Long Maryland summers are the perfect time to show off all of the hard work you put in gardening throughout the spring. Fungi popping up amongst all of the beautiful flowers can certainly be worrying (aside from being an eyesore). Beyond determining how to get rid of the fungi, here are ways to determine what exactly it is and how to prevent it from ruining your hard work again.
One type of saprophytic fungi and slime mold you can’t miss in your yard is Fuligo septico or dog vomit fungus. This fungus appears on bark mulches after a wet spring or in the midst of a hot and humid Maryland summer. It appears whitish and frothy and frequently has a wet-looking yellow or orange layer on top. Don’t be alarmed though, besides the ugly appearance, this fungus isn’t hurting your plants, it’s just feeding on the decaying mulch.
This fungus appears as a crescent-shaped stem that comes to a pointed tip and looks like a horn. The color can vary and appear yellow, orange, or red. If you didn’t spot the horn before it decayed you will certainly smell it the second it begins to, as it emits an awful odor—the “stink” part of its name.
This fungal disease is parasitic and makes your plant appear as if it’s been dusted with fine powder. Powdery mildew eventually damages the fruit, flowers, leaves, and stems of plants. The best way to prevent powdery mildew from occurring is to purchase plants with a natural resistance, ensure soil is well drained, and promote airflow between plants by using plenty of space.
Leaf spot appears, like its name, as small or large red, brown, or black spots on leaves. The disease is spread from fungus existing on dead leaves that, through wind and rain, is passed on to new growth. Eventually this fungus will lead to defoliation and spread to other vulnerable leaves. To ensure your leafy plants aren’t victim to this infectious disease, make sure you keep them in top watered and fertilized condition so that they’re healthy enough to withstand the disease.
Stop the Spread
Unfortunately, there is no sure way to prevent fungus from forming anywhere in your yard. The best defense is to immediately remove the visible fungus from your garden with a rake and shovel and dispose of it (don’t compost it or the fungus will simply multiply and continue to spread). Fungicides designed for parasitic fungi on green plants will not prevent saprophytic fungi in the garden.
Call in the Professionals
Evergreen Gene’s offers professional landscaping and maintenance services through the state of Maryland. We are here to make sure your gardens and grounds look as beautiful as possible year-round. Interested in how we can help your garden look its best? Give us a call at (410) 766-6877 or visit us online. To see examples of our work and get more helpful gardening tips, follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Twitter.