There's a fungus among us

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by saichele, Jul 20, 2007.

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  1. saichele

    saichele
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    This is an intersection between wood and gardening...

    In the last couple weeks, large clumps of some sort of mold or fungus have started appearing in some mulched flower beds. The Mulch is just standard shredded hardwood, been down about 2 months. All the sites get at least a couple hours of good sun, and it's been really dry around here.

    The mold seems to evolve over about a week, from a yellow mat to a brown dead clump. Any idea 1) what it is, 2) if it's anything dangerous to plants or pets, and 3) what might get rid of it without killing the few flowers and shrubs surviving the drought?

    Thanks
    Steve
     

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  2. keyman512us

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    Steve...
    I'm kinda curious on this one. It looks like a "parasitic" type of fungus usual seen on "half dead standing trees on their way out". I've never seen it grow on chip or mulch though. Perhaps spot treatment with lime will kill it off...but hard to say.
    Comercially available mulch is made in a variety of ways with different varieties of colorants (in this day and age often from food industry sources...like cranberry residues) so perhaps it's just natural decomposition of the colorant used to make the mulch. Where did you get the mulch??? Sometimes mulch is trucked in from a different area from great distances. Trucks haul a variety of cargo...It's not unusual for a truck to haul sludge one day, then mulch the next. It could be anything...but doubtfull it is anything harmfull.
    I would suggest contacting your "local board of health" to get some input...and perhaps something along the lines of a local or state department of agriculture. Probably harmless...but best to "contact the experts".
    Any local colleges or universities with specialized agriculture/entomology/biological sciences departments???

    What part of the country are you in???

    ...Keep us posted, let us know how you make out in the situation.
     
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  3. senorFrog

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    Normal. You'll get that periodically in mulch. Especially in periods of heavy or steady rain.

    It will go away on it's on. I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  4. Jay H

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    So long as the mulch doesn't contain artillery fungus, which shoot these reddish brown spots that are hard to remove from anything near it.

    http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/FactSheets/artfungus/artilleryfungus.htm

    The landscaping company where I work apparently used this cheap mulch that was infected with it....a week or two later, we had these red spots all over the windows that were next to the mulch! Cars, shrubs, doors, windows, all spotted!

    Jay
     
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  5. saichele

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    The artillery fungus is pretty cool - never heard of anything quite like that.

    My initial reaction was to just ignore the first blob of fungus - it's kind of gross looking, but was just one patch. Now I've got 5 or 6 patches, and particularly in the first few days of growth it's nasty - looks like a yellow/green shag carpet or something.

    May hit it with some lime.

    Steve
     
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  6. Jay H

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    Yeah, neither did I until one day, going to work, I noticed the entire side glass door was covered in red spots... Upon further review, the entire side of the building was also covered in spots, including some co-worker's cars! One common thread was a line of (newly spread) mulch that is part of the landscaping all along the building and the parking lot. Bingo.. a few google searchs later, we find the culprit.! I guess we either switched landscapers after that or we got some QC going on!

    I can still see an occasional red spot still on the building...

    Jay
     
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