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November 15, 2018 | Grass Seed

How to get rid of slime mold on grass

How to get rid of slime mold on grass

While walking outside enjoying the wonderful weather, you suddenly stumble on a brightly colored substance in your mulch bed. Having looked closer at it, you discover that it’s an orange slime mold. This ugly stuff looks like vomit. Of course, there’s nothing pleasant in it. A couple of days later the newly-discovered slime mold blob has managed to grow. Well, you’re definitely dealing with some sort of orange fungus, which should be dealt with before it dares to spread anywhere. You don’t want to see your cherished landscape ruined by nasty spores, do you? You need to immediately reach out to your lawn care provider to remove all fungus from your yard.

What causes these blobs?

At the beginning of summer, slime molds show up. These are one of the most intriguing and brightest organisms, which can be found on lawns.  Homeowners often complain about bright yellow spongy mold, but apart from yellow fungus in mulch, these organisms often feature other colors, including gray, purple, blue, white, black and so on.

This disgusting stuff can show up in your garden overnight. However, despite their unpleasant look, you aren’t endangered. Let’s learn about slime mods more.

Slime molds are often found in ornamentals, turf as well as garden plantings in the home landscape. These are primitive organisms, feeding on other fungi, bacteria and also dead organic matter. Unfortunately, they often raise worries for homeowners due to the fact their reproductive phase is quite colorful and therefore extremely noticeable. On turf, large numbers of colored fruiting structures, dubbed sporangia, show up on the leaf blades during humid, cool weather. They range in size, varying from tiny pinhead-size flecks to huge lumps a foot or even more in diameter. You can see grass leaves within the patch dotted with the fine specks of this stuff. However, in some cases, leaves can be fully covered by these organisms.

Slime molds tend to be crushed between the fingers. You just need to apply some gentle force to have them totally disintegrated into a powdery mass, which can be easily removed from the grass blade.

In mulch beds as well as other bare areas, huge masses of this substance can be discovered. These blobs quickly get dry and soon fall apart. However, until it hasn’t happened yet, they are still an issue, although it’s mostly cosmetic for your lawn.

Slime molds normally arise after heavy rains in summer and spring. Moreover, they also show up in well-fertilized and well-watered flower beds and lawns. These organisms aren’t able to harm your plants. The matter is that plant structures, including stems and leaves, are used only as a means of support for the development of the organisms. A heavy infestation of slime mold can provoke a slight yellowing in the lawn due to the fact it had the grass blades shaded.

Although it’s some type of fungus, but that’s not the case. When talking about slime molds, we can’t refer them to animals, plants or fungi. They actually belong to a class of organisms dubbed myxomycetes. In terms of behavior, they act both like plants and animals. Moist areas are extremely favorable for such organisms, as they help spores to germinate, releasing so-called amoeba cells. These cells evolve into the multicellular blobs you might have already seen in our mulch bed or landscape. Slime molds survive by simply consuming bacteria and pathogens from the soil.

By the way, for one day slime molds are capable of traveling a two-foot distance.

Life cycle

In the spore stage slime molds easily withstand adverse conditions. In humid, cool weather, their spores have water absorbed. Then the spore wall cracks open, giving birth to a motile spore. The motile spores are used to feeding on other microorganisms as well as decaying organic matter. On the other hand, they never have living turf grasses infected. After this, pairs of spores get together and grow. Such an organism is dubbed plasmodium. Exactly, this stage generates that slimy overgrowth on our lawns. Slime mold plasmodia, as well as reproductive structures, can shade the grass leaves, making them yellow, although you can’t count on severe damage in this case.

Do slime molds grow only in mulch?

Apart from blobs in your mulch, slime molds can be noticed in other parts of your lawn. If you have a closer look at your land, you might notice something like a powder covering the ground. It stirs into the air as you wander through it. These slime mods once again.

Is it dangerous?

You shouldn’t worry, as it won’t harm your land. The only expected extent of the damage on your landscape can be some yellowing of your grass. As you see, the issue is mostly cosmetic.

Is slime mold harmful to humans?

These organisms aren’t able to harm people. However, those with respiratory conditions, such as asthma and allergies might find those spores irritating.

Is slime mold harmful to pets?

None of your pets will be affected by slime mods, so they can freely walk through them.

Slime mold in lawn – treatment

In spite of the fact, the mold isn’t damaging to the plant life in your lawn, you can hardly find it beautiful. One way to get rid of it is to simply scoop this stuff up. It needs to be placed it in a trash bag or any other container just to be disposed of. It the reproduction stage, slime molds dry up, turning into spores. So, if left alone, it can go away by itself. Notify your lawn care provider to take care of it.

Alternatively, you can have the leaves sprinkled with water. To return your grass to the normal condition, you can also try sweeping with a pole, raking, mowing, or brushing. Any chemical control isn’t required.

In order to prevent the occurrence of slime mold in your yard, you require removing excessive thatch and accumulations of organic matter on a regular basis. To do this, every fall you need to have your lawn aerated. In flowerbeds as well as other areas, you require applying fresh mulch every year to keep your beds lovely. At the same time, stay away from removing old layers of mulch because it can damage your plant roots.