Mulch fungus

Michelle D
Michelle D Posts: 1,360 ✭✭✭✭✭

I have a section on garden bed that I'm letting rest for awhile. I covered it with wood chips as ground cover and to hopefully prevent a lot of weed growth while it is not in use. A few days ago we had a large amount of rain and now there are patches of fungus growing all over that bed. I have searched the internet and I'm finding a lot of conflicting information. What is the best way to stop, kill, or remove the fungus? Since the bed is not in use can I just cover it with a tarp and let the heat kill if off? Will that just make it worse? Any advice is greatly appreciated!


  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    Following. I had something similar happen when I trench composted a bed and then covered it with layers of cardboard. The whole thing ended up getting covered with fungus or something! it did end up going away on its own eventually.... Very curious to see what input our community can offer on why this happens. Thanks for asking this question, @Michelle D !

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Michelle D I don't know if this will help but you could try it. Someone posted on here a while back about using milk in the garden to feed beneficial microbes and get rid of powdery mildew and such.

    I mixed probably more whole milk than I was supposed to with a gallon of water and then sprayed it on my bushes in front of my front porch. For some reason the leaves closest to my front porch became covered in a fungus. I thought I was going to have to cut them down. I was afraid it would transfer to my other plants, but the milk spray worked. I sprayed it a couple times a day on the leave tops and bottoms as well as the stems and the ground for 3 or 4 days. Not sure if it was over kill or not but my bushes look much better & it didn't spread to any of the other plants.

    I couldn't find the original post but this is the article that was shared on it. Maybe someone else can find the post.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,481 admin

    @Michelle D fungus loves wood chips. Without a photo, I’m thinking that this is just natures way of breaking down the wood chip and therefore helping your soil in the future, not such a bad thing.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    It depends on the fungus. Like @JodieDownUnder said, they break down the wood chips. Most are fine but there are a few that break down fungus that may not be as good as others. I had a lot of sumac in my one mulch pile once and the fungus on that was not great to use while breaking down but later it was fine

    A photo would be a huge help to help us tell what fungus it might be.

    You can also do some pretty amazing things with fungus. It can make great paper.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,131 ✭✭✭✭

    Shortly after we dropped a willow tree and had it chipped, there was a bloom of mushrooms on parts of the pile of chips. I did nothing as I figured it was fine. Now it is a year after we had the tree dropped and chipped. No sign of the mushrooms this year so far.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had mushrooms on my willow chips. They were good and just helped break it down faster.

    The ones on my sumac were a funny color and kind of oozy. I let that set a long time and used it for fill.

    I wonder if Comfrey as a soil cleaner would be beneficial in a case like this?

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,360 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you all so much for the input! Sorry it took me so long to get pictures to you. I was not able to get around to it yesterday.

    The fungus has shown up in patches like this in half a dozen places give or take. The second picture is of the first patch that showed up. As you can see it is much darker now. It looks like it might be breaking down on it's own. I'm not really sure. As I walked over to take the pictures I noticed a squirrel eating from the patch in the first picture.

    I think that since that area is not in use right now I will experiment a bit. I will try all of the different ideas that all of you wonderful people suggested each in a different spot. And I will leave one spot for the squirrel to see if he helps or hinders.

    Thank you all so much for the help so far. Any other suggestions or updated ideas since you all have pictures now is most welcome!

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,481 admin

    @Michelle D & @Monek Marie I think the comfrey idea is a great one. Michelle, if you had access to comfrey, just harvest and spread on top of the wood chip. Your garden bed will enjoy the nutrients and diversity. Great idea Denise.