If you have a yard or garden, you’ve probably laid mulch on your soil to improve your yard’s aesthetic or help grow your plants better. Whichever the case, there’s a possibility you’ve noticed mushrooms growing on the mulch.
Mulch provides excellent conditions for mushrooms to grow. They multiply quickly and in different variants.
Some mushrooms growing in mulch include Agaricus bernardii, Chlorophyllum meruliodies, Lysurus cruciatus, Boletinellus merulioides, and Leucoagaricus rachodes.
Sometimes these mushrooms may not pose any threat to your product; regardless, it’s essential to know what kind of mushrooms grow on mulch to better prepare if any effects arise.
Here’s a list of mushrooms that grow in mulch, including edible and inedible mushrooms, and how to deal with them.
What Kind of Mushrooms Grow in Mulch?
Almost all types of mushrooms grow in mulch. Mushrooms are fungi. They depend on the decomposition of the landscape to grow, and mulch provides appropriate conditions to support their growth.
Mushrooms on mulch are considered recyclers; as they acquire nutrients from the mulch, they help break down mulch materials like woody tissues to release more nutrients.
Most of the mushrooms that grow in mulch are not of any harm to the plants or soil unless ingested.
An issue only arises if they grow beyond the farmer’s control and turn into an infestation.
Here’s a detailed list of what kind of mushrooms grow in mulch. The list includes scientific names and common names, and distinguishing characteristics.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mushrooms In Mulch
Agaricus Bernardii – Salt-Loving Mushroom
This kind of mushroom grows predominately on mulch consisting of high sodium content materials or on soils along the coast.
These mushrooms are edible and grow in small groups.
They’re white at the top with brown lines under the cap that give it a cracked look. It grows up to 8cm long and 4cm wide.
Bolbitius Titubans – Yellow Fieldcap
These kinds of mushrooms are small and yellow. They turn into a cinnamon shade as the day passes, exposing them to the sun. Their under caps have gills about 2 to 4 mm long.
They prefer wood chip mulch or grass-manured mulch and appear after heavy rains or when mulch has high humidity.
They disappear just as fast as they grow. The yellow fieldcap is 4cm wide at maturity but shrivels up and dies after extended exposure to the sun.
The yellow fieldcap mushrooms tend to shy away from cow dung. If you spot them in mulch, an excellent way to get rid of them quickly is by adding cow dung to the decomposing mulch.
Boletinellus Merulioides – Ash-Tree Bolete
These mushrooms typically grow in mulch with wood ash. It’s an edible kind of mushroom.
This mushroom has a symbiotic relationship with plants in the mulch they grow in. As they feed off the nutrients the mulch produces, they, in turn, are mycorrhizal fungi that strengthen plant roots, enabling faster water and nutrient uptake.
The ash-tree bolete is brown with wide caps. They grow in mounds.
They produce a brown dye that may stain clothes, hands, or pavements.
Chlorophyllum rachodes – Shaggy Parasol Mushroom
These are the most common type of mushrooms found in mulch. They are white or yellow and look shaggy with brown scales.
Theese types grow in mulch comprising grass, woodchip, and other green materials with high humidity. They also enjoy freshly tilled soil with wet mulch.
In its initial growth stages, the shaggy parasol mushroom looks like an egg but grows more expansive with a flat cap up to 15cm wide.
These mushrooms turn red when cut.
The shaggy parasol mushroom is edible, although it may cause allergic reactions in people who have gastrointestinal issues.
Leucoagaricus Leucothites – White Dapperling
These mushrooms are also found in mulch with grass cuttings and other plant products as primary materials.
They are white and tall with small caps that range between 3 to 9 cm at maturity. White dapperlings turn yellow or brown when bruised.
They’re edible except for people with gastrointestinal issues.
Lysurus Cruciatus – Lizard’s Claw Stinkhorn
The lizard’s claw stinkhorn grows in mushrooms as well, although rarely. They’re small and long with brown tips that look like lizard legs, hence the name.
They produce a pungent smell hence the name.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Mushrooms Grow in Mulch?
Yes, mushrooms can grow in mulch. Mushrooms require shaded areas with high moisture and temperature to grow well, and mulch has these conditions.
Mushrooms are reproductive fungi that rely on organic nutrients to grow. Mulch provides the suitable conditions for this. It’s, therefore, highly likely that you’ll find mushrooms growing in mulch.
However, it’s unlikely for mushrooms to grow in your mulch if it’s made of materials such as rubber and other plastic waste.
How Do I Identify The Mushrooms Growing In Mulch?
You can identify the mushrooms growing in mulch by their different colors, size, shapes, and smell.
Depending on the type of spores, each mushroom has a unique physical trait that you can use to identify them. Read through the list above to identify the most common types of mushrooms growing in mulch.
Is It Good or Bad To Have Mushrooms Growing In Mulch?
Mushrooms growing in mulch can be a good thing; it usually means the process of decomposition has begun, and nutrients are being released into the soil for plant uptake.
Mushrooms help accelerate the decomposition process. Without mushrooms (fungi), most of the mulch laid on the soil would pile up, undecomposed, causing litter.
However, mushrooms growing on mulch can also be a bad thing since they feed off of the nutrients on the mulch. Their growth may deprive plants of required nutrients if the mushroom infestation gets out of hand.
If you’re concerned with the appearance of your garden, mushrooms may lower the garden’s aesthetic appeal.
Why Am I Getting Mushrooms In My Mulch?
You’re getting mushrooms in your mulch because of the temperature and moisture level in the mulch.
Mulch is usually made with materials that take time to decompose for the nutrients to be released into the soil. The decomposition process generates a lot of heat and retains moisture, and these conditions are ideal for mushroom growth.
Additionally, mushrooms are growing in your mulch because you may have spread the mulch in highly shaded regions. Shade increases the humidity and protects mushrooms from intense sunlight.
Can I Eat Mushrooms That Grow In mulch?
Yes and no. You can eat mushrooms growing in mulch; however, It’s essential to know the kind of mushrooms that grow on mulch before thinking about consuming them.
Some mushrooms growing in mulch are poisonous; eating them would pose medical complications—mushrooms with gills or those that turn a different color when cut is largely considered toxic. Such ought to be avoided.
It’s, however, safer to completely resist eating mushrooms growing in mulch even when listed as edible.
What Does It Mean If Mushrooms Grow In mulch?
When mushrooms growing in mulch means the mulch has excellent humidity and heat conditions that support the growth of mushrooms.
It also suggests that decomposition on mulch has begun since mushrooms are fungi that feed on dead organisms.
They indicate healthy soil and plant roots underneath. Also, mushrooms growing in mulch means your mulch is spread in a well-shaded area.
However, if it bothers you to have mushrooms growing in mulch, simply till the soil and mix the mulch, adding fresh mulch as you do so to slow down the process of decomposition that generates nutrients suitable for mushroom growth.
What Does Mushroom Look Like In Mulch?
Depending on the mushroom growing in mulch, you’ll see a packed bed of mushrooms or patches in different mulch sections.
The initial stages of mushrooms growing on mulch aren’t visible. It’s a microscopic process; however, the spores from mushrooms thrive and grow when the humidity and temperatures grow ideal with enough time.
You’ll see white, yellow, or brown patches depending on what kind of mushroom grows on your mulch.
What Are The White Mushrooms That Grow In mulch?
The white mushrooms growing in mulch could be of several kinds, from white-cap mushrooms to white dapperlings.
The majority of mushrooms are white unless they’ve been disturbed.
How Long Will Mushrooms Grow in Mulch?
Mushrooms grow in mulch as long the conditions are favorable. If your mulch decomposes to provide the proper organic nutrients and humidity, all kinds of mushrooms are sure to find conditions that support their growth.
A layer of mulch takes about seven years to decompose; that’s about the assumed time mushrooms continue to grow in mulch if left undisturbed.
If you have mushrooms growing in mulch, I hope this list makes it easy to identify them.
Mushrooms in mulch don’t usually cause any adverse effects on the soil or plants. However, if you’d like to remove them, start by reducing the shaded areas in your garden. Trim the trees and shrubs for this.
Additionally, turn the mulch occasionally and add fresh mulch to slow the process of decomposition.
While you may not pick and eat them, knowing what kind of mushrooms grow in mulch is essential to handle whatever effects of their presence in the garden.