Gold Flakes in my Compost

Asked May 4, 2020, 7:43 AM EDT

Dear Master Gardener, I live in roseville, and have a garden. Over several years I've grown veggies in it, and I cover it in the late fall with a mix of grass clippings and leaves from my yard. There are always more leaves than there is grass and it only composts so so. But I till it under in the spring. This year when I was chopping it up, and tilling it under I noticed something I'd never seen before. There were TONS and TONS of these gold flakes. I'm not saying they're gold. I'm wondering if you know what they are? It's everywhere in this picture (but I circled some in the second picture), please don't confuse it with the hay. It is definitely not hay. I picked some out, and they're kinda soft, disolve in water, and feel like a vitamin... ? Thanks! Jeff

Ramsey County Minnesota

3 Responses

The resolution of the photo is too low to magnify it enough to identify it but it looks fungal. On would expect fungus as they are the de composers.

Here is a zoomed in picture of it. It dissolves in water.

It would require a microscope to identify the material or to determine if it is organic or inorganic. Sorry, you can see for yourself that zooming in on the picture produces a grainy flake. It’s color is grey on my screen. A fungus is my best guess.