mystery white substance in garden soil
I found a patch of white, lichen like growth on soil clumps when digging a hole for a new plant in an ornamental bed. I use soil amendments like organic compost and Down to Earth Acid Mix fertilizer on that bed, which contains a low growing azalea like plant as well as two mystery plants which I never could identify but which appeared to succumb to frost. I'm wondering the the white stuff is anything bad, or just leave it be. Thank you! Audrey
Lane County Oregon soil
My first guess would be that the white substance is beneficial fungi that is in your soil caused by Mycorrhizae and other living organisms. It was warm for a while, then we got rain, which is pretty ideal growing conditions for fungi (think mushrooms!). Chances are, it is all organic and natural, and nothing to be concerned about. Keep and eye on your azalea plants to make sure there isn't anything else that might be causing plant damage (root weevils, lacewing bugs, etc.).
Thank you, Maggie! Very helpful.