Print This Page


Toadstool, Mushroom or Fairy Ring


Toadstool is the slang term for mushrooms. Toadstools are simply the interesting looking fruiting bodies of fungi working to break down organic matter in the soil. The organic matter being eaten can be compost, mulch, old lumber but is more commonly dead and decaying tree roots. These saprophytic fungi are not harmful in any way, but can be eliminated by kicking over or spraying them with baking soda or potassium bicarbonate at about 1 rounded tablespoon per gallon of water.

Cornmeal juice will also control them for a while. These decomposers will grow back until the organic matter is completely broken down.


One of the pathogenic fungi that can spread on roots and be a problem.


There are three good books on these helpful organisms:

  • Mycelium Running - How Mushrooms Can Save the World by Paul Stamets, Ten Speed Press.
  • Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America by David W. Fisher and Alan E. Bessette, University of Texas Press.
  • Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of the World by Hall, Stephenson, Buchanan, Yun and Cole, Timber Press.


More information at these websites:





  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns