Mushrooms are a type of fungi, and as such, they are decomposers.
They help break down organic matter, such as leaves, dead roots, and other debris. While this is generally beneficial, mushrooms can become a nuisance when they grow in undesirable locations, such as in your mulch.
If you want to know how to get rid of mushrooms in mulch, then there are some things that you need to take into account.
Mushrooms are a natural part of the ecosystem and can sometimes grow in mulch.
If you have mushrooms growing in your mulch, you must get rid of them as soon as possible.
There is no quick fix for the problem but read on to find out about a few measures on how to get rid of mushrooms in mulch.
- Why Do Mushrooms Grow in Mulch?
- Why Is Removing Mushrooms Essential?
- How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Mulch?
- How to Prevent Mushrooms in Mulch?
Why Do Mushrooms Grow in Mulch?
Usually sprouting above the ground, mushrooms are fleshy, spore-bearing, fruiting bodies of fungi. They grow in damp places like forests, lawns, and gardens. They can be found worldwide but are more common in colder climates.
Humid and poorly drained areas are the house for mushrooms.
They often grow in mulch because it contains decaying leaves, twigs, and other plant material.
Mulch acts as a food source for mushrooms perpetuating their existence.
Therefore, these fungus bodies grow in compost piles, sitting organic material, or other decaying matter.
So, you will likely find them there.
Why Is Removing Mushrooms Essential?
Finding mushrooms in your yard is not a healthy sign; therefore, you need to eliminate them.
- Mushrooms are a type of fungi that decomposes organic matter.
- On formation, these mushrooms form mushroom spores, resulting in widespread growth.
- Mushrooms indicate the presence of too much moisture in the mulch, which can lead to mold and mildew problems.
- Mushrooms can also signify other problems, such as pests or diseases.
- Additionally, some people are allergic to mushrooms and can have allergic reactions if they come in contact with them.
For all these reasons, you must get rid of mushrooms before they take over your garden.
How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Mulch?
Our experts have suggested different methods on how to get rid of mushrooms in mulch.
We’ve listed them below:
1. Dig Out Method
If you have mushrooms growing in your mulch, the first step is identifying the type of mushroom; there are many distinct types of mushrooms.
Each has its unique characteristics.
Don’t use chemical treatments; choose environment-friendly methods to eliminate the mushrooms. We recommend starting with cultural practices; the most effective is handpicking.
This technique may be old-fashioned, but it’s effective at all times.
Here’s how to do it:
- Use a garden rake, fork, or hand trowel to get the job done.
- Remember, you won’t simply clip off the mushrooms from the base. Lever them out from the soil, taking out that root ball. (It will prevent any further mushroom growth.)
- Place the excavated soil containing the mushrooms in a plastic bag.
- Then, seal the bag firmly shut so that mushroom spores can’t escape creating new ones.
- It is best to discard this bag outside your yard carefully.
This method is most effective if the infestation is small and contained in one area.
If the mushrooms are widespread throughout your mulch bed, you may need to use chemical controls.
2. Use Baking Soda
You can try baking soda to get rid of mushrooms in mulch on a smaller scale.
It is a natural way to kill fungi and will also help to neutralize any odors.
- Sprinkle the baking soda over the affected area and allow it to sit for a few hours before sweeping it up.
- You may need to repeat this process for four to six weeks to eliminate the mushrooms.
You can also sprinkle some baking soda after intervals beforehand to avoid any potential fungal growth.
3. Pour Table Salt
You can kill mushrooms in your mulch by pouring table salt on them. However, salt doesn’t affect mushroom spores, so it can’t help to cease new mushroom growth.
4. Environment-Friendly Fungicide
Fungicides are a great way to eliminate mushrooms without using harsh chemicals.
Many different brands and types of fungicides are available, so be sure to read the labels carefully before purchasing.
Go for one that has a tag of environmentally approved.
- When applying fungicide, it is important to wet the entire mushroom with water. It will help the fungicide penetrate the mushroom’s surface.
- Next, apply a generous amount of fungicide to the mushroom using a brush or spray bottle.
- Be sure to coat the entire mushroom, including the underside.
- Finally, allow the fungicide to dry completely.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully when using any fungicide.
5. Household Vinegar
One household item that can help get rid of mushrooms in mulch is vinegar.
Vinegar is an acidic substance that can kill mushrooms.
- Soak a rag or sponge in vinegar to use this method, and then wipe down the mushrooms in your mulch.
- We don’t recommend spraying as it may harm the surrounding plants. You may need to do this several times to kill the mushrooms entirely.
Pro Tip: If you want an immediate effect, you can use horticultural vinegar that is more acidic. However, its usage requires great care regarding wearing safety equipment and preventing the rest of the plants.
6. Soapy Water
Mushrooms love damp, dark, and humid environments like those in many mulched flower beds.
- You can eliminate mushrooms in your mulch by making the environment less attractive to them with soapy water.
- Soapy water makes an effective fungicide against mushrooms.
- Mix one tablespoon of dish soap with 1 gallon of water and spray it on the affected area.
The dish soap will kill the mushrooms and prevent new ones from growing.
7. Chemical Treatment
Mushrooms are susceptible to herbicides that contain the active ingredient glyphosate.
- Glyphosate works by killing the fungi that produce mushrooms.
- Be sure to apply glyphosate only to the areas where mushrooms are growing and avoid contact with desirable plants nearby.
It is essential to read and follow all label instructions carefully when using any chemicals in your garden.
8. Change Mulch Composition
Another method you can try is to rake out the affected area of mulch and replace it with fresh mulch.
It won’t kill the mushrooms, but it will remove them from your yard so they can’t spread further.
You can also change the composition of your mulch by removing decaying organic material.
- Consider adding more coarse materials like bark chips, live groundcovers, pine straws, stones, and cypress needles.
- Moreover, to prevent mushrooms from growing, you can add a layer of straw on top of the mulch.
It will make it less hospitable for mushrooms to grow.
9. Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizers
One method how to get rid of mushrooms in mulch is to add nitrogen-rich fertilizers to the soil. It will help discourage mushroom growth by making the environment less hospitable for them. You can find nitrogen-rich fertilizers at most garden stores or online retailers.
10. Sweep Your Garden
It is advisable to keep your garden clean by depriving it of leaves, dead flowers, fallen fruits, etc. Sweep the garden regularly to prevent the establishment of these mushrooms again. Remove tree stumps, as they are an ideal breeding ground for mushrooms.
11. Monitor for Regrowth
Once you have eliminated mushrooms in your mulch, monitor the area closely for regrowth. Mushrooms can quickly reappear if conditions are favorable for their growth.
12. Be Patient
Mushrooms are usually seasonal and occur twice a year, mainly in colder seasons. Therefore, it is no big deal if you don’t take steps to remove them.
Be patient and wait for their departure.
Stinkhorns won’t be as prevalent in the next few months because of the sunny, dryer, and warmer weather.
Now you know how to get rid of mushrooms in mulch.
How to Prevent Mushrooms in Mulch?
Mushrooms in mulch can be a real pain to deal with.
Not only are they unsightly, but they can also be challenging to get rid of.
The tips on getting rid of mushrooms in mulch will help you in that regard.
Nevertheless, here are some control and preventive measures that could keep the fungus away from your mulch:
- First, you should not use any bagged mulch because it will not allow proper drainage, leading to moist conditions, and can cause mushroom growth.
- Choose a variety of mulch that’s less favorable for mushroom growth. For example, cedar chips or gravel can make it difficult for mushrooms to take hold. (Ask a local gardening expert for advice if you’re unsure which mulch is best for your landscape.)
- Always make sure that your mulch is not too moist. (Mushrooms need moisture to grow, so if your mulch is too wet, it will provide the perfect environment for them to thrive. To avoid this, only water your mulch when necessary, and let it dry out completely between watering.)
- Remove any existing mushrooms that you see. (It will help to prevent more from growing in the future.)
- Be sure to dispose of the mushrooms properly so they don’t end up in your compost or spread spores elsewhere in your landscape.
- If you have a persistent problem with mushrooms in your mulch, you may need to consult a gardening professional. A professional can help you identify the cause of the problem and find a solution that will work for your specific situation.
- Aerate your mulch regularly to ventilate it so it does not retain too much moisture. Mycelia might have formed underneath, and it helps break them up.
- Ultimately, proper lawn care, aeration, and immediate removal of grass clippings can help prevent mushrooms from growing in your mulch.
Following these tips, you can prevent mushrooms from growing in your mulch and keep your landscape looking its best.
Let’s head to the conclusion!
That’s all you can do to eliminate the mushrooms in the mulch bed.
Battling mushrooms in mulch is an ongoing issue for people everywhere, but this article has all you need to know on how to get rid of mushrooms in mulch.
Pulling mushrooms in their initial stages is a more straightforward and environmentally friendly way to remove them. Furthermore, preventive measures are discussed above to protect your yard from mushrooms.
We hope our tips have helped you figure out how to deal with mushrooms in your mulch.
If you have any other tips or methods that have worked for you, share them with us in the comments below!