The Q&A Archives: How do I treat fungus in our garden?

Question: Help! There is a fungus popping up here and there in our garden. A little of it is mushroom-like, but most of it looks like vomit and is whitish, pink, round and about the size of dinner plates. Some of it turns powdery brown. I saw some of this last year, but I removed it with my gloved hand. It did not return last year. We have a very large garden with several lilacs, magnolias, and a crepe myrtle, plus lots of small perenials, and other bushes. Should I remove it this fungus by hand again? Or should I use a shovel? How can I prevent its return? This has only showed up in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a day or two ago I found some bright yellow fungus in front of one of the lilacs or magnolias too. We live in Beesleys Point. This fungus shows up in both bright all day sunshine and in shady spots as well. The same mulch was used in beds in front of our house, which are small, as in the backyard, which is quite large. No fungus is in these beds in the front of the house, only in our backyard.

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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