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Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by belden126, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. belden126

    belden126 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Trying to avoid chem herbicides, I used corn gluten (expensive stuff!) this spring. We're in Zone 6 northeast: Long Island, NY. I used 30lb. of the corn gluten on 3000sq.ft. just as forsythia blooms faded, our timing for crabgrass pre-emergent herbicidal use, as I understand it. Maybe it had some effect, maybe not. It did give huge dose of nitrogen to lawn. That and Mon-Wed-Fri sprinkler (4 a.m.) settings yielded lush dark green lawn. I mowed it high (3.5") to further inhibit weed germination; kept at it regularly (despite my wife's preference for close cropping).

    The lawn had been filled and overseeded last year; then I had sprinkler system installed. This was after we lost several large Norway maples and an old kwansun cherry to nor'easter, so lawn was filled with not just ground stumps but large surface roots snaking all over, which I had chased down and ground as well.

    The result has been bumper crops of little parasol mushrooms, a fungal blanket. I checked a field guide and found this species lives decomposing lawn matter. Lawn even has the occasional crop of stinkhorns, over some woodchipped areas.

    After talking with a local sod farmer, I cut watering down to once a week. He also suggested I'd overfertilized.

    So...should I be removing clippings? They're unsightly and don't seem to readily decompose. If removed, can I just bag 'em for eventual compost (we can't curbside them here) or add them to household scraps for the veggie garden? The grass gets kind of ripe, left in its own pile. And there's lots of it too. What can I do with it?

  2. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    How often do you cut? Never remove more than 1/3rd of the blade at one time. Mow often enough so you can stick to that rule. 3.5" is as short as you wan't to cut it. 3.75-4" is best. I doubt fertilizer would cause mushrooms. Not sure about corn gluten though. Mushrooms are generally not turf damaging and dye as soon as they are "kicked" or "stepped on". They are most likely a result of the decomposing roots and will become less in time. Good luck.
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    I agree with mngrassguy. Those mushrooms are more than likely a symptym of those tree roots decomposing in various areas underground.

    And most tree feeder roots aren't as deep in the ground as the average Joe thinks !
    Quite often they're competing in the same soil horizon as the turf in many places around the general circumference of the dripline.
    From the point at which they die...they often have a delayed impact of about 1-3 years before physical evidence is seen, such as what you describe.

    Just knock the 'shrooms down, keep dropping the clippings, and mow frequently w/ sharp blades so you don't mow more than 1/3 off at any one given mowing.
  4. ccecilm

    ccecilm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Don't kick over or knowck the mushrooms around, you will just spread the spores around and set yourself up for more mushrooms. Here's what I did to get rid of my mushroom population:

    Thatch Buster [organic]
    Apply to lawn in spring as soon as temperature remains above 50 degrees.
    In the 15 gallon boom sprayer mix:
    1 can beer
    1 cup household ammonia
    1 cup liquid dishwasher detergent
    1 cup regular cola [not diet]
    Spray at the rate of 15 gallons per 1/2 acre.

    I say it worked because the mushroom problem went away. Others say it didn't work, something else caused them to disappear, what evver. I do not have a mushroom problem now.

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