How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Mulch

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Do not eat wild mushrooms, as some are poisonous.
Do not eat wild mushrooms, as some are poisonous. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Mulch is used to improve soil and plant health, and to control weeds. In addition, mulch can improve the aesthetics of an area. Unfortunately, mulch also stimulates the growth of mushrooms, which are simply the fruiting bodies of mycelium, or fungus. If you are intent on mulching the area around your home, there are some things you can do to get rid of mushrooms and prevent the spread of this nuisance fungus.

Pick mushrooms out of the mulch before they release spores. Once mushrooms mature, they release spores. These spores turn into mushrooms. Thus, you can prevent the spread of mushrooms in your mulch by picking the mushrooms before they mature.

Remove the mulch, place it in a giant pile for two or three days to allow for self-heating, which will kill the fungi. Then, re-apply the mulch and immediately soak it. Soaking the mulch will force the mulch to be colonized with bacteria that will compete with fungi, thus reducing the potential for mushroom growth. In addition, avoid applying the mulch more than 2 inches deep.

Replace wood-based mulch with a different type of much, such as black plastic or stone. Wood-based mulch rots readily, which in turn causes mold problems. If you insist on using wood-based mulch, use wood much from trees that decay less easily, such as mature pine and other softwoods.

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