How to Identify Detrimental Fungus in Your Garden

What You'll Need
Soap and water

Growing your garden and knowing which insects and fungus is detrimental to the growth and maturity of your vegetable, fruit or flower gardens is an important step to insuring the long term success of your garden. Many different types of fungi live and grow naturally in your garden and are beneficial, but you need to be aware of those that are not. If you fail to identify fungus growth and proliferation, your garden may slow in maturity or die altogether. Here are a few steps to take to identify the fungus that can grow in your garden to properly attack it before it takes over.

Step 1 – Watch for Powdery Mildew

The most common type of garden fungus exists as mildew like powder. This fungus is very harmful to any type of garden. It spreads on the leaves of flowering plants and on the leaves of vegetables. It looks like a powdered dusting of snow has been left on the greenest parts of your garden. This fungus starts to develop in small circular patterns on the leaves of your plants. It also can appear as spotty white dots in between the veins on the leaves. Get the fungicide out right away to start to control this type of garden fungus.

Step 2 – Watch for Cotton Bedding

Plythum blight is a common fungus that will begin to accumulate in high humidity areas. It often accumulates on patches of rye grass first, then expanding to the other areas of your gardens. You can spot this type of fungus in the early morning. Looking directly at the patch of rye grass, you will see cotton balls forming. This is the harmful fungus. Treat immediately.

Step 3 – Fire Red Apple Trees

If you have a garden or landscaping full of apple trees and crab apple trees, a fungus called Fire Blight may form during the spring to early summer months. Watch your tree limbs carefully. Limbs that turn a bright (fire) red or yellow have developed this harmful fungus. This fungus will cause the limbs to fall off completely and the tree will eventually die.

Step 4 – Maintain Visibility on Your Mulch

Mulched beds in your flower garden are not immune to developing harmful fungus. Shotgun fungus is a common blight that will harvest on mulch and end up transferring to your flowering plants nearby. Walk the perimeter of your home carefully paying attention to the exterior material (siding, stucco etc.) of your home. Do you spot small brown splashes from the base of your home upwards? This can be a sign of Shotgun fungus. As it clings to the house, it will stick like glue. Make sure you keep the mulch loose and circulating at all times. This should be done at least once or twice a year, before you plant and at the end of the growing season.