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What is Growing in My Mulch?

I have something growing from the mulch in my garden, it looks like a long finger. It's yellow with a an orange tip. Any idea what it is? Thanks.

By Tom

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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

Hard to say or tell w/o a photo. Can you download a pic of it for us TF readers?

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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

I am willing to bet it is a mushroom of some sort. It ought to wilt and die within a few days.

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

Does it stink? Sounds like a stinkhorn. I have no sense of smell and took one once to our local nursery. They kept backing away from it and and said "can't you smell that?" Lol, to be truthful and I hope I don't offend anyone but it looks like a male appendage!

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

Maybe it IS a finger ! No , just kidding. Maybe a mushroom of some kind? I have a lot of mushrooms in my mulch with all of the rain we have had here in Indiana.

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

Without seeing a photo it is difficult to truly say what is in your garden. However, it sounds like a fungi possibly from the "Staghorn" group. Without positive idenification be careful. Some fungi are deadly. I would take a photo and take it to my local Agriculture Extension Center for identification and what to do about the problem. Good luck. Sharon G

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June 22, 20110 found this helpful

It is a mushroom, a fungus, and it's telling you your soil under the mulch is too wet. I've only seen this where certain conditions exist:

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1-it could be the mulch is way too deep and keeps the soil too wet.
2-Sometimes the fungus is in the wet, too deep mulch.
3-In beds that have been built over paving, or construction debris.

I worked years as a landscape maintenance contract administrator, also was a US 3-state Master Gardener active since 1991 until my move to Scotland last year, and saw the paving problem in urban settings like apartment buildings and commercial buildings where the car park was turned into landscaping by adding two-three feet of soil right on top of the asphalt; the too thick mulch, and the construction debris problems in private gardens.

You can spend time pulling them out (trust me, more will form) or you can rake the mulch off to check the depth of the mulch (should be no more than 2-4" at the very most), your soil moisture condition under the mulch, and if you are trying to garden over an old driveway or some construction debris (you can dig, or you can try probing with a broom handle-you may have to use a hammer to get down two or three feet where the debris and/or paving usually lurks).

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Good luck, hopefully it's just too thick an application of mulch. Spread it out, let it dry, and then reapply in a much less thick layer when dry. The soil will benefit from drying out too, but while the mulch is drying out, apply a fungicide to the soil to kill off the fungus-it's got a foothold in there and the only way to be rid of it is with a fungicide. You might want to treat the mulch, too.

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