GLT's Grow: Fungus Among Us | WGLT

GLT's Grow: Fungus Among Us

Jan 20, 2017

Mold in your soil can either be good news or bad news for your plants. It all depends on the type of mold.
Credit Ruth Hartnup / Flickr via Creative Commons

Out of all the things you can grow in soil, mold is probably one of the least welcome -- right down there with crabgrass and dandelions.  While there are some nasty molds that do damage, there are actually some molds you should encourage.

  • See something that looks like barf in your garden?  Could be mold!  And it's not always bad news... except for the fact that it looks like vomit.
  • There's the  ugly mold saprophytic, which is right on the surface and looks like vomit.  It can cause root rot if you don't remove it.
  • And under the surface is mycorrhizal.  It's an  important, decomposer type mold that can help your plants. 
  • These molds are an extension of plant's roots and helps with nutrient cycling, helping feed the plant.
  • Pathogenic molds include sclerotinia, which should be be treated before it harms your plant.  Well, kill your plant, really.
  • If you have a plant that is susceptible to bad molds, just remove it and plant a hardier plant.  Try a native plant, as they're most resistant to nasty things in the soil.