How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Vegetable Garden?

Mushrooms can be an annoying problem in the vegetable garden. They seem to pop up overnight, and before you know it; your plants are covered in them!

Mushrooms will develop in potted plants and vegetable gardens if spores from the potting soil or mulch medium are transferred to the plant.

They’re one of our planet’s most useful organisms, as they help plants to flourish by providing them with nutrients.

A small, flourishing ecosystem is indicated by mushrooms in the soil [1].

Fortunately, several things you can do to get rid of mushrooms from taking over your garden. In this blog post, we will discuss three methods for getting rid of mushrooms in the vegetable garden: chemical control, cultural control, and biological control.

Garden experts will also provide tips on how to prevent mushrooms from growing in the first place!

The Types Of Mushrooms In Potted Plants And The Garden

There are many types of mushrooms, and not all of them are harmful to your plants. In fact, some mushrooms can actually be beneficial to your garden! However, there are a few specific types of mushrooms that you’ll want to watch out for, as they can cause serious damage to your plants.

The Types Of Mushrooms In Potted Plants And The Garden

Here are a few of the most common types of mushrooms that can affect your garden [2]:

  • Agaricus bisporus. This type of mushroom is also known as the “white button mushroom”. It’s one of the most commonly cultivated mushrooms in the world and is often found in grocery stores. However, this mushroom can also be found growing wild in gardens;
  • Pleurotus ostreatus. This type of mushroom is also known as the “oyster mushroom”. It’s a popular edible mushroom that is often cultivated commercially. This mushroom is not particularly harmful to plants but can compete with them for nutrients;
  • Flammulina velutipes. This type of mushroom is also known as the “velvet foot”. It’s a popular edible mushroom that is often cultivated commercially. However, it can also be found growing wild in gardens;

Are There Any Benefits Of Having Mushrooms In The Garden?

Mushrooms can aid your garden in a variety of ways. They assist decompose complex organic matter, such as wood chips, rotting leaves, and mulch, into nutrients that your plants may utilize.

Mushrooms in your yard are an indication that the soil is healthy. Mushrooms will not harm your plants, instead, they enter a mutually beneficial relationship with them.

Mushrooms are grown in a controlled environment and then transplanted to their own habitat after maturity.
During the decomposition process, they replenish the soil with minerals.

Mushrooms also assist plants in communicating with one another, according to scientific studies. In the event of insect damage, they help create a communication system for plants to send distress signals to each other.

Consider planting some nearby plants in a row, like asparagus or garlic, to help them prepare for an attack [3].

Are Mushrooms A Sign Of Damp Or Wet Soil?

Mushrooms are often thought of as a sign of damp or wet soil. However, this is not always the case. Mushrooms can also grow in dry conditions.

Are Mushrooms A Sign Of Damp Or Wet Soil?

The best way to determine if mushrooms are growing in your garden because of damp or wet soil is to look for other signs of moisture, such as [4]:

  • pooling water;
  • soggy ground;
  • moist air;

If you see any of these signs, it’s likely that the mushrooms are growing because of too much moisture in the soil. To get rid of them, you’ll need to address the underlying issue and make sure your garden is well-drained.

Should You Remove Mushrooms From The Garden?

Remove the mushrooms only if necessary. They have several advantages, and they provide a lovely touch to the soil as they develop quietly beneath the plant leaves.

Mushrooms in the soil are a good indication that the dirt is healthy and does not endanger plant or potted succulents. Mushrooms may be picked by hand. They will complete their lifecycle, decay, and recycle nutrients in the soil if left alone.

Mushrooms, according to several studies, absorb elements from the earth [5]. The minerals are both beneficial and poisonous in different circumstances. However, this is determined by the soil quality in which they grow.

In one research, it was discovered that using Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC) improved plant growth and fruit production [6]. The findings of these studies were reviewed in light of the application of SMC as an organic fertilizer for vegetable development.

Nevertheless, the soil in your garden is nutrient-dense and contains amendments and organic material that will feed the plants as they decay.

What Causes Mushrooms To Grow In Your Garden:

Mushrooms Love Moist And Humid Areas

Mushrooms appearing in your raised garden bed is an annoyance, and they may appear after a wet season.

Mushrooms Love Moist And Humid Areas

Excess water in the soil can also encourage mushrooms to grow. Excess water in your garden will result in greater variety and a higher count of mushrooms [7].

Mushrooms are best cultivated in a warm, well-ventilated location with excellent drainage. They also require moist growing media such as cow dung or composite.

They Prefer Alkaline Soils

Mushrooms are fungi, and they have a mycelium network that helps them to spread out and invade an area. This mycelium will produce fruiting bodies that we commonly know as mushrooms.

Mushrooms prefer alkaline soils with a pH of above seven. If your garden soil is too acidic, it can encourage the growth of mushrooms.

You can test your garden soil’s pH level with a simple testing kit from your local nursery or hardware store.

If you find that your garden soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH level.

Growing Medium

Mushrooms can also grow in a variety of different substrates or growing mediums.

Some of the most common substrates for mushrooms include straw, sawdust, and wood chips.

You can also find mushrooms growing on trees, fallen leaves, and even dung.

Mushrooms will often colonize an area and then begin to break down the organic matter that they are growing on.

This is one of the reasons why mushrooms are often found in mulch or other decaying organic matter.

Poor-Drained Soils

Mushrooms can also grow in poorly-drained soils.

This is because the excess water in these soils provides the perfect environment for mushrooms to thrive.

If you have mushrooms growing in your garden, it is likely that you have a drainage problem.

You can improve the drainage of your soil by adding organic matter such as compost or mulch.

You can also add sand or gravel to help improve drainage.

Improving the drainage of your soil will also help to discourage the growth of mushrooms.

Low Light

Mushrooms lack chlorophyll and require no photosynthesis. Mushrooms are fungi that can endure limited light. They may grow in the absence of sunlight.

Low Light

They prefer shady environments. Mushrooms may fruit without the need of sunlight. They will, nevertheless, appear odd. Sunlight has no impact besides determining how the mushrooms grow.

How To Stop Mushrooms Growing In Your Garden (Besides Hand Removal)

Use Copper Sulfate

If you have a problem with mushrooms growing in your garden, you can use copper sulfate to kill them. This chemical is available at most hardware and home improvement stores.

You’ll need to mix it with water according to the package directions, then pour it over the mushrooms.

The copper sulfate will kill the mushrooms and their roots, so they won’t be able to grow back.

You can also use copper sulfate as a preventative measure by sprinkling it around the perimeter of your garden bed. This will create a barrier that stops mushrooms from being able to take root in your soil.

Use a Bordeaux Mixture

The first step is to make a Bordeaux mixture. This can be done by mixing together [8]:

  • 15 gallons of water;
  • 14 cups of limestone;
  • 16 cups of hydrated lime;
  • 12 tablespoons of copper sulfate pentahydrate;

After the ingredients are mixed together, use a garden hose to apply the mixture over the area where mushrooms are growing. Make sure to drench the area and soak it until runoff occurs.

This should be done every two weeks or after it rains.

Doing this will help to raise the pH level of the soil and make it inhospitable for mushrooms.

Mulching

Mulching is one of the most effective ways to get rid of mushrooms in your vegetable garden. By creating a barrier between the soil and the air, mulch prevents mushrooms from receiving the moisture and nutrients they need to grow.

There are many different types of mulch you can use – including bark chips, straw, and leaves. You can also purchase mushroom-resistant mulches at your local nursery or gardening store.

Add Nitrogen Fertilizer

Mushrooms need nitrogen to grow. By adding nitrogen fertilizer to your garden, you can make it less hospitable for mushrooms. Look for a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content and follow the instructions on the package for application rates.

Spraying With Vinegar Solution

You can make a vinegar solution to spray on the mushrooms.

Spraying With Vinegar Solution

This will kill the mushrooms and stop them from growing. You will need [9]:

  • White vinegar;
  • Water;
  • Spray bottle;

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in the spray bottle. Shake it up to mix it well. Spray the solution on the mushrooms. Be sure to get the underside of the mushroom caps too. You may need to reapply after rain or if new mushrooms appear. Vinegar is safe for people, pets, and plants, so you don’t have to worry about harming anything else in your garden.

Change The Growing Environment

The most important thing you can do to control mushrooms is to change the environment in your garden. Mushrooms need four things to grow: food, water, warmth, and darkness. If you can remove one or more of these things from the equation, you’ll be well on your way to getting rid of mushrooms for good.

One way to make your garden less hospitable for mushrooms is to improve drainage. If your soil is too wet, it creates the perfect conditions for fungi to thrive. To improve drainage, add organic matter like compost or peat moss to your soil. This will help absorb excess moisture and keep the roots of your plants dry. You can also raise the level of your garden bed by adding more soil. This will help ensure that water runs off instead of pooling around your plants.

Another way to change the environment in your garden is to increase air circulation. Fungi love humid, still air. By increasing the airflow in your garden, you’ll make it less hospitable for mushrooms. One way to do this is to choose plants that have a high transpiration rate. These plants release water vapor into the air, which helps create a drier microclimate around them.

One more way to increase airflow is to simply rake up any dead leaves or other debris that’s lying on the ground. This will allow more air to circulate and discourage fungi from growing.

Make DIY Soil And Compost Amendments

Mushrooms are the fruit of fungi that live in your soil, so getting rid of them means addressing the conditions they need to thrive. The first step is to improve your drainage and aeration.

If you have heavy clay soils, this can be done by adding organic matter like compost or peat moss.
If you have sandy soils, you can add compost to help hold water and nutrients. You can also use a tiller to loosen compacted soils [10].

Another way to discourage mushrooms is to make sure your garden beds are getting enough sunlight. Mushrooms prefer dark, damp conditions, so increasing air circulation and light will make it harder for them to establish themselves. If you have mulch around your plants, make sure it’s not too thick. A layer of two to three inches is ideal.

You can also try a few natural fungicides, like neem oil or sulfur. These won’t kill the fungi outright, but they will make it harder for them to produce mushrooms. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, and reapply as needed.

Use Soap And Water

Mushrooms love damp, dark places. Soap and water can help to remove them by making the environment less hospitable.

Use Soap And Water

Apply a mixture of dish soap and water directly to the mushrooms using a sponge or cloth. You may need to scrub lightly to get rid of all the dirt and grime that they’ve collected. Rinse the area with clean water afterward.

This method is best used as a preventative measure rather than a cure, as it won’t kill existing mushrooms. But it will make it harder for new ones to take root.

Reduce The Amount Of Water In Your Garden

Mushrooms thrive in damp conditions, so one of the best ways to get rid of them is to reduce the amount of moisture in your garden.

Water your plants deeply but less often, and make sure that any leaks or standing water are fixed.
You can also try planting mushrooms in raised beds to improve drainage.

Turn The Soil And Aerate It

This will aerate it and allow the water and air to circulate better. It also helps to break up any compacted areas where mushrooms might be growing.

If you have many mushrooms, you may need to do this more than once.

You can also add some organic matter to the soil, such as compost or manure, which will help improve its drainage.


FAQ

Why does my garden keep growing mushrooms?

Mushrooms are a type of fungi that reproduce by releasing spores into the air. These spores can travel long distances and land in your garden, where they will start to grow new mushrooms. While some mushrooms are edible, others can be poisonous, so it’s important to get rid of them as soon as you spot them.

What is the best way to get rid of mushrooms?

The best way to get rid of mushrooms is to remove them by hand, taking care not to spread the spores. You can also try raking the area to disturb the spores and prevent new mushrooms from growing. If you have a serious problem with mushrooms, you may need to use fungicides.

Should I pull mushrooms out of my garden?

If the mushrooms are growing on your lawn, you can mow them down (assuming they’re not poisonous). But if they’re in your garden beds, you’ll need to take a different approach.

Mushrooms are actually the fruit of a fungus that lives in the soil. The part of the fungus that you see above ground is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of it is hidden underground, where it’s busy decomposing organic matter like fallen leaves and dead roots.

This makes mushrooms an important part of the ecosystem – they help recycle nutrients back into the soil.

How does vinegar get rid of mushrooms?

Apple cider vinegar, for example, contains 5% to 7% acetic acid. Acetic acid is present in industrial vinegar at levels of 10% to 70%. Natural horticultural vinegar includes 10 to 30 percent acetic acid.

Vinegar destroys the mushrooms by burning them when sprayed on their surface. The surprising thing is that the visible surface mushrooms are actually fruits from the mushroom [11].

What do toxic mushrooms look like?

Most toxic mushrooms are white, red, or yellow. They often have spots or streaks of these colors on their caps. Some poisonous mushrooms may look similar to edible varieties, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for. If you’re not sure whether a mushroom is safe to eat, don’t take the risk!

Some common poisonous mushrooms include:

  • Amanita phalloides (death cap);
  • Galerina marginata (deadly galerina);
  • Lepiota bruneaformis (brown lepiota);
  • Conocybe filaris (filarial conocybe);
  • Pluteus atromarginatus (black-spored pluteus);

How can a mushroom appear to grow overnight?

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi – they grow by consuming organic matter. Mushrooms can appear to grow overnight because they don’t need sunlight to produce their food. Instead, they rely on decomposing plant material for sustenance. This is why you’ll often find mushrooms growing in mulched areas or near decaying wood.

While most mushrooms are harmless, some varieties can be damaging to your vegetable garden.

For example, the fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria) is a poisonous variety that can kill animals and make humans sick. If you suspect that there are harmful mushrooms growing in your garden, it’s best to remove them as soon as possible.

What kills mushrooms in mulch?

One method is simply to remove the mushroom caps from the mulch. This can be done by hand, but it is often more effective to use a rake or hoe to loosen the soil and then pull the mushrooms out by their stems.

Another way to kill mushrooms in mulch is to treat the area with a fungicide. This will kill not only the mushrooms but also any spores that might be present in the soil. Be sure to follow the directions on the fungicide label carefully, as some products may be harmful to plants.

Finally, you can change the pH of your soil by adding lime. This will make it less hospitable for mushrooms and other fungi.


Useful Video: How to Kill Mushrooms 🍄


References:

  1. https://flourishingplants.com/mushrooms-growing-in-vegetable-garden/
  2. https://flourishingplants.com/mushrooms-growing-in-vegetable-garden/
  3. https://www.fallsgarden.com/mushrooms-in-vegetable-garden/
  4. https://gardenersyards.com/mushrooms-in-garden-raised-bed-how-to-get-rid/
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00217-017-2881-7
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332678280_Spent_mushroom_compost_SMC_-_retrieved_added_value_product_closing_loop_in_agricultural_production
  7. https://gardenersyards.com/mushrooms-in-garden-raised-bed-how-to-get-rid/
  8. https://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7481.html
  9. https://flourishingplants.com/mushrooms-growing-in-vegetable-garden/
  10. https://farmfromhome.com/this-is-why-mushrooms-grow-in-your-vegetable-pots/
  11. https://farmingmethod.com/how-to-get-rid-of-mushrooms-in-lawn-with-vinegar/