Why Do I Have Black Mushrooms In My Backyard?


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A black mushroom emerging from the ground indicates its spores have been living underground, and backyard conditions have changed to promote its growth.

The presence of organic materials, shade, prolonged periods of dampness, warm and humid temperatures are the ideal growing conditions for black mushrooms.

Black Mushrooms Growing
Black Mushrooms Shiitake

Mushrooms need a host to extract nutrients for their growth.

Black mushrooms develop from fallen wood or logs of hardwood trees, such as:

  • oak
  • maple trees
  • or sawdust

Thus, the black mushroom can only grow if organic material is in the backyard.

Black mushrooms also bloom because there is too much moisture in the yard, caused by heavy rains, overwatering, and poor drainage.

The presence of a shade also encourages mushroom growth. It might be as a result of overhanging tree branches or cloudy weather.

What Is Black Mushroom?

A black mushroom, scientifically known as Lentinula edodes, is an Asian mushroom.

It is edible and has a golden brown or dark reddish-brown cap to a blackish cap that is generally two to four inches wide.

Preparing Black shiitake mushrooms
Preparing Black mushrooms

They are the second most grown mushrooms in the world after button mushrooms.

They grow in clusters on hardwood trees, such as:

  • white oak
  • red oak
  • sugar maple
  • chestnut
  • and beech

Its cap, resembling the shape of an umbrella, has creamy white gills on its underside, and its flesh is firm and white. Its stems are generally tough and fibrous.

This mushroom is meaty textured with a rich, smoky flavor and goes well with all foods.

What Is Causing Black mushrooms In My Yard?

Organic Material

Black mushrooms are an indication that your yard has a lot of organic material.

Organic materials contain ideal amounts of nutrients, which a black mushroom needs to grow.

The particular nutrients they consume are:

  • lignin
  • sugar
  • fats
  • starch
  • nitrogen
  • and protein

They extract these nutrients from organic material by producing a strong enzyme that breaks down the materials.

Black mushrooms can be prevalent in your yard when there is the presence of:

  • trees
  • shrubs
  • tree stumps
  • tree roots
  • twigs
  • decaying mulch
  • wood
  • logs
  • or blocks of sawdust

Black mushrooms are primary decomposers.

They can only grow in newly cut logs or wood, not in decaying debris where other mushroom strains have invaded. It best grows on fallen wood/ logs, especially from oak and maple trees.

These thick hardwoods supply the black mushrooms’ mycelium with a stable feeding source.

The more food sources available to these mushroom mycelium, the more and larger they will grow. In the presence of such logs, they can continue to fruit for three to four years.

FurthermoreThe oak’s or maple’s barks are thick-layered, which aids in maintaining moisture levels in the log and the health of the mycelium.

A black mushroom growing tree log should ideally have dry bark and wet interior surfaces.

Dampness In The Yard

Black mushrooms grow in damp, humid conditions.

Therefore, the appearance of black mushrooms sprouting in your yard signals long periods of excess moisture, especially with areas covered in the shade. 

Particularly long and heavy soaking rains cause excess moisture in the soil. Also, it could be because you are overwatering your yard or the irrigation system is leaking.

Excess dampness may lead to standing water (small puddles of water or muddy patches).

A soggy yard may compact the yard soils impacting its drainage and airflow. Poor drainage attracts black mushroom growth.

Apart from rain and overwatering, drainage issues could result from a flat terrain, clogged gutters, or blocked sidewalks.

Shady Conditions

Mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll; thus, they cannot receive nutrients from the sun in the same way as green plants do.

As a result, they do not require sunshine to develop.

That is why mushrooms flourish in dark spaces. They like shady regions because darkness retains the moisture needed for mushroom spore reproduction.

Having too much shade in your backyard makes the environment more conducive for black mushroom growth.

The dark areas may result from overhanging branches or limbs on nearby trees or shrubs.

Tree roots also provide ideal conditions as the mushroom will be beneath a tree where direct sunlight cant reach.

Humid and Warm Temperature

Black mushrooms are likely to pop up in the yard under its ideal temperature for growth, which is between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

They can, however, grow in temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. High humidity levels (wet air) also help black mushrooms emerge. 

Why Black Mushrooms Growing In Your Backyard Is Good

The growth of black mushrooms on a yard might seem unsightly, but that is not always the case.

They can’t do anything terrible to your lawn but only disrupt the perfect look of the grass. 

Black mushrooms are essential to human health and planetary health like all mushrooms.

In Short – Consider why they grew, then decide whether you need to get rid of them or let them be.

Provide Tasty And Healthy Nutrition

If you are confident that the mushroom growing in your backyard is the black mushroom, prepare for a harvest and a tasty meal.

Black mushrooms are famous for their flavorful, buttery, meaty, and medicinal flesh.

Growing shiitake mushrooms
Growing kit shiitake

They’ve been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to promote health.

They contain healthful compounds that:

  1. boost the immune system
  2. fight cancer tumors
  3. support heart health

Black Mushrooms are an excellent source of protein and are low in sodium, fat, and calories.

They are loaded with fiber, B and D vitamins, and some minerals and have been proven to reduce cholesterol.

How To Use Black Mushroom

Black mushrooms can be sautéed, baked, or broiled.

Although you can eat black mushrooms on their own, they are good in:

  • casseroles
  • sauces
  • stews
  • soups
  • pasta
  • and stuffing for poultry or sea dishes

People consume black mushrooms in their fresh (shiitake) or dried forms.

Shiitake does not require soaking, but its flavor is less intense than the dried form.

How To Use Black Mushroom

When ready to use, pick firm and plump and avoid shriveled, dry, slimy, or bruised.

First, clean them by removing grit with a damp paper towel or gently scrubbing with a soft brush.

Before using dried mushrooms, soak them in cold water for at least an hour. To shorten the soaking time, remove the stem first.

They are ready for cooking when you find that the whole caps are wholly soft and that you can squeeze all excess water from them.

Promote a Healthy Yard

If you have black mushrooms in your yard, it is a sign that you have healthy soil in your yard.

Like all mushrooms, it stimulates microbial activity in the ground making it more productive. So, your plants in the yard can utilize the nutrients for their growth.

Without the mushroom, microbes and plant roots that need nutrients would not absorb any inorganic material in the soil.

Without them, even chemical fertilizers would not help your lawn much.

Additionally, black mushrooms help break down dead trees and bushes that would never decompose.

Final Thoughts

Black mushroom is like the fruits of fungi that pop up under the right environmental conditions.

Its spores can lay in the soil for years while breaking down organic matter or maybe dispersed to your yard by the wind, birds, and insects.

But they burst forth when the yard is wet, has shade, and the weather is humid and warm.

Although you can get rid of black mushrooms from your yard, you are recommended to leave them as they provide health benefits to you and your yard.

It contains tasty nutrients that go well with many dishes. Additionally, they promote microbial soil activity, which enriches the soil with nutrients for the yard’s plants growth.

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