Lawn Problem: Toadstools

What are toadstools?

Toadstools are the fruiting body of fungi. In the same way, as a flower is to a plant. This is how fungi reproduce. The toadstools release spores which can then travel before germinating.

Although some fungi can be unsightly and some can even be dangerous to trees and shrubs (see honey fungus) most are harmless. More than that, they are beneficial. The soil, on the whole, is made up of 50% matter, 25% water, and 25% air, and within this framework live billions of bacteria and fungi which increase and decrease in population depending on conditions like warmth, available nutrients, available water, etc. It is widely known that fungi play an important role in soil life and help plant roots to use otherwise unavailable nutrients.

Most of this work is unseen, but when conditions are right (warm and wet), the fruiting bodies can be seen. They may be evident due to a fairy ring, or an old tree stump, or just randomly scattered across your lawn.

What should I do to get rid of toadstools?

We would advocate picking the toadstools by hand (with gloves), removing them, and throwing them away in your green compost bin. Do not mow the toadstools as this will just help spread them. Wash off any machinery that comes into contact with them after use.

Key points to remember

  • Most fungi on lawns are harmless and they will disappear as quickly as they appeared.
  • Pick fungi off the lawn and dispose of them in your green waste, if you don’t like it.
  • Fungi is a critical part of soil biology.