Storms, flooding, heat waves, droughts are capturing headlines lately. Where I live, the Seacoast of New Hampshire, we are surviving the ‘Drought of 2016’. Not good. Wells are running dry; there are water restrictions and serious monetary fines for non-compliance in communities. Storm clouds and rain seem to go north or they go south of us and out to sea. But last week we experienced some pop-up showers/storms and higher humidity. For a few days afterwards, these tiny mushrooms appeared here and there in the wee hours of the morning. They were sparse but they dotted only my lawn and no other yard that I could see.
They are so fragile a mushroom that by noon, they had spread their spores and disappeared. Each morning the cycle repeated with a few tiny mushrooms appearing in the morning dew.
They are a fungus with living parts a foot or more under the soil. It’s not a bad thing and can actually be good for the lawn. They feed on decaying matter and release nutrients into the soil. In my case, the decaying matter is probably grass clippings. Although we live in a complex that provides a mowing service, I prefer to do my own. The mowing service roars through our complex in the hottest part of the day on fairway-type tractors spewing clippings into borders and scalping grass to 1″ in height. They weed & feed twice a summer and routinely spray pesticides.
I couldn’t accept any of that so here was my simple solution: No fertilizer, No weed killer, and No pesticides in my tiny stretch of lawn. After a soil sample by University of New Hampshire told me I need no more nitrogen and no more phosphorus, only potassium, I added just that. In my small yard, I pull weeds by hand and I cut my own grass with the mower below.
I mow late in the day and I mow our grass 3″ high. The grass clippings stay on the lawn, and, yes, it does seem to be healthier. Plus a bonus: I had these cute little mushrooms greeting me at dawn for a short time. It’s a very good thing….