Lawn Mushrooms Oh No
This morning while taking the dogs out, I noticed an interesting development on our lawn over night, a few little toadstools had magically appeared. I guess while the frogs were singing their chorus around the Koi pond, late last night, the fairies must have been dancing. Well, it could have had something to do with all the rain we have had lately, and I’m hoping it has something to do with all the great organic matter in our soil, or perhaps they appeared as an advertisement for National Mushroom Month coming up in September.
I guess they could be there because the devil churned his butter on our lawn last night, but I’m not sure the devil even likes butter, not to mention he’s not welcome at our house, so I think that’s highly unlikely. I’m pretty sure these are poisonous mushrooms, and not the ones purported to give you super human strength or immortality if you eat them. Well, these guys aren’t going to be here long; besides, I think they make nice additions to our lawn, a little natural decoration. As far as I’m concerned they can hang around as long as they like, and the Fairies may dance on our lawn any time they want, however the frogs singing their chorus, well that’s a different story.
IDENTIFYING YOUR LAWN MUSHROOMS:
We took photos of the two kinds of mushrooms in our lawn and then went online to try and find out what type of mushroom they are and more importantly, are they poisonous?
This is the first mushroom in our lawn;
We used various fabulous websites to determine that this first type of mushroom is most likely a Green Spored Lepiota otherwise known as Chlorophyllum molybdites.
We found out the following, quite disturbing, information about our first type of lawn mushroom;
Description: The cap of this mushroom starts out looking like a ball and is 2 to 4 inches in diameter (See one of the younger ones in our lawn here)
These mushrooms eventually expand until nearly flat and attains a diameter of 6 to 10 inches or more. They are dry and white, finely fibrous, and has brownish patches that develop into scales, especially near the center of the cap, as it matures.
The gills inside the cap are initially white, becoming greenish to greenish gray as the mushroom matures, and sometimes staining yellowish, pinkish or brownish where bruised. The gills are initially covered by a white, membranous partial veil that usually persists in mature specimens as a ring of tissue around the upper stalk. The ring is generally flared slightly open at the top, and develops a brownish color on the lower surface. In some specimens the ring eventually becomes moveable.
The stalk is smooth and white, usually staining brownish where bruised, 3 to 10 inches in height and about one-half to one inch thick, sometimes slightly thickened toward the bottom end.
Toxicity: The Green-Spored Lepiota contains proteins or amino acids that are not tolerated by the digestive system of humans or many other mammals. If ingested the symptoms can become evident within 30 minutes to one and one-half hours (but sometimes as much as several hours) following ingestion of the mushroom (either raw or cooked). The typical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Symptoms often abate after a few hours of suffering but sometimes can last for as long as two days. As with other mushrooms containing similar gastroirritants, in some cases the victim’s vomiting and diarrhea are severe enough to require hospitalization to prevent life-threatening dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Exposure factors: Sometimes mistaken for the Parasol Mushroom or the Shaggy Parasol mushroom and sometimes sampled by infants, toddlers and domesticated dogs, this handsome but toxic mushroom is very common on lawns throughout much of the United States. It is most common in the southern states, and is especially frequent from late summer through fall. It typically grows in “fairy rings” or arc patterns.
The Chlorophyllum Molybdites mushroom shown above IS POISONOUS and you should treat them with alot of caution, do not let your pets or children eat them!
The second mushroom we found is shown below and luckily it is non-poisonous;
It is much smaller than our first mushroom and was very hard to spot without taking a closer look.
MUSHROOM FACTS AND REMOVAL:
The part of a mushroom above ground is called the “fruit” and may contain thousands of tiny seeds which are called spores. Each spore grows a root when it hits the ground, and these roots can produce a hidden underground structure. Whenever two roots from different spores meet they will often join to make a new mushroom!
Tip1: The only sure fire wat to get rid of your mushrooms would be to remove all the dirt that contains either roots or spores! This is impractical and very difficult and you may be spreading the roots and spores when you shovel the dirt!
Tip 2: Even if you found a product, chemical etc, that would wipe out this batch of mushrooms, airborne spores of the same species (or another species) could easily grow more mushrooms in the same spot as long as conditions are favorable so we need to focus on creating a yard environment that doesn’t favor the growth of our fungal friends! Read on….
Note: Because mushrooms are simply the fruit of fungi, removing them does not kill the underground network of roots from which they are growing. Picking mushrooms as soon after they appear can prevent the spores from spreading to parts of your lawn, however, because most spores are wind-blown they can easily come into a lawn from any neighboring areas.
Tip 3:Fairy Rings:
If you have circular or semi-circular green bands of grass in a lawn this may be caused by the fairy ring fungi. Rings may be from 1 to 12 or more feet in diameter and mushrooms may or may not be present. Fairy rings get their name from the ancient belief that mushrooms grew in circles where fairies danced. All grasses are susceptible to fairy rings and several species of mushroom-producing fungi may be involved.
Sometimes you can escape this fairy ring with just extra grass growth which is caused by the release of plant nutrients as the fungi decompose organic matter in the soil. In other cases the soil just inside the ring may become so permeated by the fungal growth that water cannot penetrate and the grass in that area grows poorly or dies. Fairy rings often continue to enlarge for many years. As the ring expands, the older portions of the underground mushrooms die, leaving a larger area in the center where weeds and undesirable grasses may become established so it is essential that you manage them quickly;
Tip 4: Fairy Ring Management:
IF you notice extra grass growth in a circle then increasing fertilizer and irrigation will usually mask the effects of the fairy ring mushroom symptoms.
Removing Other Mushrooms:
Tip 5: Aerating the soil to improve water penetration may help in some cases, you just need to get grass growing again instead of the shrooms!
Tip 6: You can sometimes eliminate mushrooms growing from organic matter by applying nitrogen fertilizer. The nitrogen should be readily available and not slow-release or water-insoluble formulations. Go to your local garden center and look for lawn fertilizers with 21-0-0 blend or 16-6-8 or 27-3-4, basically get one high in Nitrogen. Fertilization with Nitrogen hastens decomposition of the mushroom matter.
Our Favorite Mushroom Identification Books:
So, have you had fairies dancing on your lawn lately? Let me know, I’d hate to think we are the only ones they are visiting!
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