Question of the Week Number 2: September 13, 2018

Jason H. posted this photo of slime mold in his lawn to my Facebook page a few days ago.

“What is wrong with my lawn, and what can I do to control it?”

I’ve been asked this many times since the rains started a week ago. Here are the pertinent things you need to know.

This is a fungus called slime mold.

It is saprophytic, meaning that it lives off decaying organic matter (as opposed to parasitic funguses that feed on living plant tissues). As with mushrooms and toadstools, it presents no threat to your lawngrass.

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The spores of slime mold rub off easily onto shoes and pants cuffs.

You can use a broom to sweep it off or a hose to wash it off. Or you can just wait until you mow the next time and remove it that way.

Lest you think that only St. Augustine crops up with slime mold spores, here it is on bermuda blades. It will appear on zoysia, buffalograss, weeds – anywhere it can find support.

• You may notice that the grass hidden behind the fungal spores turns a bit pale for a few days just from the shading.

• In shorter terms, this fungus poses no threat. There is no harm and no call to action.

When I tell someone that their lawn has “slime mold” it’s interesting to watch their faces drop. But the good news is that this disease sounds a lot worse than it really is.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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