Hi. I bought and applied ~1" of hardwood mulch around the house. Now I am reading about termites abd shotgun fungus. How much should they concern me? What shoulkd I do about them? Is cedar mulch the best?
I wouldn't worry at all....Termites are very unlikely in an inch of mulch and artillary fungus isn't all that common nor is it all that awful if you do have some grow.
I prefer pine bark mulch as it breaks down quickly.
Drive around your town and see how many people have mulched their foundation plantings.....do you suppose many of them have termites and spots on their house from artillary fungus?
Don't worry about it....but if you hope to keep weeds down, I would add another inch of mulch.
Cedar mulch has a lovely scent (at least for a while), but for best effect any mulch does need to be laid thick enough to prevent light from reaching the soil. 2" is minimum, and will likely be less than an inch by next summer. 3" is more common, especially with bulkier or "fluffy" mulches such as pine needles.
Termites are a concern only if the soil is often damp *and* there is wooden foundation against the soil. If you live in a termite-prone area (as I do), the usual foundation is cinderblock or concrete and will extend 12 or more inches above the soil, which is a sufficient deterrent to most termites. If you are worried, an extra insurance is to use gravel or pea stones immediately beside the foundation (3" deep and about a foot out). Don't pile up soil or mulch directly onto *any* wooden structure - wood will eventually rot and always sooner than you expect.
Fungi are a part of life, and some are messier than others. If you can't tolerate them (or you have a finicky boss who is coming to dinner during fungi season), a mild solution of soap [not detergent] and water poured over will kill many types of fungi in a couple days.
If you've ever had to deal with shotgun (artillery) fungus, you'd know that it's not anything to take lightly. The spore bombs can travel for several feet (6 plus!!!) and are next to impossible to remove from siding, windows, furniture, vehicles, etc. The fruiting bodies themselves aren't noticeable, unlike the mushrooms that the previous poster is thinking of, and soapy water will not dispel them anyway. Most people never even see the fruiting bodies; they are that small and hidden in the mulch.
The GOOD thing is that a one inch layer of wood mulch is not likely to cause much of a problem with artillery fungus. It thrives on a thicker, moister layer. Bark chips are a much safer alternative to wood chips.....you are not likely to ever see an artillery fungus outbreak in pine bark, for example. Or termites!!!! Of all of the types of mulch studied, large pine bark nuggets were the least likely to support artillery fungus with cypress mulch second. All of the others were about the same.
If you want to do more research on this issue, use the term artillery fungus as your search words and not shotgun fungus, which is actually a different kind of fungus!
Good luck.......and I wouldn't worry about it too much!!
depends on where you live here in Richmond Va. it is a terrible problem and is on alot of homes if you want your home looking nice and clean you should consider removal and prevention click below for the best info available on how to do both
Here is a link that might be useful: shotgun fungus removal