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No taste for yard mushrooms? Just ‘kick them over’

By Rob Pavey| Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Everybody likes them on pizza, but nobody wants them in the yard,"
said Sid Mullis, the University of Georgia Extension Service director
for Richmond County.

Typically, late summer and early fall is mushroom time in the south,
when cooler, damper weather activates fungi hidden in local soils.

"Usually, you see the most after a long dry spell, like we’ve had
recently," he said. "Then, when you get a good rain or two they’ll pop
up all over the yard."

Most homeowners aren’t fond of fungi.

"People call and ask what to do," Mr. Mullis said. "I tell them to
just kick them over – or hit them with a golf club. There is so much
fungi decomposition underground, there isn’t anything you can do to
stop them."

The South produces many edible mushrooms with appealing names such
as oysters, puffballs, cauliflower mushrooms, Santa’s beard and hen of
the woods.

But they typically don’t show up in people’s yards – and the consequences of eating a misidentified mushroom can be deadly.

"It takes a true expert to know what a true edible mushroom is," Mr.
Mullis said. "I always tell people not to eat anything unless they know
for sure."


© 2007 The Augusta Chronicle

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