Autumn is here and you more than likely have an array of mushrooms appearing on the surface of your lawn. Mushrooms, although unsightly are actually a good indicator of healthy soil, indeed the majority of fungi are beneficial, they help to decompose and break down dead and decaying organic matter such a stumps, old roots, or leaves.
Mushrooms only grow when environmental conditions are just right. Prolonged periods of wet, humid weather, such as we have had over the past few weeks, cause fungi to send up fruiting structures. Fungi disperse to new areas via windblown spores. When the spores land in a suitable location they develop into new fungi which will grow mushrooms given enough time.
Mushrooms will go away on their own once the weather dries out, you are seeing a lot as the weather has been damp and mild, which creates perfect growing conditions, I will quickly mention that now it is also a great time to seed your lawn!
If you are unwilling to wait for mushrooms to go away on their own, you can remove them by hand or with the lawn mower.
Although removing the mushrooms themselves does nothing to affect the fungi in the soil, it will reduce the number of spores released into the environment and the number of new mushrooms in different areas of the lawn and garden. Fungicides are generally not recommended because they are largely ineffective and mushrooms aren’t damaging anyway.
So the mushrooms have now gone, but it is worth considering that although the fruiting bodies have disappeared, the fungal mycelia is still growing in the soil. The fungus will continue to grow and persist as long as there is plenty of organic matter to feed upon. Mushrooms will emerge again as soon as the growing conditions are right, which may not be for another year.