Smurf village

Photo credit: born1945

I am new to Oregon from SW Oklahoma. I live in Salem and bought a house (in June) with a beautifully landscaped yard. I am accustomed to drought and red dirt gardening. Since the rain has started I have mushrooms popping up all over. Good? Bad? I have no idea. Should I treat the yard? Thank you. 

- Marion County, Oregon

Mushrooms popping up in soil, grass or barkdust or similar situations are entirely normal. Often you'll even see mushrooms appearing right at the base of shrubs and these often turn out to be mycorrhizal fungi, which are of course beneficial. Even in pots you'll find them appearing as in all these cases the fungi which are producing the mushrooms are naturally degrading the organic matter present in the soil.

The one place we get concerned about mushrooms is when they appear ON a tree or shrub, which usually means some sort of pathogenic fungus. Other than that, they are entirely normal and very much a characteristic of our wet fall. If they are of any concern, they can be raked up to temporarily eliminate them.

Neil Bell
Community Horticulturist
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