Q&A: Growth on Mulch

Find out whether fungus growing on mulch can harm surrounding plants.

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Q: Growing in the mulch along the edge of my flower bed is an ugly fungus — it's brown and curly, like lasagne pasta. Is this harmful?

A: Fungus grows on mulch occasionally as part of the natural decay process. It tends to appear more often in wet weather and will disappear when conditions no longer favor it or when the mulch breaks down sufficiently. It will not harm your plants. Neither will white mold, which also sometimes forms on the top of mulch.

— National Gardening Association

Types of Mulch

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Organic Matter Ideal Mulch for Plants

Garden compost or well rotted manure is an ideal mulch because it aids plant growth, improves the soil, and help retain moisture. Reapply it every year.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cocoa Shells Break Down to Enrich Soil

Cocoa shells are lightweight and easy to apply, plus they will break down, enriching the soil.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Gravel Mulch Preserves Moisture in Summer

Long lasting and inexpensive, gravel preserves moisture in summer and keeps standing water away from sensitive plants.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Decorative Mulch Ideal for Pots and Containers

Decorative mulch, such as colored glass, chips, and crushed seashells, are ideal for pots and containers. They reduce weeds and conserve moisture.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Porous Membrane Drastically Reduces Weeds

Weed membrane is laid down beneath mulches before planting to reduce weeds.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Bark Chips Break Down Slowly as Mulch

Popular bark chips are lightweight, organic, and weed suppressing.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Keep Garden Weed Free for Healthy Blooming Plants

Weeding and using weed suppressing fabric will keeps flowers healthy and garden beds weed free.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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