Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 3:14 pm

Halp! Need to identify... fungus?


This is our second year of attempting to garden, and we just flat have a black thumb. I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to do worse than we did last year, but here we are five days after putting the plants in the ground, and they're all dying.

What is this stuff? Any recommendations on how to stop it?

User avatar
JC's Garden
Senior Member
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 10:43 pm
Location: Moultrie, GA Planting Zone 8, Sunset Zone 31

I see a high percentage of organic matter in the soil and the fungus is heavier at your drip line than at the plant. My guess is the potting mix is holding too much water. Either cut back on water or use a mix with better drainage.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Wow! I don't know what happened to that tomato plant, but it sure does look terrible! Where are you and what has the weather been like? The soil looks quite woody. What is it?

Tell us more what you have done to your poor plant in the way of watering, etc.

Posts: 14043
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Have you had your soil tested?
What did you do to amend the soil?
Is this a raised bed or on the level ground?
Did you do a drainage test?
Is this garden in full sun?

Fungal dominated soils usually have a pH that is not ideal for many plants.
Soils that are constantly wet or poorly drained do not support many kinds of plants there is not enough air around the roots and if you have phythopthora in the soil, it would be difficult to grow plants in ground.

https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/pa ... a-diseas-1

Your soil mix should be 1/3 soil, 1/3 compost, 1/3 (perlite, vermiculite, sand, cinder for drainage).

If you are growing mostly in compost, it can hold too much water. You may be watering too much. You should be watering only as needed. The surface will dry out but if the soil is still moist when you poke your finger in the soil a couple of inches down wait until it is almost dry.

Since you have had problems with plants in this location, try a different location. Make sure you do not bring any plants from this location to the new one. Clean off all tools, shoes, hoses, gloves in a 10% bleach solution to avoid contamination.

Select a site in full sun, on high ground where water does not puddle or collect. A raised bed may be better. I would use 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 compost in the mix.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Javin - welcome to the forum

start by evaluating your soil. Have a lab test done through your county extension office. Some offices are more responsive than others. I have a very responsive extension office and it takes bout 2 weeks to have the test done. The samples are sent to LSU for evaluation. Have the soil tested for pH and nutrients and for pathogens. The results will be sent to you and your county agent. Call your county agent for an interpretation of the report and recommendations on how to correct problems.

Next make sure you are growing varieties suitable for your region. Be careful purchasing from big box stores. they are notorious for carrying varieties of fruits and vegetables that are not region specific.

Vegetables generally need full sun. In the deep south Morning sun is better because summer afternoons are very hot.

Take a look at your watering practices.

Don't amend the soil until you know what that it actually needs amending.

Best guess is a combination of oil issues and watering practices.

Return to “Organic Insect and Plant Disease Control”