How to Stop Mushrooms From Growing in Mulch

Few things can elevate a landscape quite like fresh mulch! It protects your gardens from invasive weeds while maintaining a readily available supply of moisture for the plants. But sometimes mulch comes with issues like mushroom growth.

 You probably want to eliminate the growth because you think it can have negative consequences. As Alexandria’s mulching service provider, our professionals at Dos Amigos Tree Experts offer advice on how to stop mushrooms from growing in mulch. 

Why Mushrooms Infiltrate Your Mulch

Understanding why mushrooms grow in mulch in the first place can inform the elimination method you choose. They thrive in environments that have the following characteristics:

  • Acidic soils
  • Plenty of moisture
  • Little sunlight

So your flower bed full of shade-loving plants will make the perfect home for mushrooms.

Can the mushrooms in your mulch harm your plants? Not necessarily. Mushrooms often indicate an area with rich, nutrient-dense soil. However, most mushrooms that grow in mulch can poison people and animals. Getting rid of mushrooms could protect children and pets who could eat them. 

How to Stop Mushrooms From Growing in Mulch

Figuring out how to stop mushrooms from growing in mulch begins with identifying the root of the problem. For example, a shady, moist patch of dirt offers an excellent habitat for mushrooms to thrive. Soil testing kits can help you determine your soil’s pH level. Once you identify the root of the problem, choose one of the following methods to stop growth. 

White Vinegar

White vinegar has many uses and can solve innumerable problems. If you don’t already have a gallon jug at home, you can purchase one for cheap at most retail centers. Mix one part vinegar with four parts of water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mushrooms and surrounding area with the liquid. 

Baking Soda

Since fungi love acidic soil, baking soda is an effective method for killing mushrooms. Baking soda’s basic properties will unbalance the soil’s pH, making the environment inhospitable for mushroom growth. Simply sprinkle the baking soda on and around the mushrooms. But use caution as many plants also prefer acidic soil! 

Soap and Water

Like baking soda, soap also has basic properties that effectively kill off the mushroom colony. Mix liquid dish soap with water and spray it onto the growths and the ground beneath. The mushrooms can’t survive the basic pH levels.  

Keeping Mushrooms Away

Finally, you need to keep the mushrooms at bay for good. The above solutions can eliminate them immediately. However, the ingredients will eventually degrade, allowing new mushrooms to grow again. Try the following prevention methods alongside proper mulching practices to keep your soil mushroom-free. 


Most home improvement stores carry effective commercial fungicides. Research the product that works best for your property before purchasing. Then, carefully follow the application instructions to ensure the product works. 

Mulch Turning

Since mushrooms love dark, undisturbed spaces, turning your mulch prevents them from getting a foothold. Rake up and redistribute your mulch at least once a month. This prevents any spores from growing. It also upsets mature mushrooms’ placement. 

Avoid Overwatering

Mushrooms thrive in moist places. They often pop up in mulch that doesn’t dry quickly. Don’t water areas with mulch until the mulch feels dry to the touch. More sparse watering practices shouldn’t harm properly mulched and well-established plants. 

Achieve Mulch Perfection with Professional Mulching Services from Dos Amigos Tree Experts

There is much more to mulch care than learning how to stop mushrooms from growing in mulch. You should also avoid adding too little or too much mulch to reap the benefits. Our team at Dos Amigos Tree Experts has proper mulching down to a science. Contact us at 703-300-6103 for a free service estimate.

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