Fungus on Wood ChipsThis past few week, I have seen this nuisance fungus/mold very similar to the picture in this post. At first I thought it was the neighbors dog, but after some research I realized it was a fungus that keeps appearing. The reason for this fungus have been the increased moisture in the air and moderate rains that have occurred this past week. Sadly, there isn’t much that can be done to stop this once it appears.

Check out this article from  – Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet – Control of Nuisance and Detrimental Molds (Fungi) in Mulches and Composts

What to Do Once the Problems Occur

Sometimes very little can be done to control nuisance fungi other than to spade the mulch into the surface soil layer followed by soaking with water. Another option is to remove the mulch, place it in a heap after thorough wetting to allow for self-heating to occur (110-140 degrees F). This will kill nuisance fungi. If fresh dry mulch is placed on top of mulch colonized by nuisance fungi, the problems may occur again the following year or even earlier.

The best control strategy for homeowners and landscapers is to purchase composted products low in wood content. Fresh, finely ground woody products should be avoided for many reasons unless composted first. Coarse fresh woody products are much less likely to cause problems unless applied too deep. It is important to soak all mulches immediately after they have been applied. Generally, mulches should not be applied to a depth greater than two inches. Mulches and composts applied in this manner provide many types of beneficial effects rather than nuisance problems, or worse, plant diseases. Sour mulches should be avoided altogether.

Are any of you experiencing this issue in your home landscaped areas? If you have other tips for dealing with this issue, please share.

photo credit: Vagabond Shutterbug via photopin cc

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