Ask a Question forum: What is this (fungus)?

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Name: Mary
Glendale, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Composter Hummingbirder
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Azgarden
Oct 11, 2015 3:29 PM CST
Found this in a raised bed yesterday. Hope the picture shows it well enough to identify. A couple of weeks ago a few large white mushrooms showed up overnight in the same bed but in a different location. It is in a bed where peppers, sage, chives and basil are growing. I am thinking the source was "bad" potting soil. Don't want to lose my plants and know I should probably just dig as much of this bad stuff out as I can without disturbing plant roots and replace with good soil. However, I would like to treat the area with something that won't effect the edibles in the garden. I found a patch of it in late summer in a raised bed that has ornamentals and dug it out. The soil was the same brand. I will NEVER buy that again. Perplexing. Any help is appreciated.
Thumb of 2015-10-11/Azgarden/34f094

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Oct 11, 2015 4:19 PM CST
I'm not smart enough to answer any questions about fungi but not long ago ATP started a Fungi Forum.
Let me shout out to a few folks who may know the answer..
@plantladylin
@DogsNDaylilies
@Horntoad
@needrain
@Xeramtheum
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Oct 11, 2015 4:27 PM CST
I know practically nothing about mushrooms other than the fact, I like to photograph them. But it reminds me of some variety of puffball mushroom.

http://previews.123rf.com/images/pilens/pilens1312/pilens131...

http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2013/08/puffballs1...

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5602/15402553610_1c4bd97b79.jp...

http://www.jeffpippen.com/fungi/lycoperdon-pyriforme091104-4...


wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Mary
Glendale, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Composter Hummingbirder
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Azgarden
Oct 11, 2015 4:38 PM CST
@Greene and @Horntoad

Thanks for getting me on the right track. Great photos Jay. The white mushrooms I found did look like the puffball pic. Thanks! Just don't know how disturbed I should be about this. Glad there are so many people here with so many areas of expertise ( thanks Greene).
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 11, 2015 5:29 PM CST
Azgarden said:Found this in a raised bed yesterday. Hope the picture shows it well enough to identify. A couple of weeks ago a few large white mushrooms showed up overnight in the same bed but in a different location. It is in a bed where peppers, sage, chives and basil are growing. I am thinking the source was "bad" potting soil. Don't want to lose my plants and know I should probably just dig as much of this bad stuff out as I can without disturbing plant roots and replace with good soil. However, I would like to treat the area with something that won't effect the edibles in the garden. I found a patch of it in late summer in a raised bed that has ornamentals and dug it out. The soil was the same brand. I will NEVER buy that again. Perplexing. Any help is appreciated.
Thumb of 2015-10-11/Azgarden/34f094



I'm not an expert on fungi at all, but those look like artillery fungus to me! They can be nasty little things if so. The spores they shoot out can stick and be impossible to clean off of siding, etc... or so I've heard.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
Image
DogsNDaylilies
Oct 11, 2015 5:33 PM CST
...or maybe bird's nest fungi?:
http://www.gardenbetty.com/2015/01/splish-splash-birds-nest-...
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Oct 11, 2015 5:46 PM CST
It's hard to tell in that photo, but it does seem to have "eggs" in the opening
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 11, 2015 6:28 PM CST
Fungi in the soil isn't really anything to get worried about. Here in FL (and everywhere else that has heat and humidity) we have every fungus (and bug) floating around in the air, so we just assume there is fungus on any soil, even indoors in winter when the windows are open. I guess in AZ you see it seldom enough that it would be a bit worrisome to you. But the spores are in the air even there, and when you get rain, they drop on the soil and germinate. You can't blame the potting soil. It probably was sterile when you got it.

I'd suggest, if you think it's something that's going to grow on your fence or siding, just take it out by hand, carefully putting it in a plastic trash bag, seal it and put it in the garbage. (don't compost it, it would probably reproduce)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Oct 11, 2015 7:06 PM CST
Glad to see so many people jumping in to help, thanks! Thank You!
I can believe lots of fungi growing in hot/humid Florida but Azgarden/Mary is in Arizona. Shrug!
Since I walk my dogs I usually have a roll of plastic doggie poop bags in my pocket; just scoop up any unusual fungi and dispose of it as dyzzypyxxy suggests. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Mary
Glendale, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Composter Hummingbirder
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Azgarden
Oct 11, 2015 10:15 PM CST
@greene
@dyzzypyxxy
@horntoad
@DogsNDaylilies
:thankyou: for all of the help. As suggested, I think I will scoop it out and dispose of it. Fortunately, the raised bed is next to a concrete block wall and not near the house or anything it would attach to that would matter. It is very interesting looking. A friend suggested I spray the area with a mouthwash solution to kill the spores. Have also read that some gardeners use peroxide. Have never done that myself.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 12, 2015 8:16 AM CST
It's my personal belief that the appearance of fungus and mold are generally markers of what is happening with the soil and don't have a lot of direct impact on plants. Different types are always around and ready to put in an appearance when conditions are right for them. It can be useful information. I have a tendency to ease off on any supplemental water if they appear and persist for any length of time. Usually I find them a sign of healthy decomposition of organic matter, breaking down larger plant matter into something plants can utilize. In that respect they would be indirectly beneficial for plants. Mostly I just ignore them. I think scooping them up would have a negligible effect on whether they re-occur. By the time they are visible, there are probably millions of spores already present.
Donald
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 12, 2015 9:29 AM CST
I would definitely not use mouthwash. (although we spray our screen doors with Listerine sometimes to keep out no-see-ums)

Sometimes I use a very mild peroxide solution (1tsp. drugstore peroxide to a cup of water) to douse the soil as we have some bacterial blights here that kill my tomatoes and basil. But really, it's futile to think you can grow plants in "sterile" soil if they're outside. It's natural for there to be fungi in/on the soil, and they are beneficial for the most part.

So, what I'm saying is I wouldn't worry about it. Just remove them if you see them growing on the surface, because if they mature they will spread spores. But they aren't doing any harm.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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stone
Oct 12, 2015 12:32 PM CST
Agree with bird's nest mushrooms.
Not a problem.
You might want to read 'Teaming with Microbes' by Jeff lowenthal.

The fungus that live in our garden soils are said to be very helpful... And apparently feed our plants.

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