Why Do Mushrooms Always Grow in the Same Place?

If you’ve had mushrooms growing in your house or yard year after year, you might have noticed that they always sprout in the same area. Sometimes, even after picking them, there might be a new crop of mushrooms in the same place a few weeks later. So why do mushrooms grow back in the same place each time?

Mushrooms grow in the same place because spores land in the soil and produce more mushrooms. Some spores may move through the air to land in other places. However, many fall in a ring around the mushroom. If the mycelium isn’t damaged, the spores will produce more mushrooms in the same place.

In the rest of this article, I’ll explain why mushrooms grow back in the same places and how they reproduce and spread. I’ll also discuss how many times you can pick mushrooms before they disappear and more! If that interests you, keep reading!

Why Do Mushrooms Grow Back in the Same Spot Each Year? 

Mushrooms grow in the same spots each year because the spores they produce form new growths beneath them. Some spores fall to the ground beneath the mushroom and form new growths, which sprout yearly.

Spores spread through the air or by latching onto something else. Mushrooms produce millions of spores, so they spread pretty much everywhere.

Before I continue, let me explain how spores work.

What Are Spores and How Do They Work?

Spores are reproductive units (usually single-celled) that disperse and form new units of fungi in other areas. Spores are usually adapted to remain viable even in unfavorable conditions, so they may lie dormant for years. When the conditions are right, they grow into new units of fungi.

Spores are microscopic, too small to see with the naked eye. Mushrooms produce millions of them, although most never form new growths. In fact, there are so many spores in the air that studies have shown that spores actually cause rain!

Why Do Mushrooms Grow in Clusters?

If you have mushrooms in your yard, you may have noticed that they always grow in clusters. They usually form a ring, where smaller mushrooms grow in circles around larger ones. Why is that?

While we’ve all grown up on stories of fairies using mushrooms for seats, the real reason is far more scientific (and boring). Once again, the answer is spores.

As I mentioned earlier, spores usually disperse through the air to land in other places where they will form new mushroom growths. However, many spores land right below and around the producing mushroom. They then form new mushrooms around the old ones.

Mushrooms Grow Back Because of Optimal Conditions

Apart from the spores producing new mushrooms, you may be experiencing recurring growths because of weather and soil conditions. If it’s damp, shady, and there’s a lot of organic matter for the mushrooms to feed on, you will keep seeing them grow back.

While this doesn’t affect your soil or plants, mushrooms can sometimes look unsightly. Plus, some of them aren’t good for your pets. If you want to know more about what conditions may be causing mushrooms to grow on your lawn, you can check this article on the most common reasons mushrooms grow on lawns: 4 Common Causes of Mushrooms in a Lawn

Does Picking Mushrooms Prevent Them From Growing Back?

To fully understand this, you need to know how mushrooms work first. Mushrooms are the “fruit” of fungi – they produce spores (like seeds) that grow into new fungi. They are just the visible, above-ground part of the fungi. The rest of it grows underground in a network of root-like structures. This network is called mycelium.

Generally, picking mushrooms does not always prevent new ones from growing back. It’s the same as picking fruit from a tree – the tree remains undamaged and grows fruit again next season. In the same way, picking mushrooms doesn’t prevent the mycelium from producing new ones later.

However, mycelium is a very thin, string-like structure. You may end up damaging it while picking the mushrooms. If the mycelium is damaged, it won’t produce new mushrooms.

Another thing that could prevent mushrooms from growing back is if you pick them before they produce spores. If they are regularly plucked before releasing spores, the number of mushrooms will eventually decrease until they disappear altogether.

So picking mushrooms can prevent them from growing back if the mycelium is damaged, or they’re picked before releasing spores.

How Many Times Can You Pick Mushrooms Before They Disappear?

Most mushrooms grow about two to three times at least before they disappear. If you pick the mushrooms before they produce spores, they may completely disappear in a few months to a year.

Some mushrooms regrow more often. Oyster mushrooms, for example, can be harvested five or six times.

Should I Remove Mushrooms From My Lawn? 

Mushrooms can be a bit ugly to look at, but they’re not harmful to your lawn or garden. Some people prefer to keep the mushrooms on their lawns, even decorate them, while others prefer to completely get rid of them. Ultimately, what you do with the mushrooms growing on your lawn is up to you.

You should remove mushrooms if they’re poisonous or it is unclear how safe they are. If you have children or pets that may eat the mushrooms, you should remove them as soon as possible.

Even safe-to-eat mushrooms can cause digestive issues or allergies. If you’re unsure how you or the others in your house will react to the mushrooms, it’s safer to get rid of them. This is especially true if you have small children or pets that are allowed to roam around the lawn.

If you’re interested in removing the mushrooms on your lawn, I’ve explained a few ways to do that below.

How To Remove Mushrooms From a Lawn

First, you should understand why mushrooms are growing on your lawn in the first place. There are many reasons why mushrooms grow, so determining the cause is the first step in finding a solution to remove them.

Generally speaking, mushrooms grow because of a perfect blend of three conditions – damp, dark, and decaying organic matter. If all of these needs are met, you will definitely find mushrooms.

Here are a few ways you can remove mushrooms.

Knock Them Over by Hand

The first and easiest way to remove them is to pick them or knock them over by hand. This won’t damage the fungi growing beneath the surface, which can be left alone since it doesn’t harm your lawn.

If you’re using this method, make sure you pick the mushrooms before they release spores. This will prevent them from growing back.

Use Commercial or DIY Fungicides

If picking them doesn’t work, you might need to turn to fungicides. Usually, these can be a bit harmful to the environment, so start using them only in small amounts.

Mixing water and horticultural vinegar can create a more environmentally friendly DIY fungicide. 

Industrial-grade vinegar contains, depending on the individual product, between 45 and 75% concentrated vinegar (as opposed to household vinegar which is usually concentrated at 2-5%). It works wonders on fungi and can even be used to combat household mold or fungus on plants and trees. Just mix as much water as necessary to get it down to a concentration of about 10% and put it in a spray bottle (1 part of 45% concentrated horticultural vinegar would need 4 parts of water).

If you’re looking for a commercial fungicide, you can use the copper fungicide. Copper fungicides are quite useful for removing mushrooms, although you may need more than one round to completely remove them. Use a spray bottle to spray the top of the mushrooms. If it doesn’t work, try spraying some below on the stems as well.

The best way to remove the mushroom-causing fungus below is to remove the mushrooms by hand and then spray fungicide into the hole it came from.

Change Your Compost or Fertilizer

If you’re reluctant to use fungicides, you can try to change your compost or fertilizer instead. A liquid nitrogen fertilizer, such as a 28-0-0, is perfect for preventing mushrooms from growing. Nitrogen (in large quantities) stops fungi from spreading.

Final Thoughts

Mushrooms grow back in the same place when they produce spores. These spores form new growths around the original mushroom. You’ll have to remove the mushrooms before they produce spores to prevent them from growing back.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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