A White Substance in the Dirt Garden

Doreen Nestell
by Doreen Nestell
As I pulled out an eggplant which had seen better days. I noticed what looked like vermiculite. knowing I didn't put that much in the garden and the plant container didn't have that much. I wonder what it is?
See how wide spread. I do use compost...
Here is a closer look.
  7 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Oct 25, 2013
    Is it just on the surface? When is the last time you had a soil test? Possible your soluble salts are high.
    • See 1 previous
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Oct 26, 2013
      @Doreen Nestell Sounds like you may have had powdery mildew on your squash, but I've never seen that in the ground. I think you should have a soil test done. Floridians should have them done regularly, especially if they have vegetable gardens, because our sandy soils get depleted faster than other types.
  • Joann Joann on Oct 25, 2013
    I was told it was nitrogen that the plant is putting into the ground; if the garden is left in place until spring, Mother Nature does wonders with the root systems and gives your garden "food".... So, I'm leaving mine in till spring.. why buy when Mother Nature provides in her own way?
    • See 2 previous
    • Doreen Nestell Doreen Nestell on Oct 26, 2013
      @Joann Why buy if God supplies!!!
  • Joann Joann on Oct 26, 2013
    Our ground is very mulchy - so no extras are needed to improve the soil; our year was virtually rain free most of the summer, but because of the good soil, we did not need to begin watering until into August... but someone who knows his soil and etc, told me it was nitrogen.., I did not recognize it at all on my own... and it grew on my eggplant too, like the picture.
  • Patricia Patricia on Oct 26, 2013
    I'm thinking it's a fungus. I had an opened bag of that dyed wood chip mulch that I set aside and forgot about and it had that white/gray stuff all through it when I opened it up. I'm not sure what to do with it now...is it a good fungus or a bad one??
  • MikkiGirl MikkiGirl on Oct 26, 2013
    I agree that it's a fungus/mold.
  • Patricia Patricia on Oct 26, 2013
    I wish I knew...I'm concerned enough about it that I'll only use it on a path and not on my veggie garden soil. I'm hoping someone who knows fungi posts and tells us what it is.
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Oct 28, 2013
    Patricia you can call your local county extension and find out how to submit a soil sample, they can tell you for sure what is going on.
    • Patricia Patricia on Oct 30, 2013
      @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) Thank you! Don't know why I always forget about that wonderful resource, but I do.