Orange mold or fungi in garden soil?

Asked May 24, 2019, 6:02 PM EDT

We live in Western PA and have a newly-tilled garden this year. Our soil is clay, and we do have a problem with iron bacteria between our raised beds in the puddles that form after rain. Lately around there plants there have developed many orange spots. It appears to be some sort of mold or fungi. I cannot identify it after extensive internet searches. Our soil has been wet this spring due to rain, but there is no standing water in the beds because they are raised.

Lawrence County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Hello, and thanks for using the Ask an Expert System,

The orange fungi in your photograph are most likely the reproductive structure of a decomposing fungus growing on dead organic matter in your garden soil. They are not likely to be plant pathogens since they are growing quite well in the absence of any garden vegetable plants. I cannot identify them specifically as there are many orange cup fungi. Fungi are abundant this spring because of the large amount of rain we have all endured.

Decomposition fungi will grow as long as there is organic matter in the soil and sufficient rainfall. They do not require standing water. These fungi should not be any concern for your vegetable garden.

If you have additional questions I recommend that you contact the Lawrence County Penn State Master Gardeners Hotline. You can speak to a Master Gardener and provide additional information.

Lawrence County Penn State Extension