The Q&A Archives: flower garden mulch

Question: In several of my flower beds I have mulched them with red cedar chips (last spring) and now I notice a yellowish-white patch of stuff under some of the flowers. It doesn't look good or healthy for my plants. Do you know what this is and what I need to do about it?

Answer: Sharon,

If it is on the soil surface you are probably seeing a decomposing fungus working on the organic matter. Thus it is not a threat to the plants and will go away in time. There are many types of such fungi and one is even known as "scrambled eggs fungus" because of its appearance. You can break it up with a spading fork if you like to prevent it from forming a shell over the soil surface that repels water and reduces air movement into the soil surface. Again it will go away on its own in time. These fungi are common in the fall season when cooler temps and rains bring them out again.

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