How To Get Rid Of Fungus Spores

Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)June 1, 2005

I posted this on the Lawn Care forum but wanted to see what you folks had to say.

We've received a ton of rain and little sun the past several days so the lawn, beds and garden have been constantly damp to say the least. I've noticed some back and grey stuff growing in a few small patches in the very back of the yard where the water would seem to drain to and now also in the flower bed and garden. I keep it all organic (see My Member Page for products used) but am concerned because I don't want this to spread.

Below are three pics including two close ups. I guess this is some sort of fungus? I applied cornmeal yesterday because of its natural fungicidial properties but it rained another inch last night. Is there any other organic treatment I can use to get rid of this?

Thanks! -Todd

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Yikes! That would get my attention, too. All I can think of is neither simple nor cheap. I would be inclined to consider major earthworks to improve drainage.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 9:38AM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

By the way... sorry for the spelling errors in the original post.

Well, the backyard is designed to drain that way. It slopes gently to this back right corner of the yard... I mean, it has to go somewhere.

This is our third summer at this house and I don't remember this happening before. On the bright side, the forecast now calls for dry conditions and temps in the upper 80's to low 90's for at least the next week so hopefully everything will dry out and kill this off.

Anyone know how long it takes cornmeal to start working as a fungicide? Isn't it like 2-3 weeks or something?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 9:46AM
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I vaguely remember DSchall posting something about milk solution sprayed on the leaves, but that may not be for fungus. See if you can find it in a search.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 11:59AM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

I found this which was entered by CaptainCompostAL... but it's not what DSchall wrote regarding milk I guess:

6. Apple Cider Vinegar - Use 1-2 tbls per gallon of water for a mild fungicide or acidic liquid fertilizer. Like alcohol can be a natural herbicide if too much is used in tea. Most white vinegars are made from petroleum products. Apple cider vinegar can contain up to 30 trace elements.

  1. Bleaches and Peroxide - great fungicides. However, most commerical bleaches are not natural. Use 1-2 tblsp per gallon of water.
    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 12:11PM
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jjfrisco(8a TX)

Here is an older reply from David regarding Milk and baking soda:

If you still have the problem after two applications of corn meal then it is either not fungus or it might be one of the very few diseases that won't respond to corn meal. You can try 3 ounces of any kind of milk in a gallon of water used as a foliar spray. Give that 3 weeks and if you still have it, a tablespoon of baking soda per gallon of water as a foliar spray is the last organic resort against fungus disease. If that doesn't do it then you have insects for sure. If you go all the way to baking soda, you should follow up with compost at 1 cubic yard per 1,000 square feet to reestablish your microbial population. Baking soda is very hard on the soil microbes. No need for compost if the milk does it for you.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 12:21PM
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Sophie Wheeler

YOu can't get rid of the spores, you can only get rid of the fungus. The next time it rains, it'll be back. The only permanant improvement is to fix the drainage problem or to create a bog garden that enjoys wet feet. The best organic solution to any problem is to grow plants that are adapted to the climate/soil conditions. Turf grass doesn't like wet feet. Grow something else there.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 12:23PM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

Thanks for that link JJJFrisco. I've been looking for that.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 12:34PM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

To back up what you added JJJFrisco, I found this:

"Researchers in Brazil were cited as saying that milk has the makings of an ideal fungicide for protecting organically grown cucumbers and other vegetables. It attacks a mould known as powdery mildew, which is a major problem for organic farmers scrambling to meet the growing demand for chemical-free vegetables.

The mould, Sphaerotheca fuliginea, appears as a powdery white growth on the leaves of cucumbers and courgettes (zucchini). It damages the plants by causing the leaves to shrivel up. At present, only chemical fungicides are available.

Milk's fungicidal powers were discovered by Wagner Bettiol of the environmental laboratory of Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, in Jaguariuna, north of Sao Paulo. Bettiol, who was looking for cheap ways to control plant pests, observed that byproducts from milk-processing factories killed powdery mildew on courgettes. So he decided to simply spray fresh milk on the plants to see if it had the same effect. To his surprise, he found that it did. In fact, spraying heavily infected plants twice a week with a mixture of one part cow's milk to nine parts water was at least as good at stopping mildew as the chemical fungicides fenarimol and benomyl, Bettiol discovered.

In many cases, milk was both faster and more effective. After two to three weeks of spraying with milk, the area of leaves infected was in some cases only a sixth or less of the area affected on plants treated with chemical fungicide."

I wonder is spraying 100% milk would have the same effects.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 2:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It's a slime mold....COMMON on grass. And not harmful, not a parasite, and not damaging. If it raises your blood pressure, use sprays of water to wash it off.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 3:58PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I should stress that slime mold is NOT a disease of plant tissues and should not be treated as such. It will go away by itself in a short period of time, or you could spray it away with water, or even get your mower out. Slime molds are a kind of fungus that is merely using your grass blades as support.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 9:25PM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

I've seen other info to support what you're saying but am just concerned that my above pics looks like the grass blades are turning brown which would signify damage of some sort.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 9:08AM
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cncnorman(z7 FW/TX)

You can also use potassium bicarbonate instead of the baking soda. I believe it's not as damaging to the beneficials. Have you checked the Dirt Doctor's site on slime molds? I know some people dismiss him but he does have a bit of knowledge of our climate here. I found this on his site for ya:
Slime mold sounds worse than it is. Slime molds cover above-ground plants with a dusty-gray, black, or dirty yellow mass. There will be tiny round balls scattered over the plant. If you rub these balls between your fingers, a minute sooty-like powder will cover them. You can do nothing or spray with garlic tea for for control. Dusting dry cornmeal will also help.
and then I found this on another page:
Turf fungal disease that is mostly cosmetic. Slime mold spore masses coat the grass and look like cigarette ash on the surface of the blades. The spores can be easily wiped off. Remove the mold spores from the grass by rinsing with water during dry weather, or mowing and raking at any time. Baking soda spray, potassium bicarbonate will kill it. So will cornmeal. These molds can cover the above ground parts of the plant with a dusty dark gray mass. While slime molds are not too common, it is not uncommon to find them growing on bermudagrass seed heads. There is no chemical control and they usually disappear when the weather becomes drier. They tend to develop during wetter weather.

Good luck to ya! I know the amount of rain is wild this past week - at least it makes it easy to handpull any weeds. ;)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 9:46AM
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Todd_In_Texas(Zone 8A Dallas)

Follow Up:
Just wanted to let you all know that after a few applications of cornmeal and drier weather, these grey and black spots have disappeared from my lawn and garden. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 8:56AM
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I have creeping orange slime mold, along with a few patches of yellow ooze in my daylily beds. Nothing is on the plants. We put in new beds this year, and they are slightly raised from the paths in between the rows. Drainage should be good. Odd thing is we mixed in a lot of corn meal when we prepared the beds. We put out fungicide several times, but it hasn't worked to my satisfaction. Because I walk back and forth pollinating my daylilies, I've managed to spread it. Right now, I am raking it, along with weird pale yellow mushrooms that look old ladies' boobs when they age.

I am at a loss as to how to deal with this mess. While it may not affect my daylilies, it sure affects me when I see that nasty stuff. Looks like dog vomit. We are having to water because we have gone so long without signficant rainfall. This stuff loves water, and revives when I do that. The mulch we used was fine-ground pine bark, which I won't do again. It forms a rather tight surface, instead of letting air get to the soil.

So, it looks like I can get more cornmeal, or spray with apple cider vinegar or milk to see if it will knock it cold.
I may try all three to see if these work.

June is around the corner, and hot, dry weather should help. It turns brown when it gets dry, but let me water once, and it raises its ugly head again.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 9:52AM
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