Plants dying midsummer and some white stuff

don_el848484April 15, 2012

I've planted flowers in this bed, usually marigolds,for 20 years without problems. In midsummer 2010 the marigolds started to die. I didn't see any signs of disease, just dead plants. In 2011 I planted sunflowers and the same thing happened. Jst now, April 2012, I found a lot of the leftover mulch coated with something white. Some straggling root systems were also entirely white. I am (obviously) clueless here. Any help appreciated.

Don

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Can be normal or can be a disease. Need images to know for certain.

In what state do you live?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 8:38PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I've seen situations that fit your description in gardens where the mulch has been allowed to stagnate for a long time. This occurs when layers of mulch are applied over the top of older mulch...over and over again. A mycelium growth develops on the mulch (white, fuzzy) that becomes hydrophobic; soil underneath this kind of stuff can actually begin to turn anaerobic.

BMPs (best management practices) should include that the old mulch be physically mixed with new at each application. At the very least, the old mulch should be stirred around with a rake before a new layer is applied.

This is merely a SUGGESTION based on a very limited description. Would it be possible for you to provide some good, close-up images for us to see of the white stuff?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:52PM
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