A common problem many gardeners face is having to deal with those unwanted mushrooms. Apart from making our garden bed look unattractive, they may cause some concern if you have pets or young children, as eating these can make one ill. The main reason these fungi pop up is due to a lot of rain. You might be wondering how you can get rid of them from your mulch. In this article, we will address a number of things you can do to rid your garden of these unwanted invaders.
Why Are There Mushrooms in My Mulch?
Mushrooms grow around trees, plants, and amongst mulch and bark. The reason we often have this issue is that they get their energy from decomposing organic compost. Mushrooms thrive in a moist environment, and often our garden beds and lawn are quite damp after having been watered or receiving heavy rain. Having mushrooms growing in your garden is a sign of good, healthy soil.
How to Kill Mushrooms with Vinegar
Vinegar is a natural solution to the problem. If properly applied, the acid in the vinegar will not only kill the mushrooms but also prevent them from popping up in your mulch again.
Follow this step by step method if you wish to use this natural fungicide to remove mushrooms from mulch.
Dilute one part white vinegar with four parts of water in a spray bottle.
Spray the mushrooms with the vinegar solution, making sure to cover your eyes with protective glasses. Hold the spray about 4 to 6 inches away from the mushrooms. Spray them generously, avoiding the grass or other plants.
Allow around three to four days for the vinegar to do its job and then respray any remaining living mushrooms. Keep monitoring until all have died, then remove the dead mushrooms from the mulch.
How to Deal with Mushrooms in Your Garden
Rake the Area
Mushrooms thrive in wet environments, so start by raking the area. Use a rake to mix up the mulch to loosen it and allow it to dry out. This will help prevent more mushrooms from growing in the area. Removing anything they could feed on will cause them to wither and die.
Trim Back Trees
Garden beds that are directly under trees may not be getting enough sunlight. If this is the case, trimming back a tree or two could possibly offer some relief.
Remove Mushrooms by Hand
As mushrooms pop up in your soil and mulch, you might need to remove them by hand. If organic matter is still available to feed on, these unsightly fungi will continue to grow, and that brings us to our next point — removing fungus affected mulch.
Remove Fungus-Affected Mulch
If you haven’t replaced your mulch for some time, it could be affected by deteriorating vegetation. This is the perfect environment for growing these toadstools. You can remove any affected mulch by using a spade or garden fork and adding a layer of new mulch. Then, use a rake to help mix it through. You can either get rid of the fungus affected mulch or, even if it’s affected by a mushroom or two, it can be added to your compost and used later once it has decomposed.
If you would prefer not to remove the mulch and would like to treat it, you could try adding some lime to the soil. This will not eradicate mushrooms but will slow their growth and make the soil more acidic. Sometimes this may be a good option and help your plants and flowers if they are thriving where they are.
Learning to Live with Mushrooms
Sometimes, no matter what you do, these stubborn mushrooms just keep turning up. If this is the case, then you can simply leave them. You could even create a “fairy” garden using gnomes and ceramic mushrooms or toadstools to add character to your yard. Remember that mushrooms do help your garden by turning organic matter into nutrients. This will help your plants grow in a healthy manner.
If you are finding new unsightly mushrooms in your mulch, just remember to monitor the amount of water you use and follow these suggestions. Replace, remove, or rake the mulch when needed. Be prepared to embrace a mushroom or two as an added feature to your garden.