Why are mushrooms growing in my garden? Is it a good or bad thing? Short answer, mushrooms are a great sign that your garden is healthy. In fact, mushrooms can even rebuild soils that have been destroyed through overproduction or neglect.
So, if you spot some of them growing in your garden, it means the soil there possesses the microbes that feed off nutrients provided by the mushrooms.
Remember, these microbes can digest what the mushrooms’ mycelium breaks down, whereas the rest of the plants in your garden can digest what the microbes break down.
Why Are Mushrooms Growing in My Garden?
While mushrooms might be advantageous to your garden, they’re not the prettiest to look at on your otherwise beautiful garden. In addition to that, if you’re trying to cultivate specific plants in that garden, you won’t want these mushrooms getting in the way.
With that in mind, here are the three main reasons the soil in your garden is conducive for mushroom growth. Eradicating these conditions should efficiently eliminate any sprouting mushrooms.
Your Garden Boasts Too Much Organic Waste
Unless the organic waste is too thick or the layers have been piled up and are suffocating your garden, organic waste is super healthy to any garden, trees, bushes, flowers, and even lawns. In fact, the right amount of organic waste is undoubtedly the best thing you can offer your garden – better than fertilizers.
With that in mind, if a garden has too much organic material, mushrooms tend to grow to help the ground break it down so the surrounding plants can better consume them for growth.
So, how do you deal with mushrooms growing in your garden due to built-up organic waste? Well, I do not recommend getting rid of the organic waste.
If you notice mushrooms growing in an area that’s piled up with organic junk, consider gathering the waste and using it to start a composite pile in some other place other than your garden.
While researching for this guide, I also came across a myth that nitrogen-rich fertilizers can help kill mushrooms caused by organic waste buildups, and this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Nitrogen fertilizers are not only ineffective with mushrooms, but research has proven that adding nitrogen to mushrooms actually acts as a growth medium (just like sawdust.)
Even worse, putting too much nitrogen-rich fertilizers into the soil in your garden in an attempt to get rid of mushrooms could end up getting rid of some of your beloved plants as well.
Your Garden Is Too Shady
The vast, rolling front garden where my husband and I live at the moment is shaded by massive trees along its edges. Generally, the garden gets lots of sunlight, but every part is shaded at some point during the day.
The garden also has a bright green spot where my irrigation pipes leak underground, and that’s where mushrooms have chosen to grow.
After researching the phenomenon online and gathering info from local experts, I learned that mushrooms thrive in regions of your garden that are the most shaded.
As such, while you may need some shade in your garden for plants that need partial shades, you’ll need to trim back any excess branches and allow sunlight to dry out the soil if you want to get rid of mushrooms that keep popping up.
What’s more? If the shady spot in your garden also collects lots of water as mine does, it will be wise to install a drainage system there.
While learning about how shades + leakages make for an excellent combination for mushroom growth, I also came across a myth that aerating your garden kills mushrooms.
While aerating your garden pokes small holes into the soil to help irrigation water sink further down into the topsoil, it doesn’t kill the mycelium.
This brings me to the next probable reason mushrooms are growing in your garden.
Your Garden is Too Wet
Where I lived before moving to my current house, I learned early on that the section of the gardens where mushrooms tended to grow was the wettest ones. That’s because mycelium filaments are incredibly delicate and need moist, soft soil to thrive.
Actually, in some ways, mycelium filaments can be compared to a human’s nervous system, which needs water to send signals to the rest of the body. Yeah, the presence of water helps mushroom filaments send their signals.
With that in mind, to help your garden drain better, clean the gutters and reroute or extend your downspouts. You can also use a rain barrel or create rain gardens to collect rainwater instead of letting it pool on specific parts of your garden.
Note, though, that fixing your drainage won’t get rid of the mycelium underneath the ground. It will just reduce its frequency of fruiting.
The Best Way To Stop Mushrooms Growing In Your Garden
The best way to utterly get rid of any mushrooms in your garden is to break up the mycelium by plowing your garden, then doing deep rakes and pulling the clumps out. As noted earlier, avoid using fungicides as much as possible because they’re dangerous.
Fungicides are also toxic to the individual applying them, and they’ll kill everything else in the soil (including the little worms that keep your garden aerated and the tiny microbes keeping your garden soil healthy.)
While mushrooms in your garden might not be a pretty sight, there are several advantages to letting them stay. These upsides for your plants include stress & disease resistance, increased growth, , and water absorption.
In addition, having the shrooms in your garden is a great indicator your soil is healthy and will sustain plant life.
Despite all these benefits, getting rid of the mushrooms might be a good idea if you had something else planned for the garden. They not only decrease the garden’s visual appeal, but some varieties are also toxic and can be dangerous to your children and pets.