Enter the fungi….

We are now in the time of year when various fungi begin popping up in the garden. We will see mushrooms in the lawn after lots of rain, and we may see “puff balls”, powdery mildews, grey molds, and stinkhorns. One organism that is common, annoying, and pretty much harmless, is Dog Vomit fungus. While it is actually a slime mold, it is very unsightly (irregular, bright yellow or whitish when fresh) and often pops up after a period of rain, particularly in freshly laid mulch. I told you it was annoying. It will not cause damage to your plants, but it will spread easily. It is easy to remove simply by raking or scraping it up and disposing of it in the trash. A hard jet of water will also wash it off, but you do run the risk of spreading it by dispersing the spores. It is easiest to remove when it has dried a bit. I usually put on a latex or nitrile exam glove while picking it up–when it is fresh, it can be a bit gooey. If you can tolerate it, you can just let it be–as I said, it won’t hurt anything and it generally just dries up and goes away. Next time, Slime Flux!