Question of the Week #2: August 25, 2016
“Neil, with all the rain last week, I’m getting tons of mushrooms. How can I get rid of them, and is any of them edible?”
Mushrooms and toadstools fall into the category of saprophytic funguses. That means that they live off decaying organic matter (as compared to parasitic funguses that gain sustenance from living plants).
In almost all cases, having mushrooms in your lawn does not suggest any cause for concern. They’re not bothering your living plants. You can break them off with your foot or with a hoe or rake. Left on their own, they will usually disappear within two or three days. They may never return again.
However, people also want to know if they are edible, and that answer is usually “No!” Several species are quickly fatal if eaten, and unless you’re a trained mycologist (a botanist with specialization in funguses), the gamble is far too great. Buy your mushrooms at the grocery where you know they’ll be safe.