Photo Credit: Randy Lemmon

After the rains at the end of May and the first of June, you may start seeing a lot more mushrooms in the yard.  First, don’t panic!  Stop and take a moment and pat yourself on the back.  Simply put, the mushrooms are there as a sort of by-product of a hyper-level of organic matter with no place else to go.

Remember that most organic matter is a good thing!  Unfortunately, too much organic matter with no place to go, gives us situations like fairy rings.  That’s where you see an inordinate number of mushrooms in a sort of circular or semi-circular pattern (as seen in pic).  In some cases in northern states, fairy rings are just a deeper green outer circle of grass.

We may also see temporary ‘outbursts’ of almost flower like mushrooms in beds of mulch and rose soil.  Up close, these temporary fungal sprouts make for beautiful, almost art-like photography.  They too, are just showing that there’s a lot of organic matter with nothing better to do.  Usually, these flower-like mushrooms last for less than 48 hours.  So, I usually suggest always leaving them completely alone. 

In this region of the state, when it comes specifically to the big mushrooms or the fairy ring type of mushrooms, here’s are your options – Choose just one!

1. Leave it alone
2. Pluck out every mushroom and then dust the area with agricultural sulfur, often considered an “organic fungicide” treatment, especially by the ‘manic organics’. 
3.  Pluck out all you can and drench the area with a fungicide like Consan.  Frankly, I don’t care what fungicide you choose, but if you go the fungicide route, use something. 

There are others that talk about the need to top dress with even more oganic material, sort of like we allude to top dressing with compost.  But I have to say, if you have an inordinate amount of ‘fairy rings’ just leave well enough alone with the compost.  

There are others who ask: “When was the last time you fertilized?”  And while I sort of agree with this idea, please be forthright with your response – when was the last time you fertilized?  Fairy Rings often appear in lawns that have lots of organic matter but have failed to stay consistent with their fertilization.  That being said, if you do fall into that category, get out there – obviously, per my schedule – and get a lawn fertilization going right away!!!  And guess what?  We are right on our summer fertilization per my schedule! Randy’s Lawn Care Schedule

This question also comes up:  In this area of the US, what if you do nothing to Fairy Rings?  If you just mow them into the turf each time, the answer to that question is, you’re simply going to grow more mushrooms, because you’re exploding the spores back into the soil.  So, the control method or whether you do anything is completely up to you!!!