Fungus in the Garden

Asked June 19, 2018, 10:38 PM EDT

Hello, I’ve got a fungus that is growing at the base of maturing plants in my raised bed garden. It looks like coral or brains. Not sure what it is and wondering if you can help or give advice on what to do. Pictures attached. Thank you Kyle Chapman

Klamath County Oregon fungus

3 Responses

Hi Kyle, thanks for submitting your question. I also responded to it on Facebook on your behalf (Gardening in Klamath Falls Oregon).
This is either a slime mold, or a fungus related to the breakdown of organic matter in your soil or mulch. Wood chip/ wood based mulches break down over time: fungus is part of that process. If it is only coming up right in the middle of your plants, and not elsewhere, I would wonder how you are watering- is it drip that delivers water only to your plants root zone, for instance?
Physical removal is going to be the only remedy for this. Not easy when it's right in the middle of the plants....
I hope you find this helpful, Nicole

Ok thanks! We water with hose directly and also from the lawn sprinklers. So is it safe to eat foods that the mold is growing near? For instance, we have found it growing at the base of spinach and a jalapeño plants.

You would not want to eat the fungi directly- make sure your spinach and peppers are well washed and you should be fine. Trying to remove what you can from the base of the plants will also be helpful. You may want to cut back on the water a bit. While the fungi that break down mulch are not the same as plant pathogenic fungi, it is possible that the growth of the fungi in your mulch might "suffocate" the desireable plants if they continue to spread. Hope this helps, Nicole