shaefins
Senior Member
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:17 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, 6A

Mold on soil surface in raised bed

I watered yesterday morning, as we were to have a hot, sunny day. That never happened, and we ended up overcast and rather chilly - dropped down to close to the 50s last night. Fog this morning and I could see my breath when I took the dog out at 7:15AM.

When I checked the beds, I found dime sized areas of what I guess is mold all over my high raised bed - it looked stringy and wispy, kind of like little balled up spider webs (though they are NOT spider webs). This is the same bed that I found mushrooms in earlier this week. I did fluff the soil to aid in drainage, and we haven't had rain since I did that earlier in the week. This new mold is on the surface of the soil - I don't see anything on any of the plants....yet.

Soil is compost/peat/vermiculite. Should I do a baking soda spray of the soil? Should I start w/ a milk spray on the plants? Should I do nothing, as it's supposed to be sunny and very hot tomorrow (*if* they get it *right* this time!). Opinions appreciated, as always!

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Your little fuzz bals are a good thing. You see the exposed fungal threads because of the calm air conditions, but the soil is packed full of them at all times. Soil is naturally filled with fungi, and especially high organic soil is supposed to have alot of fungi. These are not the same fungi that cause plant disease.

shaefins
Senior Member
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:17 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, 6A

Get! Out! :lol: How on earth do you tell good fungus from bad then? When it shows up on a plant vs. on the soil?

I'll tell you what....this forum has been a lifesaver for me. Honestly, I don't think I could pull this off w/o all the people on here. Thank you so much for helping me learn. :D

cynthia_h
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Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

My first season with Square Foot Gardening (Spring 2008), I made the acquaintance of *several* previously unknown-to-me varieties of molds, fungi, and mushrooms. They all "dissolved" back into the growing medium in a day or two.

It was a weird process, nothing like growing in native soil.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

TZ -OH6
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Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Bad plant fungi, like those fungi that cause problems with people (athletes foot, yeast infections etc) are known by their symptoms, not by seeing fuzz or mushrooms. Downy mildew is just about the only one where you see something that looks like mold on otehrwise normal leaves, and even that looks like talcum powder rather than bread mold. Once a plant dies different fungi (decomposing vs disease) move in and may make the pile of dead plants moldy.

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

It's actually good to have the good fungi in your soil. Some are simply benign but will compete with the bad ones for living space (not food since they don't parasitize plants) but they in turn feed the soil food web and eventually become part of the soil nutrients. There are some that are actively beneficial to your plants in symbiotic relationship. :() Some even prey on pests. :() :()

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