Puffball mushrooms? Get rid of them?

ourhappyhome(7B)February 25, 2007

Hello all, I'm new to the lawn care forum. I spend all of my time in the citrus and tomatoe forums. I've recently purchased a new home, about 2 years ago now. We've seeded and reseeded the back yard with fescue. Last year, we started a lawn service which may be spreading fungus/toadstools in the yard. Please forgive my ignorance. I know absolutely nothing about this sort of thing, all I know is that both my front yard (bermuda grass) and backyard (fescue) are COVERED with the most awful looking mushrooms I've ever seen. In the back, I have clusters of little gray/white mushrooms with holes in the top. They've definitely spread since our first siting. I've read that I can sprinkle corn meal to get rid of them. I don't mind them except that where they are, there is no grass. It seems they've killed the grass. Don't know for sure. These are not the cute little mushrooms that pop-up after a rain. These ugly little things are always there. Should I worry? An online search revealed a picture of a "puffball" mushroom. My mushrooms look a lot like the tiny version. Please help. What would you do? I have about an acre of area covered with these. Thanks!

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texas-weed(7A)

A pitching wedge works great. Nothing you can do to stop them from growing as they are a natural process of decay. Organic lawns will see much more activity.

As to spreading them from one lawn to another is a different topic. Washing the machinery with a bleach solutions will kill the spores and prevent infestation.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 6:43PM
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jeannie7

If anything, they have fed your lawn. Mushrooms appearing on the surface just points to something is happening underneath; probably a tree root has died and is rotting, the fungi from such is producing the mushrooms up top.

The big golf tournament is just about to take place in your state...The Masters....they swing golf clubs at a little ball.
YOU do the same...except use the mushrooms in place of.
Use a club with a more open face.....a 9-iron, a sand wedge...no...not a sandwich....a sand wedge...that's a golf club with a wide open face. Let your kids have some fun.

The mushrooms will soon dry up...they pose no harm to a lawn and the only way to be rid of them is to dig up what is causing them to appear in the first place.
Since that is out of the question.....grin and bear it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 7:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Doesn't really sound like puffball mushrooms to me. How long do they seem to stick around? Are they soft or quite hard? What size are they? Is there anyway you could take a picture and post it?

If your home is truly a new one (and not just new to you), I'd suspect that you have some sort of decomposing fungus working on buried debis in your yard. Builders don't believe in disposing of ANY trash, it seems, and it gets covered with a top soil during the grading process. This would include framing lumber, stakes, etc.

Anyway, I'd like some more information on this, just so we can be sure of an ID.

BTW, cornmeal will do nothing to discourage mushrooms of any kind. That's for fungal pathogens that cause plant diseases.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 12:37PM
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willync7

A low soil PH will cause mushrooms to sprout up especially after rain.TRy applying some lime to your yard it will raise your PH,Personally I think you've got acid soil.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 6:09PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Oooh, I think that's some not-so-good advice. For one, mushrooms are absolutely NOT a sign of acid soils. And two, suggesting that someone apply lime to their yard with no knowledge of their pH is...well, irresponsible. ( I tried to find a nicer word.) An uncalled for application of lime can cause some serious problems.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 1:56PM
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willync7

Rhizo;I'm assuming a soil test will be conducted.Mushrooms,fairy ring.toad stools etc,,thrive in acid soil.Raising the PH a little inpacts their ability to survive.the spores will always be there.All they need is the right conditions to sproutIf he has a bermuda and fescue lawn the grass will thrive between a 5.0 - 7.0 ph range.The toad stools will not.When farmers see toadstools an such in their fields they call the soil sour,and they sweeten it with lime.Sour soil is usally caused by to much water content in the soil.The soil ferments creating acid.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 10:06PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Saprophytic mushrooms thrive in the presence of organic matter. The fungal organism (if present) exists in the soil at all times, but certain environmental stimuli will trigger the emergence of the fruiting body (mushrooms). Time year (day length and temperature) has a great deal to do with it, as does moisture.

A mushroom outbreak rarely, if ever, indicates that there is something wrong with the soil....not a pH imbalance, nor an excess of water. They merely indicate a presence of organic matter in (or on) the soil. As a matter of fact, saprophytic mushrooms won't thrive where there is excess moisture to the point where oxygen is deprived.

As a matter of fact, in most cases, mushrooms are a GOOD sign...plenty of oxygen, organic matter, good drainage, and probably some mychorrhizal activity going on.

Traditionally, the old-fashioned terms 'sweet and sour' are an indication of alkaline and acid, not having anything to do with moisture.

Where you might be getting confused is that soils that are very high in organic matter tend to be more acid. But a huge bunch of mushrooms can crop up on a building site to feed on the construction debris left behind, or buried tree stumps, etc.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 1:01PM
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ourhappyhome(7B)

These things are dark grey in color now. They have a small hole in the top of each one. They are in clusters of three to eight. I stepped on one this morning and it kinda "crunched" under my foot, then let out a whispy cloud of ?spores? I will post a photo in a few hours. Thanks so much to all of you. Please stay posted for the photos.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 6:31PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Wait until you get those big ugly wet brown ones that take up about a one foot radius or so. Definately roots decomposing, but man it's an ugly site. Usually happens around late summer.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 7:13PM
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ourhappyhome(7B)

Here are the photos (I HOPE THIS WORKS!)..
What are they? Note the small holes in the top of each one. When stepped on, they release a puff into the air.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 2:34PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Nope...that won't get it...for me, anyway. Your online photo service is a lockout.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 8:55PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Try again, ourhappyhome, or you can email your images directly to those interested. I sent you an email via the forum inviting you to do that.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 1:30PM
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jeannie7

Happy, don't go to extremes trying to fix a problem that isn't a problem. All you'll do is create a possible bigger problem.

You can try something to dry them up....well, try on one or two of them in an out of the way spot.
Take some gypsum granules, sprinkle some on the puffball and leave it there.
This is said to dry them up....but if it doesn't you haven't lost anything and you can always resort to imagining yourself playing Pineridge.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 10:23PM
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cadanby(6)

I'm having the same problem with mushrooms growing under my ground cover. And it is by an old tree that probably has rotting roots.

This may be a dumb question but is the soil contaminated at all?
Thanks

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 1:14PM
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LibbyLiz

My sister used to fry & eat the puffballs. I tried them once. They weren't all that bad.

http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Giant%20Puffball.html

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 5:21PM
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