So you have a problem with mushrooms. The good news is, mushrooms growing in your yard is actually a sign that soil is healthy and nutrient-rich! But you may want to get rid of mushrooms to keep your dog or kids from getting to them, and you may have heard that you can use vinegar to kill off mushrooms in your yard. Is this true?
Vinegar can be an effective and natural way to kill mushrooms in your lawn, without the use of chemical pollutants that can damage your yard and the surrounding ecosystem. You can use regular white vinegar, but it’s recommended that you use horticultural or industrial vinegar for a more efficient fungicide.
Read on to find out more about whether vinegar is an effective mushroom killer, and how you can use it to rid your yard of mushrooms, gently and naturally!
Why does vinegar work to kill mushrooms?
Vinegar is an effective fungicide because of its active ingredient, acetic acid. Acetic acid naturally has antibacterial and antifungal properties (this is why vinegar is a common household cleaner).
When you apply vinegar to a mushroom, the acetic acid in the vinegar works to kill the mushroom by burning it. This could take mere hours up to a few days, depending on the strength of your vinegar solution.
What’s the difference between different kinds of vinegars? WHich one is the most effective?
While it is possible to use common white vinegar to get rid of mushrooms, it’s not the most potent or effective strategy. If you want really powerful results, you’ll need to go with a horticultural vinegar that is specifically made to combat weeds and other plants.
White vinegar contains about 5% to 7% acetic acid, whereas horticultural vinegar tends to be much stronger, with about 25% acetic acid. This is not as strong as industrial vinegar at nearly 70% acetic acid, but you’re best sticking to the gentler kinds of vinegar for this project.
How to use vinegar to kill mushrooms:
Things you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Plastic Spray Bottle
- Work gloves
Steps to get rid of the mushrooms with vinegar:
- Make sure to properly dilute the vinegar. If you’re using white vinegar, add 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water to a spray bottle using the funnel.
- Protect yourself. Wear work gloves and goggles to keep the vinegar from spilling on your skin or blowing into your eyes.
- Be sure you have the proper weather conditions. You should spray the mushrooms on a day with low wind (for better accuracy with your spray bottle), and on a day that’s between 65 and 85 degrees fahrenheit, ideally.
- Spray the vinegar and water solution over the mushrooms, keeping the plastic spray bottle about 4 to 6 inches from the mushrooms. It’s important to keep the vinegar only in the area where the mushrooms are, because the acetic acid in the vinegar could kill your grass and other nearby plants as well.
- Wait and allow the vinegar to do its work. If you use white vinegar, you can expect the mushrooms to die off after about 3 to 4 days. Expect a shorter time with horticultural vinegar, which is much stronger.
- Monitor the area to determine if the mushrooms have been killed, and keep an eye out for any signs of future growth. If you have a heavy mushroom infestation in your yard, repeated application will eventually discourage any future mushrooms from growing in the area.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why should I use vinegar instead of a commercial fungicide?
Chemical fungicides that you buy in the store contain dangerous chemical pollutants that not only present a risk to you, your kids, and your pets, but it also risks harm to the natural ecosystem around your yard.
The fungicide can drain off into natural water supplies like lakes, ponds and streams, which can kill off local plant and animal life. Vinegar is a much more harsh solution for both your family and for the environment.
Vinegar is a natural and effective way to get rid of mushrooms growing in your yard without having to resort to harsh chemicals. If you use the right vinegar-to-water ratio, you can expect to rid your lawn of mushrooms in as little as a couple of days. Apply the vinegar solution to any new mushroom clusters that pop up, and you will eventually deter future growth.