Mushrooms can taste good in dishes or look cute when you get them as small ceramic decorations to sit inside or outside, but many people tend to get very frustrated when the mushrooms start popping up on the lawn.
Although most mushrooms in your yard won’t cause a problem for yourself or your lawn, and they can actually benefit your yard by being there, there are ways to get rid of them.
One of the most popular ways to get rid of mushrooms in your yard without negatively impacting the grass is to use vinegar.
So, the next time that it starts to get damp and rainy out and the mushrooms start appearing in the yard, grab vinegar instead of a fungicide, get rid of them in a few simple steps, and enjoy a pristine lawn.
If you’re wondering what types of mushrooms are common in yards, their ideal growing environment, and how to get rid of them using vinegar, this is for you. We’re going to lay all of this out for you and more below.
Common Types of Mushrooms That Grow in Yards
There are different types of mushrooms that can show up in your yard, and some will be completely harmless while others will be highly toxic.
Since there is a fine line between the two when it comes to mushrooms, it’s essential that you can learn to identify the most common ones, so you know which ones you have to get rid of straight away and which ones are okay to leave for a few days.
With this in mind, here are three of the most common types of mushrooms that you can find in your yard on any given day:
Horse Mushroom (Agaricus arvenis)– This mushroom will be highly visible in your yard when it grows, and it has a white cap on it with a slightly yellow tint. They can get up to 3-centimeters wide and 20-centimeters tall if you let them grow, but they’re more of a nuisance as they’re non-toxic.
Meadow Mushroom – (Agaricus campestris>)– Just like the Horse Mushroom, the Meadow Mushroom also has a white cap on it, but it doesn’t have a yellow tint. Additionally, the grill on this mushroom is a light brown color. It’s another harmless, non-toxic species that likes to pop up in yards.
Destroying Angel (Amanita verna) – Better known as the fool’s mushroom or the death mushroom, this is an extremely toxic mushroom species that you want to remove from your yard as quickly as possible. It has a white cap and stems with very light brown coloring on the top of the cap.
Which Factors Cause Mushrooms to Grow?
There are several reasons why you could have mushrooms popping up around your yard.
Lawn mushrooms are widely considered to be a fungus, and this means that they do very well if your yard is damp and moist.
So, if you’re watering your lawn more than normal to try and turn it lush and green, or if you’re getting more rain than your area usually does, mushrooms will take full advantage of these facts.
Another reason is that you have a host of grass clippings laying around or animal excrement that you haven’t cleaned out of your yard, as this gives the mushrooms something to break down.
To avoid these conditions, you shouldn’t water your lawn any more than you absolutely have to, and you could consider installing a drainage system to funnel the excess water out of your yard and somewhere more productive, like in your garden.
What Effects do Mushrooms Have on Grass?
It’s a good thing that almost all mushrooms won’t do anything to your lawn, so you can just let them grow if they’re non-toxic and you don’t mind seeing them in your yard.
You do want to make sure that your soil isn’t constantly soggy, though, because this can cause diseases in your grass, so mushrooms could be a good indicator that you have too much moisture for one reason or another.
Mushrooms can also help your grass if you have a lot of debris, animal excrement, or dead plant matter lying around because they’ll help break it down to give your lawn a nice boost of nutrients.
How to Control Mushroom Growth
The best thing you can do if you don’t want mushrooms in your yard is taking steps to prevent them.
Since mushrooms will thrive in very dark, damp environments, you want to make sure that enough sunlight is getting to your grass.
If there is abnormally heavy rainfall, you can consider setting up a drainage system to ensure your yard doesn’t have too much moisture sitting in the soil.
Also, rake and pick up any piles of dead or decaying debris like grass clippings, fallen branches, or weeds you pulled from your yard, so the mushrooms have nothing to break down.
How to Kill Mushrooms with Vinegar – Step-by-Step
Before you get your vinegar and run out on your lawn and start dumping it on every single mushroom you see, you have to know that not just any vinegar will do the trick for you.
Instead, you’ll have to check and ensure that the vinegar you pick out has a high enough concentration to actually do the trick and kill the mushrooms.
We’ll cover this more in-depth after we outline the steps you’ll need to take to effectively get rid of your mushrooms below.
Step One – Safety Equipment
The first thing you want to do is gather up the safety equipment you’ll need for this project. You’ll want eye protection and gloves at a minimum because the vinegar concentrate can cause damage to your eyes or severe burns to your hands or arms if it splashes back at you.
Step Two – Dilution
Since this vinegar concentration is higher, you’ll have to get water and dilute it, or you risk killing your grass and the mushrooms.
You’ll dilute it at a ratio of four parts water to one part vinegar, and you can do this in a bucket before you put it in a bottle. Mix it well when you dilute it to make sure everything is in the same concentration.
Step Three – Transfer the Mixture
Get a spray bottle and transfer your diluted vinegar and water solution into it. You can use a funnel to reduce the chances of spilling and making a mess and make sure your spray bottle is big enough to hold all of your vinegar and water mixture.
Step Four – Do a Test Spray
Take your spray bottle out to the mushrooms and spray them with your mixture, making sure to keep it four to six inches away from the mushrooms. You want to spray a healthy amount on them for them to work.
Also, make sure that it’s not a very windy day outside, or the vinegar and water could easily blow back and splatter on you.
Step Five – Monitor
Over the next few days, monitor the mushrooms you sprayed with your vinegar solution to see if it’s impacted the mushrooms and the ground directly around them.
If you notice that it’s killing the mushrooms without any or very little damage to the surrounding grass, continue spraying the other mushrooms in your yard.
Which Vinegar You Should Use to Kill Mushrooms
When you’re trying to decide which type of vinegar works best to kill mushrooms, most people would immediately reach for the common apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar that they have sitting in a cupboard at home.
While this is most likely the only kind of vinegar you have access to in your home, it won’t work very well to kill the mushrooms out in your yard.
This is because they’re already very heavily diluted, and these types of vinegar have pH levels that are far too low to kill the fungi.
Most of the vinegar you can buy only contains 4% to 7% actual vinegar, and the rest is water due to heavy dilution.
In order to successfully get rid of mushrooms in your yard, you’re going to have to get your hands on vinegar that is either not diluted or that has higher pH levels to work. You’re going to need industrial or horticultural vinegar.
How Long it Takes Mushrooms to Die with a Vinegar Application
It usually takes between three and four days for the vinegar solution to work and start killing the mushrooms, and this can be a quicker or shorter time.
The time it takes will depend on the type of vinegar you managed to get, the concentration levels, and the pH levels of your solution. Using vinegar with a lower concentration could take longer to work, or it may not work at all.
You can use vinegar to kill mushrooms as long as you get an industrial strength or a horticultural vinegar.
It can take a few days, but you can use it to rid your yard of mushrooms without causing any damage to your lawn.