Q. My lawn is regularly covered over large areas with fungal toadstools. Is there any way to treat these areas to prevent them re-growing please?
Ian M Hall, Weatherby
A. Most toadstools and mushrooms in lawns are naturally breaking down dead and rotted matter under the surface – the ‘thatch’ that we so often talk about in The Gardener’s Journal. They usually appear when it’s damp around this time of the year. The problem is what you see on the surface is just the tip. Below, the microscopic fungi is breaking down the thatch and releasing nutrients into the soil – a good thing. The bad news – from the unsightly toadstools on the lawn point of view – is that some toadstools in the lawn make up the commonly termed ‘fairy rings’ that are harmful to the lawn.
There are no chemical treatments that will deal with the mycellium, the microscopic fungi. However, good practice makes good lawns – scarifying, aerating, spiking, weeding and feeding all help to promote healthy lawn growth, reduce thatch and in turn reduce the likelihood of toadstools returning, usually in the autumn. Mowing will cut them down, small ones can be brushed off with a lawn brush.