Gardening & Landscaping
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Mold Under Mulch

I'm a gardening/landscaping rookie.  I know nothing about nothing.  lol 

Doing yardwork this past weekend, I raked up a bunch of leaves and pine needles in the area where we have bushes/shrubs.  There was mulch containing big wood chips and pine needles that mostly got raked up as well.  Under certian sections of wood chips, the ground appeared to have some sort of white moldy stuff.

The bushes in that area were supposed to flower this past spring but didn't at all.  Not one bud.  We moved here last year, and the wood chip mulch was there when we moved in. 

What's going on?  Any ideas?

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Re: Mold Under Mulch

  • Hmm, the white mold in my yard is mycorrhizal fungi and it helps with nutrient uptake. Mulch breaks down over time, and mold and fungus are part of the decomposition process. It's good for your soil. If it's piled too deep it could become anaerobic at the bottom, but if you're getting molds that's not happening.

    Possible problems could be non-composted mulch too close to your shrub could temporarily suck the nitrogen away from the roots. But it should be released as it breaks down. How close is the mulch to the base of the bushes? If it's right against the bark (mulch volcanoes) it can be an avenue for bugs and disease.

    Do you know what the bush is? Are you following its fertilizing and pruning needs? Do you know if it's bloomed in the past? Sometimes bushes will thrive in a shadier than recommended spot, but won't bloom as much.

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    "The meek shall inherit the earth" isn't about children. It's about deer. We're all going to get messed the fuckup by a bunch of cloned super-deer.- samfish2bcrab

    Sometimes I wonder if scientists have never seen a sci-fi movie before. "Oh yes, let's create a super species of deer. NOTHING COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG." I wonder if State Farm offers a Zombie Deer Attack policy. -CaliopeSpidrman
  • its been a wet fall here - lots of mushrooms and other fungi growing after the rain. I'd just leave it and let it go through its life cycle. The frost will kill it eventually.
  • By any chance, did you prune the bushes after you moved in -- in the fall or early spring?  If so, you may have pruned off the flowers.  Spring flowering bushes often bloom on old (last year's) wood.  The best time to prune them is just after they bloom, or should have bloomed.
  • I pruned them this summer, after they should've bloomed.  I didn't know there was a specific time I should do it.  I'm not sure what they are, but a listing photo of the house shows them with tons of little mauve pink flowers.  There wasn't one bloom since we moved in last fall!  Also, the white stuff isn't ectremely close to the stems, more patchy all over the bed.
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  • I forgot to add, the listing photo was taken in early spring. 
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  • Are you in a Western state? If it was red flowering currant, you likely took the buds off.

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    "The meek shall inherit the earth" isn't about children. It's about deer. We're all going to get messed the fuckup by a bunch of cloned super-deer.- samfish2bcrab

    Sometimes I wonder if scientists have never seen a sci-fi movie before. "Oh yes, let's create a super species of deer. NOTHING COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG." I wonder if State Farm offers a Zombie Deer Attack policy. -CaliopeSpidrman
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