Darrell Blackwelder column: Lawn mushrooms are popping up

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 30, 2020

Mushrooms seem to be popping all over the county with the unending rainfall, warm temperatures and extreme humidity over the past few weeks. My breakfast partner, Mike, said that he had mushrooms pop up overnight in his lawn after he’d had cut grass the day before. Mushrooms or toadstools are the reproductive structures (flowers) of fungi which feed on decaying organic matter. Mulch, dying trees, discarded buried construction wood, or rotting roots provide the perfect the growing medium with the ideal weather conditions we’ve had over the past two weeks.

The fast-growing fungi most often grow very quickly from rotting roots from trees that have been removed years ago to unknowing homeowners. Mushrooms may form a circular pattern in lawns and in mulch locations.

There are no practical control solutions for mushrooms in lawns or flower beds. These pop-ups will fade away in a few days or when dry weather returns, however, the fungi can be physically removed quickly with no problems.

Most mushrooms that grow throughout Rowan County are not poisonous. However, an expert with knowledge is required to distinguish between edible and poisonous species. Always be safe and never consume wild mushrooms.

Darrell Blackwelder deblackw@ncsu.edu is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.