Archive for June 27th, 2011


Dog Vomit Slime Mold in My Garden

June 27, 2011

That’s right, vomit! The unsightly growth, known as ‘dog vomit slime mold’ or Fuligo Septica, is popping up everywhere. Other than removing it with a shovel,  you can’t get rid of it. Some professionals suggest that you keep the infected area dry and in full sun.

The mold usually appears in late spring or early summer after heavy rains, and grows on wood chips or mulch, but has been known to grow on plants.

Moments before the last rainstorm, my husband and I had finished spreading a thick layer of chipped wood around the garden beds. The chips are from our red wood and oak trees that PG&E had cut down. My plan was to control weeds. Instead, I have mold spewing from the neat and tidy paths. It’s even in my raised bed. Could it be revenge?

This unsightly blob seems to appear overnight. During the first stage the mold is yellow or bright orange with a bubbly texture that is slippery if stepped on.

As it grows larger (sometimes to the size of a 12-inch pizza), the surface hardens, turns crusty and takes on the look of dog vomit.

I researched the dangers and found that scientist and medical professionals claim ‘dog vomit slime mold’ is harmless to humans, pets, and plants. The only thing it seems to hurt is a gardener’s pride.

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