Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Wednesday Vignette: I got slimed

I abandoned my "no summer planting rule" this year.  Working in the garden is just about the only thing that's kept me sane during this pandemic.  But, as foolish as planting is when it's hot and dry as dust, I'm not going to give up anything I plant without a fight so I've been doing more watering than usual this summer, trying to give my new plants a halfway decent chance of survival.  Last month, I dug up several ungainly-looking rosemary shrubs and, unable to leave the space empty until fall, I planted Zinnias as a temporary filler (along with another Abelia 'Kaleidoscope') and I've been hand-watering the area regularly.  Zinnias can take the heat but they need regular watering, especially when they aren't deeply rooted.  Monday afternoon, I went to check on them to see if more watering was required.  And I saw this:

I immediately recoiled

After my initial shock, it only took me a minute to realize what this was.  I'd seen it once before and, once seen, it's hard to forget.  It's Fuligo septica, more commonly known as dog vomit fungus, dog vomit slime mold or scrambled egg slime.  I'd added compost and planting mix to the bed after I pulled out the rosemary shrubs and, after regular applications of water to keep the new Zinnias and Abelia hydrated, I got slimed.  (I enjoy a good Ghostbusters reference and this one seems appropriate.)


I haven't cleaned up the slime yet.  I expect the return of temperatures near or above 100F this weekend will cause it to break down but, if it doesn't, I'll scrape it up.

This reflects how I feel after the morning news most days now

I apologize if this is an unappetizing post.  I promise that my next post will be a whole lot prettier.  In the meantime, for more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


18 comments:

  1. Pretty disgusting. Dog vomit is a good name for this unsightly fungi. On the other hand, Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' is lovely and makes a perfect addition to this spot.

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    1. I have several of those Abelia shrubs. They handle heat beautifully and don't require a lot of water once established.

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  2. What a weird looking fungus... I agree with chavliness - dog vomit is a great name for it! And yes, a perfect statement for the state of the union, right now. Thank heavens for plants and gardens!

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    1. The name makes it easy to remember, that's for sure!

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  3. Rather disgusting to find first thing in the morning. Just goes to show that gardening is not all pretty.

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    1. Yes, why can't I have some pretty turkey tail fungi! At least I knew what I was looking at this time - the first time I saw it I freaked out.

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  4. Haha, yucky to find THAT in one's garden. Glad it isn't mobile!

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    1. Apparently, it's fairly common to find it on bark mulch as it degrades - that's where I originally saw it.

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  5. I have had that show up right by the front door. UGH... Nothing like walking up to the front door to see what looks like puke.

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    1. Luckily, it's in a less obvious location on the south side of the house ;)

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  6. The name is icky, but does the fungus do any harm? (except to UNsee)

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  7. Never seen anything like that Kris. Would be a shock to say the least. Hoping you cool down soon. It's getting better here with a little bit more rain to help with watering. I did finally get my summer water bill, It was $453 for 3 months, which is what I was expecting. Just thankful it wasn't over $500 and my plants are alive - money down the drain, but yet well spent.

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    1. Yikes, Cindy! I'm glad you're getting some rain at last. There's none on the horizon here (and probably won't be until late October at best) and I've also been doing a lot of watering. Sadly, we have what forecasters say is likely to be a "record-breaking" heatwave coming starting tomorrow. September and October can be very hot here.

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  8. I had this show up in the front garden years ago...oddly on the gravel mulch! It's a little surprising to say the least.

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  9. Good lord ... nature has some very strange ways of expressing herself ? LOL
    I would be grossed out ... but yet strangely interested to know what exactly happened ... curiosity killed the cat ? LOL

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    1. The fungus/mold feeds on decaying organic material, most commonly things like bark mulch. I'd amended that bed with compost and planting mix before I planted it, then watered often to establish the zinnia plugs and Abelia I'd installed. No dog actually vomited in the area ;) I've encountered the fungus before on bark mulch so I recognized it. Our heatwave didn't kill it off so I scraped it up and discarded it but I'd guess there's a 50/50 chance it comes back as long as I'm watering as frequently as I have been.

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