Fungi Wars: The Spores Awaken

The departure of the winter snows has revealed a new episode in the ongoing saga taking place at the Temporary Garden. This epic struggle, first mentioned in the mid-May 2015 post, continued in Return of the Fungi a few weeks later. It now seems that my supposed victory over the evil Darth Fungi, related in the September post, was merely an illusion because now they are back with a vengeance.

fungal minionsIf it were simply just these newly-emerged minions, it wouldn’t be quite as unnerving, but….

 

 

trump fungiMy discovery of this almost 8″ diameter leathery remnant of what has surely already spewed out millions of fungal spores is by far the largest to date. In current political parlance, it is “yuuge”! I shudder to think how many other minions will shortly be appearing as a result of this thing. How to stop its seemingly inevitable progress? Surely this is the Donald Trump of fungi.

One possibility is to spray fungicide hither and yon and hope that it will kill whatever spores haven’t yet done their thing, although I have no idea whether that will be effective or indeed what the heck this thing actually is. I suppose it’s worth a try, although it didn’t seem to make any difference last year.

Another odd thing in the same general area is a cementitious “growth” (if there is such a thing) on the outside of the house foundation adjacent to where I first found these Fungi from Hell (they have been upgraded from my original “Alien Fungi from the Planet Zork” because of their persistence and obnoxiousness.)

cement thing

I first noticed it in the initial year of ownership of the Money Pit. The inspector never mentioned it and I just assumed it was a sloppy repair of some sort. Last summer I noticed that it seemed to have gotten larger in diameter (it’s now almost 4″ wide and extends outward for about an inch or so at the thickest point). The other day I saw a new section which was brownish, extending out at the upper right, so I took a heavy screwdriver in hand to see if I could chip it away. I did, with some difficulty, and what you see above is its footprint. There were many small holes in that section, almost like a bee or wasp nest… but the entire thing is literally as hard as a rock. No insects inside. I tried to remove the main portion but even with a hammer and chisel it would not budge. I’ve never seen anything flying into or out of it; it literally appears as if it’s a “cement fungus” forming on the outside of the cement foundation section.

I do wonder if this could possibly have anything to do with the Fungi From Hell but cannot see how; one is clearly organic and the other is… what??

The puzzle deepens and the Fungi Wars saga continues…….

p.s. I did find something less irksome, although in the backyard rather than the front where the Fungi Wars are occurring. So I guess it really is spring, or almost!

crocus

  6 comments for “Fungi Wars: The Spores Awaken

  1. March 15, 2016 at 8:35 am

    May the force be with you in defeating your fungi!

  2. March 15, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    The big one does look a bit like The Donald and is apparently just as obnoxious. Have you taken a sample to a reliable nursery? Or maybe called/emailed a nearby university microbiology department? Might be worth a try.

  3. March 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Well, at least the Crocuses are pretty! I wish I had some suggestions for fungus control. Not sure if fungicide is the way to go. Do you know if it would otherwise affect the soil?

    • March 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      No idea; my local university was no help. I tried contacting a local mycology club via email last week for input but have not heard back from them.

  4. April 12, 2016 at 11:51 am

    We get those exact same brown puffballs in our mulch up here; it’s one of the reasons I don’t mulch any more. Who wants to invite that into the garden?! But you’re right, there’s an absolute dearth of information about what it might be out there.

    As for trying fungicide–don’t. It won’t help. The fungi are forming in response to decomposing matter in the mulch (they’re actually helping the process). Your best bet is just to remove the affected portions to the extent that you can.

    Good luck!

    Karla

    • April 12, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Oddly enough, these fungi were here before I ever put the mulch down; they were coming up through bare soil. Of course I have no idea if the prior owners ever used mulch in those same areas — there was none when I bought the house in 2013 and I didn’t put the mulch down for 2 years. So I’ve been just removing the ones I see, but it’s always after they have “sprayed”, so to speak! They must emerge and explode very quickly.

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