Question: I seem to have a lot of mushrooms popping up in my garden and even in a few containers. Will mushrooms harm my plants?
Answer: No, mushrooms will not harm your plants. Mushrooms commonly pop up in gardens mulched with shredded bark or wood; they are usually prevalent in wet, humid, warm conditions. They indicate the presence of a fungus living on the wood or in the soil. These fungi break down wood; that is their function in the ecosystem. Many gardeners see the presence of mushrooms as a good thing; as the fungi break down the wood, nutrients are put into the soil.
The mushroom is the “fruit” of the fungus; its role is to spread the spores from which new fungi will grow. Mushrooms typically disappear on their own in a few days. If their presence bothers you, you can kick them over or knock them down with a jet of water from the hose to speed up the decomposition process.
Although mushrooms won’t harm your plants, they may make you, your kids and your pets sick if any of you eat them. Some mushrooms are edible; some are highly poisonous. We do not advise eating any mushrooms you find in your yard or garden unless you’ve consulted an expert and feel completely sure of the species and its edibility. Teach children and pets to avoid the mushrooms, and/or keep an eye on them as they play in the yard.