How to Naturally Get Rid of Mushrooms in Your Yard

A dish soap or vinegar mixture helps you avoid fungicide and saves the grass

Mushrooms in grass

The Spruce / David Karoki

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5 to $10

There's nothing like walking barefoot on your lush green lawn—only to step on a squishy mushroom. Where there's one, there's probably more, so it's helpful to learn how to get rid of mushrooms in the yard and you don't need to use potentially irritating fungicides. While mushrooms usually will not damage your lawn, their presence signals potential problems with your grass. Luckily, there are also prevention methods to help you eliminate pesky and unattractive fungi from ruining the look and feel of your lawn.

When to Get Rid of Lawn Mushrooms

Mushrooms aren't inherently problematic and can actually be helpful to a lawn in most cases. As the fungus feeds on the lawn's decaying organic matter, it breaks this matter down, making nutrients available to your grass. But some people have valid reasons for wanting to get rid of mushrooms growing in the lawn:

  • They're considered unsightly, especially if you are preparing your property for the real estate market.
  • Some mushrooms are edible (seek expert advice on which kinds are edible), while others are toxic plants, which can be problematic if young children and pets play on your lawn.
  • Some mushrooms even stink badly, the most notorious example being the so-called "stinkhorns."

Reasons Mushrooms Sprout on Lawns

Mushrooms seem to spring up out of the blue. But this is not really the case. They are just the visible result of a process that has been going on underground for some time. An underground fungus (with a much greater mass than the mushrooms have) is the true culprit of your mushroom problem. This fungus, often aided by poor drainage and a lack of sunlight, has been spreading as it feeds on decaying organic matter in the soil, examples of which can include:

  • Pet excrement
  • Fallen leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Lawn thatch
  • Old tree stumps that have not totally decomposed

The mushrooms are merely the visible reproductive structures of this hidden underground fungus. Their purpose is to produce spores that can help the plant spread even further.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Small spade
  • Spray bottle
  • Lawn aerator
  • Rain barrels (if needed)
  • Pruning shears


  • Plastic bag
  • Mild soap-and-water solution
  • Downspouts and gutter repair pieces (if needed)


Materials and tools to get rid of mushrooms in the lawn

The Spruce / Almar Creative

How to Get Rid of Existing Mushrooms

The job of a mushroom is to release its spores, so it's best to pluck and remove them before they can release their spores. This method will not solve the problem (because the underground fungus will live on), but it will cut down on mushroom reproduction in the future, at least.

  1. Pull up the Mushrooms

    Pull or dig as much of it from the ground as possible (do not just pluck off the mushroom head).

    Mushrooms dug from lawn with spade

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  2. Wrap Them Up

    • Put the mushrooms immediately in a plastic bag so the movement doesn't disperse any spores.
    • Tightly close the bag so that no spores can become airborne.
    Mushrooms placed in plastic bag after digging up

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  3. Use a Dish Detergent Solution

    Spray a few drops of dish detergent mixed with water where you removed the mushroom; the dish soap acts as a mild fungicide.

    Dish detergent and water solution sprayed on to lawn after mushroom removal

    The Spruce / Almar Creative


    It's possible to use vinegar as another natural way to remove mushrooms, too. Use garden (horticulture) vinegar diluted with water in a spray bottle and spray the mushroom with precision. Leave the mushroom to die or you can dig, remove, and respray the spot where the mushroom came from for extra prevention. Wear protective gloves and clothing to protect your skin when using this vinegar.

How to Prevent Mushrooms From Growing

If you want to thwart the growth of mushrooms, you can take matters into your own hands. The overall reasons for lawn mushrooms include poor drainage, lack of nutrients, too many shady spots, and too much decaying organic matter left on the lawn.

  1. Create Good Drainage

    The presence of mushrooms may mean that the soil underneath your grass is not draining properly. Poor drainage leads to overly wet conditions, which, in turn, can lead to lawn diseases and mushroom growth. Besides the mushrooms, you will know you have drainage issues when you see small puddles of water and muddy patches around your lawn.

    Drainage issues could be the result of many problems, from having a flat yard, impacted soil, clogged gutters, or sidewalks that are blocking water drainage, for example. Some solutions let you drain your soil and water better or allow you to corral and harvest excess water.

    To alleviate problematic waterlogging in your yard, try the following:

    • Reroute or extend a downspout.
    • Clean gutters causing flooding to help water evenly distribute itself throughout the yard.
    • Harvest rain to reduce the poor distribution of water by creating a rain garden, rain pond, or rain barrels.
    • For severe cases of flooding, professionally install a French drain, or create a swale or dry creek bed.
    Black rain barrel on edge of lawn next to green privacy fence

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  2. Aerate Your Lawn

    Aerating your lawn may work in less severe cases. Aeration lets water and nutrients penetrate your soil rather than sitting on top of the grass. You can rent the equipment from a rental center since you won't need to aerate enough throughout the year to actually own the equipment.

    Lawn aerator being pressed in to grass

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  3. Encourage Sunlight

    Mushrooms love dark, damp patches of grass, so having too much shade encourages their growth. To alleviate this problem, prune larger trees and bushes to let more sunlight into your lawn area. You can prune small trees just enough to make a difference, and for larger trees, hire professionals.

    large bush being pruned next to lawn to add sunlight

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  4. Maintain Your Lawn

    Dealing with the presence of decaying organic matter is largely a matter of cleanliness. If you consider yourself a "neat freak," then this step is right up your alley. You will never be able to remove all of the decaying organic matter in your lawn's soil (nor would you want to), but a concerted effort to keep the lawn clean can make a difference in the long run. Consider these steps:

    • To prevent mushrooms, make spring cleaning in the yard an annual priority.
    • While leaving a small amount of finely shredded grass clippings on the lawn after mowing is generally a healthy practice for your lawn, consider bagging or raking them up if you are intent on keeping mushrooms from sprouting up.
    • Rake fallen leaves off the lawn in the fall (or remove them with a leaf blower).
    • Keep your lawn de-thatched.
    • Remove old tree stumps completely, as they are a clear invitation for mushrooms of all kinds.
    Old fallen leaves being cleaned up from lawn

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Mushrooms and Other Nuisance Fungi in Lawns. Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California.

  2. Toxic Mushrooms. Alderleaf Wilderness College.