bush is still there and will produce more flowers. Similarly, you can remove the mushrooms you see, but the organism producing them is still there.”

For those homeowners with small children or pets it is recommended to remove mushrooms as they appear. It is possible that some may poisonous. Never consume unidentified mushrooms.

For more information contact the St. John Parish LSU AgCenter Extension Office at 985-497-3261 or visit www.lsuagcenter.com.

Mariah Simoneaux is the LSU AgCenter County Agent for St. John Parish, she can be reached at 985-497-3261.

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