Fungi that are of the puffball variety are one of the oddest things that we can find in our yards. They are a type of mushroom, and they are harmless.
This can be a relief to hear because they tend to be common, and when they pop up it can be difficult not to worry about the effect they may have on the garden.
In order to identify these, we must know what they look like. They are white, and ball shaped on the top, kind of like a pear.
Let’s educate ourselves about this very weird mushroom!
It is important to know about the life cycle of anything in our yards and gardens. This can be key to understanding the effect that random sprouting’s may have on the plants that we actually care about.
Like any other plants, these puffball varieties send out spores that then spread and germinate.
These strands that end up in our yards are called hyphae, which are barely visible at all. It is not until the hyphae gathers and forms a mycelium that we can see it.
One mycelium turns into many mycelia which turns into the body of the mushroom.
This body is fed and nourished by decomposing the dead things and material in our lawns, making them not a threat to the nutrients that many of our intended plants need.
When these bodies reach maturity, they produce spores and the cycle continues on.
Some varieties can be poisonous, and it is hard to tell which ones are and aren’t. So, for anyone who has children or pets, be persistent with removing these mushrooms from the lawn.
If we must get rid of these in our yards, there are some different ways to do so. For example, think about what these fungi feed on.
Dead material, so removing dead leaves, roots, or stumps and anything else like that can contribute to starving them out. This is after removing all of the visible bodies, of course. Also, watering less can help make sure that they do not succeed in making our yards a permanent home.
Fungicides can help remove them, especially for anyone looking for a one and done experience. There is the choice to spray the fungicide across the entire lawn or there is the fungicide powder.
With the powder, we apply and then water the lawn for it to take effect, or we can mix it with water and then apply.
There can be damage to our yards when using the fungicide method, so following directions is crucial.
Applying fungicides once can get rid of these fungi all at once, but alternative choices, besides these harmful chemicals, can get the job done just as well in time.
Puffballs really are not considered pests, but they can be stinky, and they can be poisonous.
Now that we understand the life cycle, the hazard, and the ways of removal I think we can all make the best choice for us when it comes to these odd fungi.