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Inexperienced gardener seeks advice after strange fungus grows in raised garden bed: 'I was scared to see this'

"I'll make plenty of mistakes, but this one hurt."

"I'll make plenty of mistakes, but this one hurt."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A gardener panicked when they discovered mold in their vegetable bed, but it turned out to be an overreaction.

The green thumb posted a series of photos — including of funky, sawdust-like growths — in the r/vegetablegardening subreddit, asking "Did I ruin my garden bed!?"

"I'm dumb, used regular straw for Tractor Supply as mulch," they continued. "Within a one week, I have slime mold (dog vomit?) and straw seeding lol.

"As a first time gardener, I told myself I'll make plenty of mistakes, but this one hurt."

They said they removed the straw and weeded the straw sprouts but worried the bed was filled with mold spores — adding, "I figured this mold would be great in my compost pile, but I was scared to see this in my primary garden bed."

"I'll make plenty of mistakes, but this one hurt."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"I'll make plenty of mistakes, but this one hurt."
Photo Credit: Reddit

This particular mold — a myxomycete "more closely related to amoebas and certain

seaweeds than fungi" — is harmless to plants, pets, and humans, though its spores can touch off allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension master gardener program, which also noted, "slime molds are usually only a cosmetic problem and will disappear on their own in a few days."

PittMoss also explained that bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and algae are just visible biological activity, which is a good sign for your soil since it's "live." You can mix the growths in, and things should calm down after the first bloom.

And good on this newbie for growing their own food, which leads to healthier eating, reduces pollution production, and saves money at the store. As they noted, their use of straw also produced noticeable differences in soil moisture and erosion control, leading to a reduction in water usage.

"Fungus is generally beneficial, including slime mold," one Redditor noted. "It helps break down the organic matter in the soil and make it more available to your plants.

"Weeds from the straw are obnoxious and do need to be pulled, but on the whole they're so much easier to deal with than the deep weeds from the soil which the straw mulch should be smothering.

"Your plants look healthy and strong so you're doing great."

Another commenter wrote: "It just means the soil got very wet. Wet soil can be bad, root rot and such. [But] the actual fungi won't hurt the veg."

And a third said, "Veggies generally like soil that has wood and fungus in it."

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