When you see mushrooms growing in your yard… how do you respond?
I used to know a neurotic gardener who would pull up all the mushrooms that grew in her yard and throw them away.
This is… stupid. Mushrooms aren’t going to harm your lawn or your garden. In fact, they play a key role in recycling nutrients. Without fungi, fallen trees would sit around for ages without rotting into the soil.
Though I titled this post “mushrooms create soil,” it’s not quite accurate, since mushrooms are just the fruiting body of a larger fungal organism.
The mushrooms that pop up in your yard aren’t just a “here today and gone tomorrow” plant-like organism that’s popped in for a brief visit before heading off for the great compost heap in the sky. They are just the “flower,” so to speak, of a multi-threaded fungi that may have been living beneath your front yard since before you were born.
When you see mushrooms, you are seeing just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the common mushrooms we see are very busy at an important task: the task of creating soil. Without fungi, we would have no forests.
If see mushrooms in your yard, be glad. They’re usually breaking down material that plants can’t access and making it available to the ecosystem.
They’re not some sort of evil invader – they’re a garden helper that’s actively engaged in making your property more fertile.
Plus, some of them taste pretty good.