Ask a Question forum: Seeing white little clods of dirt in soil

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May 16, 2017 1:06 PM CST
While digging out my giant pumpkin hole I am noticing lots of little (dime size and smaller) white clods
of dirt that easily crumble in my hand. I did have a fall/winter compost pile over that area, but am seeing these
little clods a couple of feet deeper. Is this a bad fungus---what do you think?
Thanks, Kurt
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 16, 2017 1:07 PM CST

Can you attach some photos and tell us where in the world these little white clots are located?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
May 16, 2017 3:21 PM CST
Once I mixed too many wood chips into a bed (instead of just top-dressing with them as I should have). It developed a huge mass of ugly white, "dusty" fungus.

Almost nothing grew that year due to the nitrogen deficit caused by soil microbes plumping up on cellulose, and then sucking every last molecule of nitrogen out of the soil. But the bed came back fine the next year.

Now, I don't really know this, but now I do assume that any underground fungus will at most be a temporary problem.

In your case, it does sound as if your compost heap dripped many goodies into your soil and made it over-rich. If others agree that there is no risk, I might try to dilute the over-rich soil by swapping a few wheelbarrows-full of soil among that bed and other beds.

Or just plant something in it that likes very fertile, very organic soil. You mentioned pumpkins - planting pumpkins under a compost heap sounds like good planning to me!

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