Mushroom infestation in your yard can be unsightly. While it’s true that mushrooms cause no harm to your grass, their presence can damage the appeal of your yard. Some mushroom species are poisonous, posing a significant risk to kids and pets. But how do you eradicate mushrooms from your property?
An effective way of killing mushrooms in your yard is using baking soda. Baking soda is alkaline and will increase your lawn’s alkalinity. Mushrooms don’t thrive in alkaline soils. Mushrooms subjected to high alkalinity cease to grow or produce fruit.
This guide will discuss the easy steps of killing mushrooms with baking soda. We’ll also look into other ways to eliminate mushrooms on your lawn.
Should You Use Baking Soda to Kill Mushrooms on Your Property?
You should use baking soda to eliminate mushrooms from your lawn or garden. Baking soda is an ideal option for homeowners who fear using chemicals that might kill the grass. It’s non-toxic to your grass as long as it is used correctly.
Unlike fungicides, baking soda is inexpensive and common in almost every home. It’s also safe if pets and kids are fond of playing on the lawn. Let’s now discuss how baking soda kills mushrooms.
How Does Baking Soda Kill Mushrooms?
Baking soda is alkaline. Applying baking soda to your lawn increases the soil’s pH, making it more alkaline. Alkaline soil is the number one enemy of mushrooms. Mushrooms stop growing and die within one to three days of exposure to an alkaline environment.
While baking soda is an effective natural fungicide for killing mushrooms, homeowners should pay close attention to their lawns. Mushrooms might reappear when the soil’s condition improves.
Mushrooms thrive in moist, nutritious, and acidic soils. With all the attention you give your beautiful lawn, it’s likely moist and nutritious. When mushrooms start to grow, your lawn’s pH favors their growth.
If these pesky fungi sprout in other areas on your lawn, you need to use more baking soda and find effective methods of applying it around. Luckily, you can use other alternatives (more on this later) if baking soda doesn’t seem to work. However, with proper maintenance of lawns and good use of baking soda, mushrooms should be less of a concern.
Which Kind of Baking Soda Kills Lawn Mushrooms?
There are three different kinds of baking soda found in the market. They include sodium pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, and monocalcium phosphate. The three ingredients have been tested and proven ideal for killing mushrooms. These ingredients have varying chemical properties, and their effects might differ when used to kill mushrooms.
The most common baking soda in many homes is sodium bicarbonate. It is the white crystalline powder used as a leavening agent when baking muffins, cakes, and cookies.
When used correctly, sodium bicarbonate will inhibit the growth of mushrooms in your lawn, and in a few days, all mushrooms will be dead.
When choosing baking soda to kill lawn mushrooms, it’s advisable to examine your soil’s pH. You don’t want to use baking soda that will kill fungi and your grass. The secret is choosing the right baking soda and concentration to avoid burning your grass.
Steps of Killing Mushrooms Using Baking Soda
Killing mushrooms with baking soda involves the following easy-to-follow steps:
Step 1: Prepare a Solution of Baking Soda and Water
Let’s assume you have found baking soda in your pantry or bought one from a local store. You will need enough water to mix with your baking soda. Look for a bucket and ensure to combine every one gallon of water and two tablespoons of baking soda.
If you want a faster and more effective solution, add three or four tablespoons of baking soda to one gallon of water. Use this method if you’re going to kill mushrooms within hours or a day.
Before adding more baking soda to water, examine your soil’s pH. You may be required to use a lot of baking soda because the soil is highly acidic. Failure to do that may kill your lawn with a high concentration of baking soda.
Step 2: Stir the Solution
Baking soda won’t dissolve completely in water without stirring. Your goal is to ensure the baking soda and water in your bucket become an effective solution for killing mushrooms.
Step 3: Transfer the Solution Into a Garden Sprayer
You can use a backpack, hose-end, handheld, battery-powered or wheeled sprayer to spray the solution on your lawn. The amount to transfer into your garden sprayer depends on the size of the tank or bottle. For large lawns, wheeled, hose-end, and battery-powered sprayers can be better options.
Step 4: Spray Your Lawn
If you’re not dealing with a high mushroom infestation, you can spray the solution on the caps and stems. However, spray the mushrooms and surrounding soil if you wish to eliminate the entire colony.
What if you don’t have a garden sprayer and don’t want to invest in one at the moment? Sprinkle your baking soda on the mushrooms and the surrounding soil. Water the mushrooms and the soil for your baking soda to dissolve.
Mushrooms are not just the stem and cap. Beneath, a colony of fungi forms a thread-like structure that branches fast. When baking soda dissolves in the soil, these colonies absorb it and die off.
Don’t water your lawn after spraying your solution to ensure the soil is dry. Remember, mushrooms will thrive in moist soil. After three to four days, the baking soda mixture will eliminate all mushrooms, and you can resume your lawn maintenance practices.
Will Baking Soda Completely Eliminate Mushrooms on My Lawn?
Using the right concentration of baking soda on your lawn will eliminate mushrooms. Baking soda changes the soil’s pH by making it more alkaline. Mushrooms can’t thrive in alkaline soil and will eventually die off.
But with time, you’ll continue watering your lawn, and the soil’s condition will improve. Fungi surviving underneath will find a moist and nutritious environment to grow and produce mushrooms again.
What Other Ways Can I Use to Eliminate Mushrooms on My Lawn?
If killing mushrooms with baking soda is ineffective, it’s time to look for other alternative ways. The best way to avoid mushroom infestation is to maintain your lawn.
For example, you can ensure your lawn has well-drained soil. If it’s soggy, introduce proper drainage. Also, you can collect any decaying elements, provide good aeration and trim the surrounding tree branches.
If your yard is already infested, here are other ways to kill mushrooms in your lawn:
Vinegar Kills Lawn Mushrooms
Like baking soda, vinegar is a natural fungicide that kills mushrooms without burning your lawn if used correctly. Vinegar has acetic acid that kills mushrooms on your property and prevents them from returning. Unfortunately, most household vinegar has lower pH than it’s required to kill mushrooms.
The best vinegar to use is industrial-grade vinegar. Wear safety gloves when mixing vinegar with water. Highly concentrated vinegar can cause severe burns on your skin if mishandled. After mixing vinegar with water, use a garden sprayer to spray on the mushrooms. Avoid spraying it on the grass as it might kill it too.
Dish Soap Will Get Rid of Mushrooms in Your Lawn
Dish soap is another effective and convenient ingredient for killing mushrooms on your lawn. It’s also safe for your kids/pets and won’t kill your grass. The best dish soap to use is dawn dish soap, although any dish soap will kill mushrooms.
Ensure to mix the right amount of dish soap with water and stir to allow it to dissolve. Pour the soapy mixture on the mushrooms.
For the solution to penetrate deep into the soil, poke holes near the mushrooms and pour your soapy mixture. Repeat the process several times a week, and all the network of fungi and roots beneath the soil will die.
Nitrogen-rich Fertilizer Decomposes Mushrooms’ Food
Nitrogen fertilizers won’t directly kill mushrooms. When you apply nitrogen-rich fertilizers on your mushroom-infested lawn, the fertilizer quickens the decomposition of fungi food, leaving them with nothing to feed on. Mushrooms will eventually die off if there’s no food.
Pull Mushrooms Out
If you’ve spotted a few mushrooms on your lawn, you can pluck them out to avoid the spread of spores. Pulling mushrooms out may not be the most effective method since plucking mushrooms doesn’t eliminate the underground hyphae and roots. After some time, mushrooms will sprout again, and you’ll need to keep plucking them out.
Why Are Mushrooms on My Lawn?
Mushrooms can grow anywhere as long as the soil is moist, healthy, and nutritious. Your lawn soil hosts millions of beneficial microbes such as fungi that decompose organic matter. If your fungi-rich soil is moist and has decaying leaves or mulch, mushrooms will eventually pop up.
If your lawn is under tree shades, dry leaves might be falling off, encouraging fungi to decompose them. Tree shades will also reduce aeration responsible for reducing moisture in the soil. Mushrooms will also thrive if your lawn doesn’t have a good drainage system. Perhaps you have a leaking pipe that keeps watering your fungi-rich soil.
Which Types of Mushrooms Grow on Lawns?
You might encounter different types of mushrooms on moist and nutritious lawns. Some mushrooms can be poisonous, while others are edible. Learning more about mushroom species that might infest your yard is advisable so you can know how to handle them.
Below is a list of common mushrooms you will likely find on lawns.
Are Mushrooms on My Lawn Dangerous?
Mushrooms won’t cause any harm to your lawn. A mushroom-infested lawn is a clear sign that the soil is healthy. The main role of mushrooms is to decompose organic matter around. If organic matter such as woody material, leaves, and mulch are left unattended, they can destroy the beauty of your lawn.
Mushrooms will decompose all organic matter on your lawn and make the soil even more nutritious for the grass. After a while, mushrooms disappear when all the organic matter on your property decomposes.
That said, any poisonous mushrooms on your lawn poses a great risk to pets and toddlers.
What’s the most effective way of killing mushrooms?
Spraying a solution of industrial-grade vinegar and water on mushrooms is the most effective way of killing them. Be sure to mix one part of vinegar and four parts of water and apply it directly to the mushrooms.
What will kill mushroom spores?
Mushroom spores are found beneath the porous surface. To kill them, you should spray a mixture of soap and water on the mushrooms to remove the mycelia on the surface. Then, use a borate-based fungus killer that will penetrate the porous surface to kill spores.
What will kill mushrooms but not grass?
Using a dish soap-water mixture is one of the safest ways of eliminating lawn mushrooms without killing the grass. However, ensure to use the proper concentration on the affected areas. Alternatively, you can use nitrogen-rich fertilizers to hasten the decomposition of organic matter that mushrooms feed on.
Will baking soda kill my grass?
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a salt, making it phytotoxic. It can dehydrate your grass by drawing water from the grass cells. When your grass lacks essential water, it will dry and eventually die.
Hello! My name is Chris, and I am the founder of Yard Floor. When I was a toddler, my family had a lush green lawn. I was at the center of caring for and maintaining this lawn and even proceeded to take an associate’s Degree in landscaping. I am here to share my years of experience with you – be it repairing your mower/tractor or caring for your lawn.