How To Get Rid Of Mushrooms In Mulch? | A Detailed Guide

How To Get Rid Of Mushrooms In Mulch?

The majority of gardens benefit from the addition of mulch, but occasionally the growth season isn’t as smooth as you’d like, and you wind up covering your area with too much mulch. That is why you must know the amount of mulch needed for your yard so you wouldn’t overspread the mulch.

The amount of mulch you use can end up keeping enough moisture for mushrooms to begin growing if you use too much mulch or if it’s been unusually wet and humid. While mushrooms are not harmful to plants, they can be an unsightly addition to your flower bed and could be harmful to curious children or animals.

The good news is that a number of different methods can remove these ugly embellishments. In our guide, you may learn the most effective techniques for removing mushrooms from mulch.

What Causes Mushrooms To Grow In Mulch?

What Causes Mushrooms To Grow In Mulch?

Trees, plants, landscaping mulch, and bark are more likely to sprout mushrooms in areas with shade. Mushrooms obtain their vitality from decomposing organic waste and the moist atmosphere created by garden beds that have recently been watered. No matter how diligent you are in your garden, you can still find mushrooms growing in mulch.

Mulch is made up of organic materials that are in the process of decomposing, such as peat moss, pine straw, wood and bark chips, and even hay. These factors work together to create an acidic environment that supports the growth of various fungi and mushrooms in mulch. You’ll find that mulch encourages the growth of mushrooms even if you regularly renew it. 

Are Mushrooms Growing In Mulch Harmful?

Although the mushrooms that arise from the fruiting bodies of fungus growing on wood chips, shredded bark, and other mulches may be unattractive, they are generally harmless. While handling some mushrooms with caution is important due to their potential for poisoning, the majority do not harm landscaping plants.

Hardscaping can become permanently stained by a fungus called artillery. Slime molds, which resemble damp lumps, could potentially be forming on landscape mulch. Despite being harmless to plants, mushrooms in mulch can add an unsightly element to gardens and flower beds.

In addition, because it is impossible to tell what strain of deadly fungi dogs or kids are eating, it can be even worse if they eat them. This increases the risk of their becoming ill.

How To Get Rid Of Mushrooms In Mulch?

1. Baking Soda

what causes mushrooms to grow in mulch

Raising the pH of your mulch is the first line of defense against mushrooms because they grow best in acidic soils. The simplest approach to accomplish this is to mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one gallon of water, then spray the mixture over the problematic regions.

Not only does baking soda increase the soil’s alkalinity, but it also works as a natural fungicide to eradicate mushrooms in as little as three days.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural remedy and can be used to kill mushrooms. When used correctly, vinegar acid will destroy your mushrooms and stop them from returning to your mulch due to the chemical makeup of vinegar.

Follow these methods to use this natural fungicide to get mushrooms out of mulch.

  • White vinegar should be diluted with four parts water.
  • Include in a spray bottle.
  • Use your vinegar solution to mist the mushrooms. Wear protective eyewear or goggles to protect your eyes.
  • Hold the spray between 4 and 6 inches away from the mushrooms. Spray liberally, being careful to avoid any grass or other plants.
  • Re-spray any living mushrooms after allowing the vinegar to do its work for three to four days.
  • Keep an eye on them until they all pass away, then take out and discard any dead mushrooms from the mulch. Don’t forget to wear gloves.

3. Fungicides

mushrooms on mulch

Add some fungicide to the mulch to prevent the mushrooms from sprouting up once more. Any kind of fungi, including mushrooms, are destroyed by fungicides. Apply fungicide correctly. Wear safety gear, and keep your plants and vegetables away from the fungicides. Ensure that no children or dogs enter the area while the application is still wet.

4. Soapy Water

kill mushrooms in mulch

Dish soap is an additional common household item that you can use to eradicate the fungus. If you have mushrooms in your flower beds, it’s safe to blend them into a solution you can use. Spray the mulched mushrooms in your flower bed and around your shrubs with a solution of two teaspoons of dish soap to three gallons of water.

5. Nitrogen-Rich fertilizers

mushrooms in mulch

Fertilizers function in two different ways. They promote plant development while inhibiting fungus growth in mulch, which is the first benefit.

Fertilizers high in nitrogen speed up and effectively decompose the organic debris, which is the mushroom’s main food supply. Due to the excess nutrition intake, they grow and decay more quickly than usual.

It’s advisable to stay away from slow-release fertilizers because they don’t have the same effect, even though the nutrients may be better for the mushrooms with a slower release.

How To Prevent Mushrooms In Mulch

1. Keep Your Yard Clean

how to kill mushrooms in mulch

As fungi’s method of reproduction, spores can be found in large quantities of organic waste. Regular yard maintenance results in less organic waste, which in turn results in fewer spores, which in turn results in fewer mushrooms and other fungi.

Throw away all decaying debris, including dead plants, fruits, and fruits that have already died. Because mushrooms grow best in acidic soil, animal droppings can increase the soil’s acidity, which will only inhibit their growth.

2. Add A New Layer Of Mulch

how to get rid of mushrooms in mulch

Mulch doesn’t degrade for years, so putting fresh mulch on top of old mulch will make it smell better. Due to the new mulch’s unsuitability as a growing medium for mushrooms, it will also slow down their development.

3. Replace The Mulch

mushrooms in mulch

Finally, keep in mind that mushroom spores in your mulch garden might persist for a long time. If none of the previous techniques work, merely replacing fungus-infested mulch may be sufficient to prevent mushrooms from growing.

It is preferable to replace all of your mulch beds at once as opposed to little bits here and there. The materials are affordable; adding a fresh coating gives your garden beds a polished appearance, and it may be a while before you encounter the problems once more.

4. Don’t Overwater

mushrooms on mulch

Mulch will retain water for a very long time if you overwater it, among other things. Wood chips do not drain as efficiently as the soil does, and mulch that has been overwatered will keep moisture longer than soil does, which is perfect for the growth of mushrooms. Overwatering mulch will almost certainly result in fungus growth when combined with poorly draining soil.

Final Thoughts

If you’re careful only to use mulch and mushrooms for these techniques, any of them will work. Make sure not to spray any stems or leaves that you want to keep protected if you combine any of these home items in a spray bottle.

A lot of the time, the mushrooms will disappear with little harm to the surrounding plants. Alternatively, you may try adding a fertilizer high in nitrogen to make the earth less favorable to mushrooms. As the ingredients that mushrooms like to eat decompose, you will simultaneously be feeding the plants you want to keep.


Switching to a different type of mulch, such as gravel or rocks, can help to prevent mushroom growth, but there may be better choices for promoting healthy plant growth in your yard.

You can reduce moisture in your mulch by ensuring that your grass is properly aerated and not overwatered. You can also add a layer of dry leaves or straw on top of the mulch to help it absorb excess moisture.

You don’t need to remove all of the mulch from your garden to eliminate mushrooms, but you may need to remove and replace any heavily affected areas that are affected by mushrooms.

Removing mushrooms by hand can help to reduce the presence of mushrooms temporarily, but it’s not a permanent solution. You must address excess moisture and organic matter to prevent further mushroom growth.

Lime can help reduce the soil’s acidity and make it less hospitable to fungal growth, but it’s not a foolproof solution for preventing mushrooms from growing in mulch.

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