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Mushroom Growth in Lawns

Mushrooms are quite a common sight on newly laid turf and existing lawns that require heavy irrigation. By creating damp conditions (which is essential when laying a new lawn) you increase the probability of the fungi spores producing their visible fruit structures or mushrooms. The majority of fungi are harmless to your lawn and will actually prove to be beneficial as they decompose organic matter which, in turn releases nutrients to assist with the growth of grasses. The main reason for removing mushrooms from your lawn is to keep them away from children, pets and improving the appearance of the lawn.

The best methods to control a lawn mushroom problem:

• Irrigation Reduction

Reduce the amount of water applied to the lawn and allow the soil to dry. This will reverse the conditions required by fungi to thrive. This is not advisable for newly laid lawns as they require constant irrigation to develop root structure. If mushrooms are present at this point you will have to remove them by hand until the root system of the turf is established.

• Improvement of Soil Air Flow

By removing the thatch through scarification and reducing soil compaction by hollow tining you increase the air flow within the rootzone layer which helps to keep the lawn well drained. The application of lawn top dressing which contains non compressible sand allows the soil to become free draining.

• Apply Natural Fertilizer

By applying lawn top dressing you introduce a slow releasing, natural nitrogen fertiliser. This will help speed up decomposition of organic matter and reduces the abundance of food source for the fungi

The good news is mushrooms are not a danger to your lawn and only a very small percentage actually lead to lawn disease. Most professional landscapers will remove them by hand as applying a fungicide only removes the visible fruit structure and not the fungi spores. The best way to control mushrooms is control the environment that they grow in. If the conditions are not suitable the spores will not produce mushroom. Good drainage of your lawn and a yearly maintenance program of scarification , aeration and lawn top dressing application are essential to a healthy lawn.

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