Moldy Mulch


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Old 07-24-02, 08:57 AM
J
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Question Moldy Mulch

My mulch has white mold spots and mushrooms. What is causing this and how can I kill them with out killing my flowers and shrubs?

Shoo the Shroom!
 
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Old 07-24-02, 09:35 AM
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Hello jonesdx

My experience is that once mushrooms have established, there's not a lot you can do short of removing the food source to get rid of them. The white mold spots could be another form of fungus or part of the mushrooms (the fruiting bodies of thre fungus). Stirring the mulch a bit occasionally to help dry it out and knocking down the mushrooms to speed their withering might help cosmetically. If you can decrease moisture, increase air circulation and sunlight, sometimes you will reduce them; but the mycileum (feeding part of the fungus) will remain and the whole organism usually survives to create spores and multiply until the food source is depleted. Btw, the food source is usually either buried wood debris or the mulch itself.

I have heard some people try fungicides for the problem, but I personally haven't had any luck with them.

I'm going to move your post over to the Garden forum. Maybe Marturo or someone over there has come across a solution that will help you.

Sorry I couldn't be more help...

Howie
 
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Old 07-24-02, 01:13 PM
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Mushrooms in mulch

Hi jonesdx, Welcome to the DIY garden forum.

howiek has explained to you that the fruiting bodies you see are part of a huge underground network. In your case at least all the straw you have used.

This is why you see so many different wood and stone mulches on the market, that are not prone to mushroom problems.

We use Straw to cover our newspaper mulch, to cover & hold the paper down. Mushrooms are always coming up during wet spells & they go away when it dries out.

We use straw because it is cheap & helps build our soil, with the newspaper when tilled in come Fall.

I believe your best bet would be to clean out all old mulch and leaves etc. around your shrubs and beds this winter.

Lay down the Breathable Black ground cloth and spread a liberal amount of limestone, mahogany chips or and of the wood chips that are anti fungal by nature. By cutting sections of the black ground cloth to fit your beds this will be your mulch you can fit around your shrubs, beds etc.

Now anything you put on top will be for looks only. We have used Limestone in circles around out fruit trees for looks & it adds calcium for the plant. After you install your ground cloth it's pretty much up to you, as what you use for a cover. Pine needles do make for a more acid soil, so make sure your plants like the extra acid from pine needles.

Botton line is you brought the mushrooms in with their own food source, the straw. They won't hurt your plants, however there is nothing but removal of their food source, that will stop them from fruiting.

Marturo
 
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Old 07-25-02, 05:06 AM
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Thank you, I did not use straw, this is hardwood mulch that a spread over my flower beds. I did put fabric down around the borders and I have mushrooms growing on top of it as I do in the non-fabric areas. I think the mushrooms spores or what ever got them started was already in the mulch when I bourght it. Just after spreading it I had white mold areas appear in spots. So I just need to wait for the mulch to dry out and they will go away? Is there something I can put on the mulch to kill them. They grow in number greatly per day.
 
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Old 07-25-02, 02:18 PM
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Smile No Straw mulch used.

Hi jonesdx

Sorry about the misunderstanding. The fungus is feeding off the wood not the black landscaping cloth of course. So we are still back to the food source being the problem.

What kind of wood chips did you use? Pine, Oak, Maple, = fungus. Red Wood, Cedar, and some Arsenic treated chips( Pine I think), will hold back fungus growth for awhile.

Even though you are using wood chips the fungus is feeding off of it & I don't really know of a fungicide that would work now that the wood has decomposed to where the fungus can grow.

Maybe If I explain it this way. I want to grow ****ake mushrooms for sale. I go into the woods and cut some live 6" by 10' logs of Red Oak. I then set them up in a log Cabin form & mist them from above everyday for the first summer.

The next year I drill holes and put in my ****ake paste with the Spores & I am on my way to growing ****ake mushrooms. The wood has to be ready for infection.

I did not drill the fresh logs the first season because the natural oils & resins in the fresh logs would fight off the fungus infection.

So this is what I think has happened to you. The wood chips are ripe for infection & it would be a losing, costly battle at this point.

You can't find a better fungicide than Jugalone & Caprilic acid both found in the leaves and nut hulls of the American Black Walnut tree. If you made a fungicide like the black dye that people make from soaking the nut hulls in a little water.

If you then sprayed this on your mulch no more fungus. No grass & no growth out of any of the other plants as well. A very powerful plant growth inhibator

I am not totaly sure, but if you tried a Chemical fungicide I know you would have to exceed the recomended dosing. Then that also would have a negative effect on your other plants.

Whatever you have used as a cover for the ground cloth is a wood that supports the fungus. I live in a wet by most standards part of the Country & have seen people spray all kinds of Fungicides on pine mulch, without any luck. Most end up using stone or Red Wood, Cedar wood chips etc. for lasting protection.

Marturo
 
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Old 08-05-02, 10:01 PM
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