Last week we had lots of rain and warm temperatures, which is great for Fall overseeing and aeration. There is another side effect to all the rain. That is mushrooms and in some yards lots of mushrooms. At one point last Friday the mold spore count was over 50,000.
The Mushroom is actually the “fruit” of a fungus. They like lots of rain but also decaying organic matter like wood, mulch, grass or leaves. Most of these mushrooms are harmless to your yard and to you unless you are allergic to certain fungi. Though watch pets and kids around them and don’t let them eat them because some can be very poisonous.
Like this one below called Green-Spore Lepiota. They commonly grow in rings that are sometimes called fairy rings. Fairy rings got the name because people though that fairies were dancing in a circle spreading the spores. In reality when organic material breaks down in your yard it spreads into a dark circle on your lawn where the mushrooms then grow. These can just be mowed down or raked down. Or in worst case situations many home improvement stores have fungicide to kill them off. Just know that rain is one part of the problem but decaying organic matter is the other. If there is a tree nearby it may have root rot so watch your trees for signs of problems where ever you see lawn mushrooms.
(Pictures via http://www.duke.edu/~jspippen/fungi/mushrooms.htm)
Very Poisonous mushrooms to watch out for:
Another species to watch out for is the Destroying Death Angel mushroom which is very common in North Carolina. This is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the U.S. and is responsible for a significant portion of mushroom related deaths. These normally grow in wooded areas and in pine straw. This look rather large and can even be freakishly huge. Don’t let kids or pets eat these because it will be fatal.
Good News if you don’t like mushrooms:
If you are like me and don’t like mushrooms in your food or on your lawn. The good news is they will disappear fast with dry and cool weather. Which is exactly what I’m, forecasting over the next 7 days. To be safe just mow them down or rake them up so kids and pets don’t accidentally eat them or wait for them to go away in the drier weather. If you have a serious problem consult your local home improvement store or contact a lawn service. They can help you get rid of the problem fast.