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Posts: 16
Location: Western Oregon
homeschooling kids cooking
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First off - hello! I'm totally new and presently trying to figure out how to navigate these forums, so if my etiquette is off, allow me to apologize!

I'm pretty new to growing anything and my 'net searches aren't turning up any solid answers, so I thought I'd come here and post some photos since most of my searches end up leading me to "permies" anyway :-)

Mold/Fungus "problem" #1:
I just started 3 new raised beds. My original two are doing fine, but the new ones all have a white or beige fungus growing on the garden soil. It's not getting on the plant sprouts, just the soil (so, Southern Blight ruled out, I think). At first I thought it was spider-mite webs, but it gets thicker and thicker until it resembles styrofoam. I'm not convinced it's "dog vomit" because it is PURE white (although some recent stuff is beige. I treated it with Neem oil and that only seemed to give it some more grow gusto!

These beds are in cedar, white a little bit of twigs/ashes/burned wood chips on the bottom, soil from our yard (it's clay but teeming with worms!), top soil, composted steer manure (soooo composted it looks like mulch almost). Two beds aren't mulched. I did mulch the strawberries and the white stuff is growing on the mulch there too.

My other two garden beds are framed with rocks, also have twigs/clay soil with a bit of compost (not animal based) and plain ol' top soil. No mulch. They aren't having this problem at all.



Mold/Fungus "problem" #2:
I was just checking out my sad little raspberry patch to see how it was growing and cleaning the mulch away from the stalks, when I noticed some very odd little fungus growing. Clusters of beige cups. The berries are planted right in the ground, and around it I put a "kill mulch" - just a bunch of cardboard topped with more ashes/burned wood, dried leaves and mulch. The cup fungus is growing under the cardboard as well as right up against the raspberries.


I'm kind of freaking out a bit. We spent quite a bit (for us) on the strawberries and asparagus crowns, and now I'm wondering if we're going to have to scrap them and start over (oh my aching back!).

I appreciate any words of wisdom!

Thanks, Dee
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What the mold looks like when it's just starting.
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This is pretty much all over my 4x4 asparagus bed. This is the only bed that has beige colored "mold".
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What the "mold" looks like when it starts.
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I already ripped this out, but these were growing either under cardboard or right up on the stem of my raspberries
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Hmmm. Yeah honestly it looks kinda bad. Have you consulted with a professional?
 
Posts: 2
Location: PNW, Willamette Valley
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I can't speak to the fuzzy molds, but the beige cup fungus you have in the bottom pics is really common in my garden, and I haven't seen it effect my plants at all.  I have had all kinds of crazy funguses, including one called 'dog vomit slime mold', and nothing seems to have been pathogenic to my plants.  Best of luck.
 
gardener
Posts: 370
Location: Sierra Nevadas, CA 6400'
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To my uneducated eye, the white fungus does appear to be slime mold (dog vomit). It can come in a variety of colors and isn't always yellow.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. It looks like you've got a lot of fresh mulch and the fungi are breaking it down, turning it into soil for you. Mushrooms are usually a good sign of healthy soil.
 
pollinator
Posts: 197
Location: Morongo Valley
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I'm from Western Oregon, too, and I've had things that look just like what you show in your pics.  When I read your post, I didn't look at where you were, and I found myself thinking -Is this person in Oregon?  hah

The little cups might be the fruiting body of the slime mold.  Here is an article about slime molds - some of which are named "dog vomit fungus": Slime Molds and their Lifecycles

From the article linked above:

When living conditions are not favorable for slime mold, the cells in the body will send out signals which morph the slime mold into a single mass. When conditions are favorable again, they let out a second signal which returns the cells to normal (10).



If the cups are not the slime mold fruiting body, the cup/ear mushroom might be one of these:  Peziza cup fungus  or Otidea -Ear style fungus on ground.

I also had the slime mold ones, in white, or sometimes in a yellow-ish beige, or bright canary yellow.   Like what you show above, or like these below:



These fungi also grew on partially composted wood - but not in my main kitchen waste compost pile - and also in compost with higher nitrogen content.

They didn't hurt anything.  I used this compost extensively in the garden, on paths, and in raised beds.  So I don't think it's bad for anything growie, as far as I could tell, just part of the composting cycle.  Thank you nature.  And they are kinda fascinating...


 
Posts: 37
Location: san diego ca
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i get huge slime mold ones in my banana circle (a couple feet across) sometimes there kind of scary like foresent yellow lol
 
gardener
Posts: 4654
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Dee, welcome to Permies.

Your first photos are indeed slime molds and harmless to your plants, if you want to not see them, just wipe them down, they will dry up and you won't see another bloom unless the hyphae fully occupy your mulch.
The little mushrooms look a lot like a member of the same family as the Jew's Ear (jelly like or rubbery consistency), this is a wood decomposer, they are normally only found on wood that has been damaged on living trees or they are found on dead limbs of living trees or fully dead trees.

Neither should be an issue for your plants, these are wonderful for your soil microbiology and microbiome though, there are many bacteria that use these fungi to travel to new places in the soil.

Kim gave you some great information and some good links and good photos.

Redhawk
 
Posts: 617
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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scott porteous wrote:i get huge slime mold ones in my banana circle (a couple feet across) sometimes there kind of scary like foresent yellow lol



Yeah I get huge pink and purple ones. 3 ft by 3ft at least. Sort of looks like an invasion of the blob and then it simply dies off and quickly disappears.

Never had any ill effects, it's just another cyclical phase in the garden.

O.P, these mycelium and molds are decomposers. They are part of the chain of life that takes woody material and turns it back into bio-available nutrients for plants. It's also a sign that your soil is suitable and friendly for life. Little to no fungicide / herbicide / pesticide residues.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1668
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Yeah, I had the off-white foamies the first season I built my first hugelbeet.

I was kind of worried about it, as I wasn't as informed about soil life as I am now, so when I saw this blob thing looking like a disem-beered head of malty foam engulfing the bases of the stems of my plants, I was naturally concerned.

It was literally everywhere, so I basically treated it as a mulch, cleared away any foamies that were obstructing light from the leaves of smaller plants, and hoped things would rectify themselves.

I had malty head mulch until the end of July that year, when it stopped being humid round the clock and it all deflated.

Nothing that wasn't smothered was harmed. That was the same year I got a volunteer Butternut Squash plant producing squash longer than my forearm from that same foamy soil. I don't think the presence of the fungi was anything but beneficial.

-CK
 
Dee Rose
Posts: 16
Location: Western Oregon
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Thank you everyone for the replies and links! I have some reading to do today.

The "cup" fungus is very firm, maybe I should have mentioned that - no slimy feeling.

Also, the "slime mold" is not slimy at all - it's powdery feeling (yes..I touched it...). Can it still be slime mold but not slimy?
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 4654
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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yes some of the slime molds are not slippery.  The jelly family of fungi are usually very firm and "rubbery" feeling in hand.

"mushrooms" are the fruits (like apples or oranges) not the actual fungi, the fungi are strand like hyphae or mycelium (the two names we use in science for the actual organism)

Fungi in your soil are something we all want to find, they are essential to good soil health and thus good plant growth and disease resistance.

Redhawk
 
Dee Rose
Posts: 16
Location: Western Oregon
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I just wanted to thank everyone again and give an update!

I did scoop some of the worst "chunks" of the mold off, but I mostly just left it alone. It ended up going away pretty much completely on its own once it dried up outside. Then the rain came again, and so did the mold. Now that it's been mostly warm and sunny it's gone. So I'm officially okay with it now :-) It was unsightly, but didn't seem to harm anything, and didn't actually get on my plants. That's all I got! Just an update!
 
Posts: 20
Location: zone 7
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I'm from SW Oregon and I would like to suggest, if you find yourself going down the rabbit hole exploring a personal  fungi renaissance; the book All that the Rain Promises.  It's specific to our region and highly rated.  Reason I bring this up is in case you have Garden Giants or Morels or some other surprise like that pop-up this book would be a mighty good resource.
 
Posts: 411
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Dr. Paul Staments has some great books on the role of fungi in the worlds ecosystems. Mycelium Running is my personal fav.!
 
Dee Rose
Posts: 16
Location: Western Oregon
homeschooling kids cooking
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Thanks so much for the book/author suggestions! Sometimes I miss living in a city with an amazing library. My county actually SHUT DOWN our libraries (voters choice - boo!) and they are slowly reopening, but the selection is not great.

One day I will own all the books!!!

Now, I just need to control my plant spending to have money for that....hmmmmm... ;-)
 
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