Ask a Question forum: What is this on my plants?

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England (South) (Zone 9a)
jenna7748
Jul 12, 2017 2:53 PM CST
I cut down a couple of ugly thorny plants and found that around the base of where each of them was, there was a clump of these short, grainy things. I have no idea what they are and I'm struggling to do a sensible online search.
Thumb of 2017-07-12/visitor/965c20

Are they a pest, a fungus, something else entirely? I don't think they're seeds. They're about 5mmx1mm maximum, and they're powdery when crushed, not squidgy. Also, do I need to remove them before planting something else? I would be so grateful for any help!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jul 12, 2017 10:29 PM CST
Welcome!

Are there any trees overhead? Birch? Willow? Hickory? Chestnut? It looks like a 100 years worth of catkins from a tree.

What kind of ugly thorny plants were they? Something with catkins?
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

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England (South) (Zone 9a)
jenna7748
Jul 13, 2017 2:15 PM CST
Thank you for the welcome! There are no trees nearby at all - it is a new estate. The plants were probably barberry plants, about 30cm tall, and I don't think their seeds look like that. (Barberries are nice enough normally but these weren't growing and had been thoroughly munched by something, probably moth larvae, so were almost entirely thorns and looked awful!)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jul 13, 2017 3:58 PM CST
Dried up worm casings? Dried up larvae casings? How big are they?
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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 13, 2017 7:35 PM CST
If they are powdery when you crush them, I really don't think they could be anything harmful at this stage of the game. I'd just wash them away with the hose or dig them in, amend the soil to renew its health, and proceed onward to planting. Healthy soil has all sorts of fungi and other micro-organisms in it anyway. Most healthy plants can cope.

If it were my garden, I'd tell you that I'd been fertilizing with alfalfa pellets, (horse food) because they look just like that. But they break down pretty quickly and work their goodness into the soil.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Jul 14, 2017 10:34 AM CST
I agree Whatever it is, its dead. Dig it in.
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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
England (South) (Zone 9a)
jenna7748
Jul 16, 2017 6:33 AM CST
Thank you guys for the reassurance! I had bought a pretty little Hebe Pink Elephant and didn't want to plant it only to have it get eaten by something :)

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