What Causes Mushrooms to Grow on Lawns?

To understand how to remove mushrooms from a lawn, it's crucial to understand how they develop. Lawn mushrooms feed off of different organic matter found in your soil. As long as this organic matter is present, mushrooms have a food source on which to feast and will continue to grow in your lawn.

Decaying Organic Matter

"Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi" responsible for breaking down decaying organic matter in the soil such as old mulch, pet waste and dying plant matter, according to Mary Robson, an Extension Agent for the Washington State University Extension. In this case, mushrooms provide a beneficial purpose and pose no harm to living plants.

Tree & Shrub Roots

A group of fungi, or mushrooms, named mycorrhizal appear on tree and shrub roots. They benefit the tree or shrub by absorbing nutrients from the soil and transferring it to the plant. Mycorrhizal reproduce each year and often appear during cooler months and when the ground is moist.

Diseased Plants

A group of mushrooms, with the most commonly seen type being Armillaria, attack the roots of already diseased plants and kill it. They often appear at the base of plants that are waterlogged because of poor drainage or because they have been over-watered. This type of mushroom is rare, but must be controlled to protect healthy plants that it could possibly attack.

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About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.