Mushrooms in your lawn? You may be overwatering

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Residents across Tri-Cities have noticed an unusual guest in their lawns recently: mushrooms. While we may see one or two, there seems to be a lot more than normal.

Master Gardeners with the WSU Extension of Benton and Franklin Counties explain why this is happening.

“This has been a wet, cool spring, and people are using their normal watering patterns for the most part,” said Ted Cress, a Master Gardener. “So you’re getting a lot of rain, [and] it’s not evaporating.”

All that extra moisture is leaving room for fungus to grow in your lawn. Or in this case: mushrooms.

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The solution is to let your lawn dry out, and one of the best ways to do that may be to reduce the amount of times you water your lawn.

“What I would suggest is reducing the frequency at this point and just let that surface layer of your grass get drier because it’s not doing it naturally like we normally see at this time of the year,” Cress said.

“But we will get there,” Cress said. “If you do scale back your watering, it is going to be advisable to go back to your normal schedule in a few weeks or maybe even shorter than that, if we’re lucky.”

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All the extra water on your lawn doesn’t just mean mushrooms, it also means you’ll see more weeds. That includes ‘goat heads,’ or for newer residents in the area, a spikey, ‘puncture’ weed that is sure to poke holes in your bike tires.

“They’re going to grow a little bit more prolifically this year, just like all other weeds,” Cress said.

While it’s best to water your lawn less in the rainy conditions we’ve had lately, many of the trees were dehydrated going into winter. Right now, you should ‘deep water’ your trees.

“That means letting water get down deep to 18 to 30 inches of depth for the sake of the trees,” Cress said.

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