Autumn is traditionally a time for foraging. Sloe Berries, Blackberries, Crab Apples and yes, mushrooms.
This is the season when toadstools and mushrooms pop up in the fields and woodlands. And, if the conditions are right, they may well appear in your lawn too.
Newly laid lawns seem to be a particular favourite of toadstools. And at first glance they can be worrying. But rest assured, they’re nothing to lose sleep about.
What makes toadstools grow in your lawn?
Your lawn and the soil beneath it are a complicated ecosystem and they’re all part of Nature’s wonder. The changing seasons bring changes in the natural world and toadstools are all part of the system. Let’s take a look at how they “work”…
Fungi (ie toadstools and mushrooms) reproduce by sending tiny spores out from between the gills on the underside of the fruit. The spores get carried on the wind and they land – well – everywhere. If the conditions are suitable for them to grow, they grow. If the conditions don’t suit, they stay dormant waiting until the time is right. Just about every teaspoonful of soil in the UK will contain the dormant spores of some or other type of fungus.
The soil that our turf is grown on is no exception. It’s prime farmland. We don’t sterilise the soil because that would destroy soil microbes and make your turf too expensive to buy. That means that there will be dormant seeds fungal spores in that soil as well as the “good” bacteria that help to keep plants healthy.
Come the autumn, the weather, daylight hours, temperature, humidity and rainfall are exactly what fungal spores want to encourage them to grow, fruit and send out new spores. (Which is why we see so many mushrooms and toadstools growing in the countryside at this time of year)
It seems as though harvesting turf, transporting it and laying it also help stimulate growth. So it’s not at all uncommon for toadstools to grow in relatively new lawns. All the diligent watering needed to establish the turf also helps the toadstools.
Are the toadstools poisonous?
There are hundreds of different species of toadstool and mushroom and without expert identification it’s impossible to say whether the fungi in your garden are poisonous. Having said that, over time, various people have done tests and as far as I know, they’ve not found any magical or lethal mushrooms growing in new turf.
So it’s highly unlikely that the toadstools in your lawn will harm pets or people. But the advice from Stewarts Turf is NOT to eat the toadstools and keep small children and pets away from them. At the same time, there’s no need to panic.
Will the toadstools damage my lawn?
Again, the answer is “no” it’s not likely that you will end up with bald patches or fairy rings in your lawn.
How do I get rid of toadstools in my lawn?
It’s simple. They won’t tolerate being mown. So while the toadstools are fruiting, cut your lawn more frequently and the fungi will soon disappear.
Everything you need to know about toadstools in your lawn
- It’s a natural phenomenon. You haven’t bought faulty turf and you haven’t done anything wrong.
- It’s very unlikely that the toadstools/mushrooms are poisonous – but unless you are an expert at identifying fungi, please don’t eat them.
- Toadstools will not damage your lawn.
- Mowing every other day will usually get rid of toadstools within a couple of weeks.