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The fungus Amung Us...
With all the moisture we have been receiving as of late there have been a lot of consequences. Some of those consequences are positive such as my beautiful looking lawn without a drop from my hoses, the amazing growth that I am seeing from my Frontier Elm, and the overall stress reduction for my plants that carried over from last year. However, the rain isn’t all sugar and spice and everything nice. It also brought consequences such as  mosquitos the size of small birds, isolated flooding, and unexpected visitors in the form of fungus.

In my yard it started with white mushroom caps poking their heads above my outrageously long grass and just recently materialized as spots in my yard that have turned black! Is my yard under attack?

The short answer is no, it is normal. There a number of fungi that live is the soils and are just waiting for the right opportunity to make their presence known. The part of the fungus that we see, the white mushroom caps for example, is typically just the fruiting structure and just the tip of the iceberg. There is a massive network of fungus in amongst the soil that is hidden away.

What about the black spots? Oh, yeah. That was slime mold (it sounds a lot worse than it actually is). It oftens rears its head when watering in warm temperatures or even after heavy rains. It doesn’t harm my turf but it can shade out the leaf and cause yellowing.

So if you have new visitors in your lawn you don’t need to panic or start calling the national guard just yet. Try to avoid making problems worse by adding more fuel to the fire(or in this case water) and let things dry out a little. Soon enough the fungus will dry up and go back to its hibernation until the next round of heavy rains and warm temperatures. But maybe next time it won’t be as big of a surprise.
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