There’s a fungus among us…

It’s been an unusual summer season for my yard. Due to a somewhat wet and cool summer, the grass has been as green as it is in April. This time of the year it should be a little crunchy and I should be cutting it every couple of weeks. However, no longer than 6 days for a cut has been the norm this year.

What’s even more unusual about the yard is what popped up out of nowhere after last week’s cut. After the sixth day, we have fourteen HUGE mushrooms growing wild in our back and side yard, with one in the front of the house for good measure. And measure I did. There are two of them that check in nearly 8″ across.

I’m not sure what to think of this. All spring & summer we never had one, and after last Friday’s cut of the lawn, they started popping up a couple of days later and haven’t stopped. Earlier this spring I tried a different lawn care treatment called NaturaLawn of America, which is an organic based lawn care treatment which is a little more friendly to the water supply it seeps into. I’ve always commented to a neighbor down the street how great his yard looks and he told me he uses NaturaLawn, however they come out and apply it. I chose the do-it-yourself route, as they have a 5 step program.

The only other thing I’ve put down this year was some grub control, but I wouldn’t think that would have anything to do with it. Heck for all I know, the lawn treatment didn’t have anything to do with it either. Suggestions, anyone? We’ve had mushrooms pop up periodically during the 7 years we’ve lived here, but nothing like this. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing and that season is now & my yard is fertile ground.

Being a big fan of sauteed mushrooms on my burgers, I’d really like to learn one day if these things are safe. But due to the “poisonous mushroom” fear, I’d never fully have the confidence to try. But then again, with the new yard treatment, these ‘shrooms should be totally organic….pois0nous or not.


Filed under Odds & Ends

6 responses to “There’s a fungus among us…

    • Came across your post and believe if you had a tree where the shrooms are it is most likely due to decay of tree roots. However, if you did not have a tree in that area, and you notice a “ring-like” appearance where those mushrooms are growing, you may have a turf disease called “Fairy Ring.”

      If you’d like to discuss further, please email me.

      Many thanks,
      John Steiner
      Director of Operations
      NaturaLawn of America, Inc.

  1. Hi there!

    Upon review of the shrooms in your lawn, I’d have to say it appears to be one of two things:

    1. You have a collection of tree roots that are now in decay and because of this, the microbial activity is pushing up mushrooms;

    2. There is no former tree, and you have a turf disease called “Fairy Ring.” Fairy ring forms when the turf is invaded by this soil organism causing a ring-like pattern and within that six to eight inch ring, the microbial activity is significantly higher. Due to this, the organic matter is releasing nitrogen at a higher than normal rate. This rate of release causes the grass to eventually brown. The mushrooms that form are causal to the breakdown of organic matter and the mushrooms come up.

    The only thing that is odd is the size of the mushrooms are not indicative to Fairy Ring. Those mushrooms are generally toadstools and do not get very bid.

    Hope that helps!

    John Steiner
    Director of Operations
    NaturaLawn of America, Inc.

    • Pat

      Interesting info, John! We’ve lived there 7 years now & there’s not been a tree there in that time…not sure what was there before. We did have a tree in the back corner of the yard, but it was a good 50 feet away, but it was just cut down a couple of month ago. I’d seriously doubt based on the small size of the tree if the roots were longer than the tree was high, as the tree was not taller than a telephone pole. I’m at a loss though! Since I cut the grass last weekend, they’ve not reappeared. And up until the prior cut, they weren’t there anytime this year. If I were to have NaturaLawn come out and apply, you guys take a soil sample, correct? Thanks again for the response!

      • Hello Pat,

        Interestingly, I’d still believe it is roots in the soil. Many homeowners, myself included before I took a class with Alex Shigo in Lincoln Nebraska back in 1992 would have believed what you stated: “I’d seriously doubt based on the small size of the tree if roots were longer than the tree was high…” In reality, tree roots extend an average of 4 to 7 times the dripline of the tree (where the farthest branches branch out parallel to the ground). For a tree the size of a telephone pole (in the US, utility poles range from 20 to 60 feet, with 1/3 buried for stability), the roots could extend somewhere between 52 and 95 feet from the base of the tree.

        You are correct in that we do soil testing to determine the needs of your lawn and will adjust or modify our program based on your lawn specific needs.

        Thanks for answering back – and if you have any further questions, we’re happy to help!

        Best regards, as always,


        John Steiner / Director of Operations
        NaturaLawn of America, Inc.

  2. tre

    All I can see is one very sharp looking Corvair!

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