Friday, September 2, 2005

toadstools in my yard

I never saw these toadstools in my yard until last year.  When Mandy was a puppy, I did an entry HERE showing her interest in these strange objects.  What I didn't know at the time was how huge these things will get, if you leave them alone.

I think they're puffballs, Cliff thinks not.  I did some research, and learned that when toadstools crop up in the same spot in circles every year, it's called "Fairy rings".  Here's what I read:

Fairy rings

Look for an arc or circle of lush green grass and/or toadstool or puffball mushrooms. The rings may be as large as 60 feet in diameter, though most are less than 15 feet. They usually occur in the same place each year, with the ring expanding outward.

The lush grass is from a release of nutrients (especially nitrogen) caused by the fungi. Some of the mushrooms associated with fairy rings are poisonous and should be raked up and removed regularly if small children play in the area.

Fairy rings are more of an aesthetic nuisance than threat to lawns. Sometimes there will also be a ring of dead grass caused by the fungus. More frequent mowing can minimize the difference in grass height. More frequent fertilization and heavier watering can even up grass growth and color, but may cause worse disease problems.

Hey, I have to do something to get my mind off the news, even if it means taking pictures of fungi.



rb3987 said...

I believe Cliff is right. Puff balls do not have a stem that holds the round part up off the ground. We have white toad stools popping up here in Kentucky since we got 7 inches of rain from Ketrina

siennastarr said...

Well, I learned something new today!  That is so interesting!  
Not only that, but you mentioning fairies made me thing of something back in my childhood which I will have to journal about.  It's pretty funny.
I agree with you about trying to get our minds off of what's happening in Louisiana, if only for a few minutes.

You know.. I thought I had put you on my alerts.. :( , and apparently I hadn't.  Well, you are now!  :)


csandhollow said...

I thought toadstools had a pointed cap? We have seversl fariy rings in our yard.

ryanagi said...

Hmm. They DO look like golf balls. You got your 9-iron handy? WHACK!

madcobug said...

Mandy was so cute when she was a pup checking out the mushrooms. Here is a site that looks like what you have.  

toonguykc said...

I'm jealous!  I'm a big fan of fungi, and my yards are sadly spore-free.  And now you've given me a new blog topic.  

thebezar11967 said...

In 1995 or 1996 my dad found a very big puffball mushroom in the woods by the PeckerWood Club. He took it to the Lexington News and they took his picture and it was put in the paper. That was the first and only time I saw one. We ate it too. It was like eating a puff of air. Mom cooked like a morel mushroom. It was strange.