What is this fungus on my mulch?

Kathleen M
by Kathleen M

I snapped the first pic planning on asking this question but got busy, forgot about it and then noticed it yesterday already shooting spoors I guess? Is it harmful and does anyone know how to get rid of fungus in mulch? Thanks!! As always I appreciate the help :)

  27 answers
  • Lydia Whitehead Torres Lydia Whitehead Torres on Jul 15, 2013
    It's called 'dog vomit mold' around here. I just scoop it up and toss it into the woods around my house. You might want to check the PH level of your soil. Maybe some of the professionals on here will have a better suggestion.
  • That's what we call it here too. I think Lydia is on the right track with the PH level thought.
  • Z Z on Jul 15, 2013
    @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) do you have any idea what this is and how to rid ones mulch of it? I've seen some here too. I first thought it was turkey pooh since earlier in the day I'd seen a wild turkey run through that area of our yard. My hubby just laughed at me knowing it was a fungus. }}shrugging shoulders here{{ It sure looked like a huge plop of bird doo doo.
  • Kimberly Young Kimberly Young on Jul 15, 2013
    I also found some of this in my yard this summer. It is on mulch I am using for the first time that I bought at Home Depot. I am interested in a solution to this problem as well.
  • Kathleen M Kathleen M on Jul 15, 2013
    Thanks @Lydia Whitehead Torres and @Sensible Gardening, at first I thought it might be cat vomit we have a feral problem lately. I have a lot of allergies so I am wondering if it is best to wet the area before I scoop it out to avoid making it airborne? I had mushrooms in another part of the yard growing in the mulch too but something ate them I think?
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jul 15, 2013
    It does look like Dog Vomit Slime Mold to me. Just let it dry out and use a hard rake to disperse it. It shows up in moist mulch from time to time. (Or if you want to scoop it up you can :)
  • Z Z on Jul 15, 2013
    Thanks Donna. We've had lots of mulch over the years and this is the first time I've seen this happen. I wonder if it's due to different processing?
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jul 15, 2013
    probably more rain than usual has contributed
  • Z Z on Jul 15, 2013
    That could have been the case last year if it was before mid June that I saw it. Then the drought hit. This year where I saw it was on the side of the house that gets only morning sun so it could have stayed moist longer. Thanks Donna.
  • Kathleen M Kathleen M on Jul 16, 2013
    Thank you @360 Sod (Donna Dixson)!!!
  • Your big problem will be the Artillery Fungus that lives in poor quality mulch. That one will stain your siding. Google it!
  • Try to use bark mulch not wood mulch. Make sure the bark mulch does not have a lot of wood chunk filler. Most of the bad things that happen with mulch are from the "white wood" of a tree. If you have ever seen a tree eaten by insects, you will notice that they do not eat the bark, only the "white" wood. Hemlock or cypress bark is the best.
  • Mary B Mary B on Jul 17, 2013
    Yeah..we get this too....pretty gross the first time you see it! I thought the pesky deer were vomiting up all the plants they eat...harmless....just gross!
  • Kathleen M Kathleen M on Jul 17, 2013
    @TJB-INC Landscape Contractor thanks for the heads up on the Artillery Fungus.... damn I think I have it too!! I just had the yard done in June, all new mulch... wahhhh
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jul 17, 2013
    That is preferable to stinkhorns! Google it if you don't know what it is, they are scary!
  • Kathleen M Kathleen M on Jul 17, 2013
    @Elaine Simmons Oh my word I know what you mean! I had some once... years ago, disgusting lol
  • MakerDon MakerDon on Jul 17, 2013
    They usually grow on wood mulch from what I read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphaerobolus
  • Deb Powell Deb Powell on Jul 17, 2013
    oh joy we have it in my raise Tomato and beans garden its yellow in color I know it kinda freak me out at first but I just left it alone and it soon disappear Thank God. I also have been picking out the mushrooms from the raise garden too for all I know is its from too much moister that we have had in June ..
  • Sue Johnson Sue Johnson on Jul 18, 2013
    I had this too with new black colored mulch. It is a fungus and caused from being too wet. It will breed fungus gnats. My soil just didn't have good enough drainage. I removed all the mulch and for several days I kept tilling up the soil to get it dry.
  • Gabriele Gross Gabriele Gross on Jul 18, 2013
    Help answer this question...we have something that makes the mulch Hart as a brick...any ideas????
  • Dkolp2 Dkolp2 on Jul 19, 2013
    We have some that is very hard also! Loosened up our mulch but that really didn't seem to help.
  • Gabriele Gross Gabriele Gross on Jul 21, 2013
    Dkolp 2, I did too and it didn't help
  • Linda Linda on Jul 22, 2013
    We get most of our mulch from a city compost pile lot. And we had it a couple of years ago ... but not recently. We just scooped it off and tossed it. It does look awful, doesn't it ?
  • Don Goldwyn Don Goldwyn on Jul 25, 2013
    Welcome to the wonderful world of slime molds! These goopy fungi (Myxomycetes) live on dead organic matter and thrive in moist conditions. You can rake it out and dump it in the trash; especially in the early stages before it spreads its spores. Increasing the air circulation and allowing the soil to dry out will help eliminate the stuff. To help stop the growth of slime mold, just rake any mulch on the soil surface to expose it to air and sunlight. It\'s perfectly harmless - just revolting to look at!
  • You can see this guide on how to get rid of fungus in mulch. All fungus types are covered: https://www.hometalk.com/diy/in-depth-guides/how-to-get-rid-of-fungus-in-mulch-44455416

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 21, 2023

    Pull the fruiting bodies (the visible parts of fungi on the top of the mulch) as they appear.

    But to keep fungi from growing in the first place raise the soil's pH.

  • Use a rake to break it up. It's not harmful.