The Q&A Archives: Small White Balls in Soil

Question: While cultivating around the plants in my garden (mostly herbs) I found, at the base of most of them, huge numbers of small, white spherical pearl-looking THINGS. They were about 2-3 mm in diameter, perfectly smooth and round. They go down into the soil a ways. Are they some type of fungus larvae? Are they harmful to my plants? The plants all look very healthy and are growing like crazy. Should I do anything about them? Are they caused by overwatering my garden?

Answer: I looked at this question and was totally perplexed. Then when I was on an errand into town, it came to me! I'll bet those little "white spherical pearl-looking things" are some kind of encapsulated fertilizer. Some nursaries use this in their potted plants as a slow-release source of fertilizer. When you get them home and plant the herbs (or whatever) the pellets go with them. And as you found, they create a nice healthy environment for the plants! I wouldn't do anything! Enjoy their presence!

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