Imagine this: You've mulched and finished your garden only to find mushrooms in your mulch a few weeks later. While mulch is a helpful addition to most gardens, sometimes the growing season doesn't go as planned, and you end up overmulching your space. If you apply too much mulch or if you're going through a particularly damp, rainy period, your mulch will end up holding enough moisture for mushrooms to start growing.
How to Kill Mushrooms in Mulch
Wet, humid weather often causes mushrooms to emerge from the fungi present in most soils and to release spores. Various lawn mushroom species grow in mulch beds more frequently than you might think. While they may be annoying, luckily, you can easily learn how to get rid of mushrooms in mulch beds. You may even have the necessary supplies at home.
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If most of your garden bed doesn't have any mushrooms growing in it, you may kill off the mushrooms without having to worry too much about the surrounding plants. Furthermore, there are a number of household products you can use to get rid of the mushrooms. For example, baking soda in water will not only help to increase the pH of the mulch but will cancel out the acidic environment that mushrooms prefer.
Baking soda also acts as a fungicide, which helps kill the current growth. Vinegar in water also acts as an anti-fungal and can be sprayed onto the mushrooms and mulch to kill them off. Dish soap works similarly. In a freestanding mulch bed, any of these solutions can be applied without having to worry about their effects on the rest of the lawn.
Getting Rid of Mushrooms in Garden Beds
Any of these ideas will work as long as you're careful to apply them only to the mushrooms and mulch. If you mix up a spray bottle with any of these household products, be careful not to spray stems or leaves that you want to protect.
Often, the mushrooms will die off with minimal damage to other plants. Alternatively, you can try to make the ground more inhospitable to mushrooms by adding a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. This will feed the plants you want to keep while working to decay the ingredients that mushrooms like.
Other Removal Methods
If you don't want to use any kind of product to kill the mushrooms growing in your mulch, a bit of work can usually solve your problem. Start by removing all of the mushrooms in the garden. Wear gardening gloves and use a hand trowel to ensure you're removing the whole plant. You may need to tie up the mushrooms in a plastic bag to ensure they don't release additional spores.
Next, rake through the mulch to loosen it. This will allow the soggy bits to dry. If this doesn't work or if your mulch is decaying, you may want to remove the old material and replace it with new mulch. Make sure to add a light layer of mulch so that it doesn't become waterlogged during rainy periods.
Regular raking and turning your mulch as well as trimming back nearby branches to allow more sun to hit the garden will work toward preventing mushrooms from growing in your mulch in the future. You may also want to consider using a layer of compost as the top layer of your garden as opposed to mulch since mushrooms are less likely to grow in organic materials.