The Q&A Archives: Fungus

Question: Bought a new home last year. The area used to be a farm but now a development. My house has a garden in front facing east.
Purchased mulch this year have about a two inch layer. Have some landscape cover underneath in areas.
I am getting the most annoying looking fungi I've ever seen. They get about 4-5 inches high. Half inch in diameter. The tops are red in color. Not a pretty site. Have had them all season. With a drought this year Im puzzled as to what they are and what to do about them. Should the mulch be replaced or what....

Answer: Welcome to the wonderful world of slime molds! These goopy fungi (Myxomycetes) live on dead organic matter and thrive in moist conditions. You can rake it out and dump it in the trash; especially in the early stages before it spreads its spores. Increasing the air circulation and allowing the soil to dry out will help eliminate the stuff. To help stop the growth of slime mold, just rake any mulch on the soil surface to expose it to air and sunlight. It's perfectly harmless - just revolting to look at!

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