How to Naturally Get Rid of Mushrooms in Your Yard

Mushrooms popping up unexpectedly in your yard can be an unsightly nuisance. However, there are several natural methods you can use to get rid of mushrooms without resorting to harsh chemicals. With a little effort, you can have a mushroom-free lawn and garden again.

Remove Leaf Litter and Debris

Mushrooms thrive in damp, shaded areas covered in decomposing organic matter. The first step is removing this ideal mushroom environment.

  • Rake up any dead leaves, sticks, mulch, and other yard debris. This eliminates the damp, rotting material mushrooms feed on.
  • Prune back overhanging trees and bushes to increase sunlight exposure. Mushrooms prefer shady, moist areas. Letting in more sun will help dry out the lawn.
  • Fix any drainage issues that lead to puddling or persistently wet areas. Improve drainage by adding a French drain, regrading the lawn, or installing gutters.

Eliminating dense ground cover and improving air circulation deprives mushrooms of their preferred growing conditions. Be thorough – clearing away as much decomposing matter as possible gives fewer places for mushrooms to establish themselves.

Adjust Soil pH

Certain mushroom species thrive in acidic soil. Test your yard’s pH and add garden lime if needed to raise the pH to a less hospitable level.

  • Use an at-home soil testing kit or send a sample to your local extension office for analysis.
  • For lawns, aim for a neutral pH around 7. Mushrooms prefer acidic soil in the 5.5 to 6.5 range.
  • Work pelletized dolomite lime into the top 2-3 inches of soil. Lime raises pH slowly over time, so retest in a few months.

Getting the soil pH above 6.5 will discourage acid-loving mushrooms types like fairy rings. Wood-decay fungi may still grow in higher pH soil, so pH adjustment alone may not solve all mushroom problems.

Apply a Moss and Algae Killer

A moss and algae killer containing ferrous sulfate, sulfur, or quaternary ammonium can disrupt fungal growth on lawns.

  • Choose a product labeled as controlling fungus or mushroom growth. Follow label application rates.
  • Apply evenly when grass is damp for optimal absorption. Avoid mowing for several days after application.
  • Repeat every 10-14 days until mushrooms are gone. More applications may be needed for severe infestations.

These products create an inhospitable environment for mushrooms via pH change or direct anti-fungal action. Results are temporary, so you’ll need to reapply regularly to keep mushrooms from recurring.

Encourage Healthy Grass Growth

A thick, vigorous lawn is less likely to suffer mushroom outbreaks. Improving overall lawn health makes conditions unfavorable for fungal colonization.

  • Overseed bare or thin areas to fill in the lawn. Pack soil before seeding to ensure good contact.
  • Water deeply 1-2 times a week to moisten the top 4-6 inches of soil. Let the lawn dry between waterings.
  • Fertilize in fall with a balanced organic fertilizer to feed the grass roots.
  • Set mower height to 3-4 inches. Taller grass develops deeper roots able to outcompete shallow mushroom mycelium.

Robust grass roots will absorb more water and nutrients, leaving less available for mushrooms. The shade and reduced airflow from dense grass also helps suppress fungal growth.

Apply a Biofungicide

Bacillus subtilis and Trichoderma harzianum are beneficial microbes that can battle problem fungi like mushrooms. Unlike chemical fungicides, these biofungicides don’t harm plants, pets, or people.

  • Look for products containing one or both of these active ingredients. Follow label directions for best results.
  • Apply as a soil drench or spray onto affected lawn areas. Reapply every 1-2 weeks as needed.
  • Use in conjunction with other cultural methods like debris removal and pH adjustment for a multifaceted approach.

The helpful bacteria and fungi in biofungicides compete with mushroom mycelium for space and nutrients. With repeated applications, populations build up enough to gain the upper hand against mushrooms.

Use Corn Gluten Meal

An all-natural pre-emergent herbicide, corn gluten meal also suppresses fungal growth when used properly. It contains proteins that inhibit newly forming mycelium.

  • Apply in spring and fall when grass is actively growing. Use 20 lbs per 1000 sq ft.
  • Water in well after application. Reapply every 4-6 weeks for seasonal control.
  • Avoid using when reseeding, as corn gluten prevents new seed germination.

The corn gluten meal forms a protective barrier on the soil surface that blocks young mushroom mycelium. It may take several applications to deplete reserves in established fungal colonies.

Remove Specific Mushroom Varieties

For individual mushroom patches, promptly removing the fruiting bodies can help manage the problem:

  • For shrooms with cups like inky caps, scoop them out using a trowel. Try to remove the root-like mycelium beneath.
  • Cut chanterelles and other stemmed varieties at ground level. Cover the remaining stump with salt.
  • Mow puffballs and other ball-shaped mushrooms before they release spores. Bag and dispose of clippings.

Removing the reproductive structures prevents mushrooms from spreading further. Combine with other methods targeting the vegetative mycelium network in the soil for more complete control.

When to Call a Professional

Seek professional help for serious or recurring mushroom infestations:

  • If mushrooms cover over 25% of the lawn or garden area
  • If mushrooms return within a month of removal
  • For large, mature fungi like giant puffballs or hen of the woods
  • For mushroom varieties you can’t identify

Arborists, horticulturists, or pest control specialists have industrial-strength tools to eradicate extensive fungus growth. For a mushroom plague, calling in the pros may be your quickest and most effective solution.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Mushrooms from the Yard

How long does it take to get rid of mushrooms in the yard?

It can take 2-3 weeks to see results from cultural controls like removing organic debris and adjusting pH. For severe infestations, it may take 2-3 months to fully clear mushrooms using continual removal and fungicide applications.

What is the fastest way to get rid of mushrooms in my lawn?

The quickest way is having the mushrooms physically removed either manually or by a professional service. Combine immediate removal with products like moss killers and corn gluten meal for rapid reduction. But addressing underlying causes like moisture and shade is also important for long-term control.

Will mushrooms in my yard go away on their own?

Mushrooms may disappear on their own after rainy periods end. But the underlying mycelium will remain alive in the soil, ready to resprout with the next moist conditions. Removing spores and mycelium is key to preventing mushrooms from returning.

Are mushrooms in the yard dangerous for pets or kids?

Most lawn mushrooms are not toxic, but some varieties can cause stomach upsets if eaten. As a general rule, don’t allow pets or children to play with, handle, or consume any wild mushrooms. Their safety is best guaranteed by removing mushrooms promptly.

What can I put on my lawn to kill mushrooms?

Effective mushroom killers include sulfur, iron sulfate, and quaternary ammonium products. Choose a commercial moss and algae killer formulated to suppress fungal growth. Always follow label directions carefully when applying to lawns.


Mushrooms can be frustrating but aren’t impossible to remove from your landscape. With persistence and repeated applications of removal and control methods, you can rid your yard of mushrooms and keep them from coming back. Pay close attention to correcting moisture and pH issues to deny mushrooms their ideal habitat. A mushroom-free lawn and garden are within your reach with diligent care and maintenance.