Af­ter heavy rain­fall, un­wanted mush­rooms pop up ev­ery­where

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Residences -

Ques­tion: Af­ter rainy pe­ri­ods, we get mush­rooms in dif­fer­ent spots in the yard. Some are white, some black. Some are in groups, and some are sin­gles. Some are in the sun; oth­ers are in the shade. What gives?

An­swer: A mush­room is a sort of “flower” for a fun­gus. It is the life-cy­cle stage where the spores are re­leased to cre­ate more fungi. It is also the sign of a healthy fun­gus.

In the land­scape, fungi usu­ally pro­duce mush­rooms when the air and ground are moist. That’s be­cause high hu­mid­ity and wet sur­faces are nec­es­sary for the spores to ger­mi­nate and grow. Even in re­gions that are suf­fer­ing from drought, many peo­ple over-wa­ter their land­scapes, so they get mush­rooms, too.

Fungi in the land­scape are mostly ben­e­fi­cial. They break down dead ma­te­rial into ba­sic chem­i­cals that are then used by other or­gan­isms, es­pe­cially plants. The fungi in your lawn are help­ing to de­cay or­ganic mat­ter into nu­tri­ents that are ben­e­fi­cial to your lawn grass.

Of­ten, the fungi in a lawn started at a place where a dead tree was lo­cated, or where an­other con­cen­tra­tion of or­ganic ma­te­rial, such as build­ing ma­te­ri­als, was buried un­der the grass.

Usu­ally, the fun­gus spreads out in all di­rec­tions from that lo­ca­tion. That is why you see lawn mush­rooms in cir­cles. When a cou­ple of cir­cles meet, you might get a fig­ure “8” or some other shape.

If you want to re­move the mush­rooms, go ahead. They are not harm­ing the lawn, but they can be un­sightly.

— cour­tesy of Cre­

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