fungi on new mulch

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dingo, Jun 3, 2000.

  1. Dingo

    Dingo LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 133

    I mulched a yard about 2 months ago and i got a call from the lady cause the mulch is growing some kind of fungi. i went and looked at is and i have no idea what it is but it grows in the areas watered the most around the bushes and gutter pipes. it looks like mold on steriods and when you touch it explodes and sends little particles everywhere. anyone have any idea what im talking about or where i can find out what it is? thanks for the help<p>Dingo
  2. MowerUp

    MowerUp LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 61

    I have dealt with that before. If you put water on it, it turn brown and easily blows. It also has a yellow tint to it if you take shovel or dig into it. Kind of slimy. It is a fungus and from what I understand it is feeding off the microorganisms in the mulch. I don't think it will hurt plants. To get rid of it I have used two different methods. My latest method is to take a shovel and get underneath it and then dispose of it. The other method is to buy a fungicide and spray it. You are not the only one with this problem. I have this problem often when putting out new mulch and it does seem to appear more where there is wet areas.<p>
  3. PLS

    PLS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Our Extension Agent called it dog vomit fungus, in it's early stages it looks just like dog vomit. Then it dries and has all the spores.
  4. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Almost certain from the description that it is Slime mold (i swear im not making that up) and does appear on mulch due to decomposition. Harmless to plants although ugly to look at for your clients. Fungicides are really unnecessary, just decrease watering frequency, and remove with the shovel or break up with the rake.<p>Another type of fungus weve had show up in our mulch on occasion is the Orange ***** fungus.(well I did make that one up.) I becomes a 3 inch florensent orange fallic symbol with a brownish cap and you almost cringe when u have to kick em over.
  5. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    For most Fungi you can simply spray them with a roundup and scythe mix. No need for expensive fungicides. It will kill them in a couple of days. I have done this plenty of times and it always works.
  6. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Hello,<p>Sounds like 1 of two choices. Someone else mentioned &quot;Dog vomit&quot;. This could be what it is. And yes, my extension calls it the same thing (always thought it was funny)<p>Second, it could be &quot;shotgun fungus&quot;. You mentioned it 'shot' spores out all over the place. This is what shotgun does, and it is bad because it caused all of those little &quot;black specs&quot; over peoples nice new vinyl siding. If you ever looked at a house and seen black specs all over, this is a good reason for them. However, I believe shotgun is much smaller than what you described (need to really look to see it) so it probably isn't.<p><br>I can't remember treatment procedures, but I remember someone saying that hand removing it was probably the best bet.<p>As for causes, they are this. Fungus like to grow in cheap mulch.<p>Cheap mulch usually has a lot of &quot;wood&quot; in it. Fungus loves to grow in the woody part of the mulch. <p>One way to avoid problem is to use a higher quality 'Bark Mulch'.<p>The bark mulch does not have has many problems with fungus. An example is with old stumps. ever noticed how when a stump sits around for a few years, mushrooms and fungus begin to grow on top of it. They grow on the wood, not the sides where the bark is.<p>The bark has a natural 'chemical' to resist fungus growth. Thats why trees have bark (well, one of many reasons). When you buy cheaper mulch, they grind in a lot of 'wood', therefore the mulch is very prone to fungus growth.<p>These days, even though sellers say their mulch are &quot;100 percent bark&quot; mulch, it seems unlikely that it is. With more wood being used in the mulch, as with cheaper mulch, the more this problem is going to happen.<p>Steveair<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: steveair
  7. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,180

  8. mattingly

    mattingly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    Steveair is correct. The fungus results from anearobic activity also. Thus, you can aid the reduction of the problem by turning the mulch to increase aerobic (oxygen) activity in the soil. Water is also a direct problem so decrease watering as much as possible. There aren't any fungicides to use on the stuff that is effective, that is if it is dog vomit or shotgun fungus. I have fallen victim to the cheap mulch problem. Avoid the dealer that got you this kind of mulch. Or even better complain and let them know there is a problem. Some may be blind to the problem and this could help them. You may have to remove it and put down good mulch. Good luck.<br><p>----------<br>Integrated Landscape Solutions<br>Lexington, KY

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