PPDL Picture of the Week
June 15, 2020
What's Growing On My Mulch?
Tom Creswell, Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab Director, Purdue University
When rains are frequent, moisture dependent slime molds often make
an appearance on mulch. Slime molds develop rapidly and change color and
texture over time; usually going from shiny and brightly colored, to powdery
and gray or brown as they mature and get ready to release powdery spores which
blow to new locations.
Slime molds get their nutrients from bacteria and small bits of
organic matter which is why it is common to see them growing on mulch. Although
slime molds may grow up onto nearby plants, like turf or vegetable in the
garden, they do not harm plants. After several days of dry weather slime molds
will usually be less noticeable. If you want to speed this process, you may
rake the mulch or affected areas of the lawn to promote air drying. However,
slime molds will fade in time without any action on your part, and will usually
return with the rain.
For more in depth
reading on slime molds visit these articles: