Question of the Week Number 2: June 15, 2017

“Neil, what is this growth on my lawn? Will it hurt the grass? How do I control it?”

Photo: Slime mold can appear on any type of lawngrass, but it’s most noticeable on St. Augustine because of its wide blades.

Is this a fungus to fear?
No, not especially.

What you see in the photograph are fruiting bodies of slime mold. They’re using the blades of the St. Augustine as supports. That means that they are gaining no sustenance from the grass itself, so the worst harm that they do is to cause temporary shading to the lawn for a few days until they complete their life cycle, dry up and blow away into the lawn to start it all over again.

In reality, it’s even possible that these reproductive spores could show up on stones or other non-living surfaces close to the soil. That adds to the proof that they really aren’t hurting anything.


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If you’re bummed by their appearance, and if the garden wedding is coming this weekend, take a spray nozzle on the end of your hose and blast them off the blades of grass. Otherwise, just don’t worry about them. Show the kids and grandkids. Take houseguests out to see them. Post photos on Facebook. Just not on my page, because now you don’t need to. You already know the true facts. It’s just a fun fungus sent here to scare you. No harm will come of them.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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