Mid-South Gardening forum: mold/fungus problem in MS

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Mar 10, 2014 9:37 AM CST
These pictures were taken in my next-door neighbors yard, but I have some of the same growth, just not as large patches. I am guessing this is some kind of mold or fungus. In the full sun it is perhaps 1/8" thick, slightly crusty, and black. In the shade, it is up to 1/4" think, slimy, and very dark green to black. It grows mainly in sparce areas of the yard and there the grass is really thick, it does not grow. Apparently it has to have dirt to grow on. My neighbors yard is St. Augustine and my yard is Bermuda. These globs/patches don't seem to harm the grass but I am thinking that grass will not grow where this stuff is. The last picture shows the patch disturbed with a stick.

What is it and more importantly, how do I get rid of it?

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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 11, 2014 12:36 PM CST
Is that spot where a stump used to be?
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 11, 2014 12:39 PM CST
No, those are several separate patches, not just one. I don't think there were ever trees in his yard, at least none for 100 years. This was originally pasture land before it was developed for housing. This slime mold is spread out over 1/2 acre in two yards, one St. Augustine and the other (mine) Bermuda.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Mar 11, 2014 1:57 PM CST
Wow, never seen anything like that and I find great fascination with any kind of decomposition entity, especially a cool fungus or mold, so have some basic info to work with though not much. Usually they're in the shade, or at least in mulch, as I'm sure you know. Almost looks like some non-traditionally shaped kind of mushroom? Those do show up in full sun. I wish I could see it more clearly. What does it feel like?

As a matter of semantics, I don't think slime mold is the right term, or describes what's going on there - if the grass is really dead. According to Clemson, the grass would be OK under a slime mold. Are you sure the grass under there isn't just dormant still? Most of ours is, the 'main grass' I guess, but we have an old, wild lawn with probably 100 different plants. You probably know what I mean. But hey, maybe it's possible grubs or a fungus killed the grass, then coincidentally slime mold showed up?
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/tyk/2010/tyk06.html

Any standing water issues? I feel like I'm asking questions you probably already have, but typed anyway in case not, and curious right with you.


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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 11, 2014 2:33 PM CST
Both my neighbor's St. Augustine and my Bermuda grasses are still completely dormant. Some of it is a bit "crusty" to the touch. That's the mold growing on bare soil with absolutely no shade. Those clumps shielded somewhat by the dormant grass leaves or perhaps de-foliated oak trees is soft and yes, if you walk on it, it is slimy. There is absolutely no water issues. Both yards are on gentle slopes with practically no top-soil. We are on a hill of clay. Rain cannot penetrate the clay and thus the rain-water (plus irrigation in the warm months) quickly drains down-hill.

I call it Slime Mold simply because every lawn and tuff expert says that is what I have. They are all going by the pictures you saw.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Mar 12, 2014 8:39 AM CST
If lawn and turf experts say it's a slime mold, then it probably is, but it sounds like you asked here after asking them? I'm interested to learn there are slime molds that can grow in grass, I didn't know that until you posted this, and thought they needed a mulched bed to show up.

This guy has a pic of something similar he's calling slime mold:
http://www.alansblog.org.uk/?p=246 (about halfway down the page)
And this gal had something interesting in her yard:
http://peonyden.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html

No combo of search words I tried involving 'slime mold' brought up pics that looked the same as what you've pictured though. A fairly funky fungus ;+) I'll be watching this!
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 12, 2014 8:58 AM CST
No, I actually posted my question/photos on ATP before contacting the MS Extension Service folks. Oddly enough, I have lots and lots of mulched beds plus a sizable raised garden, and these areas are adjacent to the grassy area where the slime mold is. I have neither seen this mold in any of the beds nor in the garden.

Thanks for these links. I will check them out.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 27, 2014 9:07 AM CST
I just received an email from my local Mississippi Extension Service. The Service director has continued to search for information concerning this (Slime Mold) lawn problem. She has been in contact with a Mississippi Extension Service Plant Pathologist (PhD) and he says he thinks my neighbor and I have Nostoc, an algae, not Slime Mold. He wants to drop by and examine what we have, diagnosis the problem, and kill/control it. He says IF it is indeed Nostoc, there is an experimental chemical that he has access to and he would like to use our two yards as test sites.

I will let you know what happens.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Mar 28, 2014 8:37 AM CST
An experimental chemical sounds scary to me...! What are the dangers of having Nostoc in one's yard?

http://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=7774
http://www.eattheweeds.com/nostoc-nasal-nostalgia-and-edible...
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 28, 2014 9:10 AM CST
Tiffany, I would not use the term "danger" when describing any lawn disease/pest. This stuff is simply unsightly, prevents grass growth where these patches grow, and are something that you definitely would not want to walk on. Think of these patches, which may be several feet in diameter, as masses of gooey, slimy mold/algae.

When I refer to "experimental chemical", understand that this chemical is generally available for many uses, and may have been around for many decades. This might be a chemical used for other purposes, and thus the use on this mold/algae may simply be "off-label" use. And further, this is something being done by a university-based, horticultural expert, someone who has a PhD in plant pathology. It is not quite like someone just coming off of the street and applying a poison!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Mar 28, 2014 10:58 AM CST
I was merely curious, not trying to imply anything about someone coming off the street with poison, or cause any upset. As I've already said I don't know any info to help, just trying to hold a conversation, and I've learned some interesting things from it. I'm sorry, hope you find what you're looking for.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 28, 2014 11:50 AM CST
I came on too strong, Tiffany, and I apologize. I just wanted to be sure everyone knew this was something that was being done under a controlled study, administered by a university, PhD plant pathologist, and something that this professor hoped to have published. I thought it was a win-win situation for me - helping to eliminate a problem and furthering science at the same time.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 28, 2014 2:15 PM CST
Thanks, Ken. In retrospect I can see where my comment could be irritating, or 'sound' like I was irritated. Sorry, that was unintentional.

It *IS* undeniably very exciting that something new could be learned from your lawn! I'd be pretty excited if a scientist wanted to study something in our lawn too - and help get rid of it if it was unpleasant, which definitely sounds like your & your neighbors' opinion of that whatever-it-is! It's probably something already documented, but you never know. When we were at the museum of natural sciences in Raleigh last weekend, we learned there are on average 15 new species discovered every day (including insects, plants, fish, etc...) Who knew there was still so much left unknown?
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 28, 2014 2:27 PM CST
When he identifies whatever this "sludge" is (take your pick - either mold, fungus, or algae), I am sure it will be a well-documented plant. The treatment is what he's after.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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