In the Yard

Rhonda Hayes is a garden writer, photographer and blogger. She also volunteers as a Hennepin County Master Gardener. Rhonda chronicles her gardening adventures and advice at her award-winning blog, The Garden Buzz. She is a frequent contributor to Northern Gardener magazine and the Star Tribune Home + Garden section. At Your Voices, she writes about life around the city lakes, occasionally veering off the garden path with essays on the silly and serious issues of the day.

Dog Vomit Slime and the Fungus Among Us

Posted by: Rhonda Hayes Updated: June 26, 2012 - 10:05 AM

 Are you seeing strange things in your lawn and mulched beds? What looks like an errant cheese doodle may really be a fungal growth emerging from your wood chips.



Did you blame the dog for a foul yellowish material that appeared in the lawn? When you returned to clean it up had it morphed into an ominous blob?



Has a slightly obscene-looking knob emerged from your flower bed?



Or does it just look like piles of unidentified animal doo-doo appearing around your peonies?



They may look scary, but for the most part these freaks of nature are just the product of fungal spores encouraged by all the moisture from recent rains? While you don't want children or pets to eat them, they are for the most part harmless. Apart from the picturesquely and appropriately named dog vomit slime, the other all are fungus that will dry up and disappear.

The dog stinkhorn will emit a smell before it deflates.

The slime mold is not a fungus but a gathering of amoebas that aggregate to form what is called plasmodia. Besides the yuk factor, it may yellow your lawn temporarily. How many molds can claim credit for inspiring a movie though? yes, The Blob was based on the idea of a rapidly proliferating slime mold gone awry. The slime mold will evaporate with tomorrow's heat.

All of these occurrences should just be admired for being kind of cool. Otherwise rake them out so they dry and disperse. And don't apply your mulch too deep.



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