Fungus growing in garden bed- hugelkulture

jenottawaJuly 4, 2013

I was inspired from some readings this spring and decided to try my hand at a modified version of Hugelkulture (Hugel Culture). I dug 2 foot trenches and buried 3 year dried/rotting maple logs under my gardens. I lined the logs with a bucketful of mushy veggies from my composter, some leaves and a little straw and buried the mess with mushroom compost and 2 year composted horse manure mixed both with peat moss, approx 1 foot deep at least. I also made this part of the garden raised using additional maple logs to hold the soil in.
Everything looks amazing growth wise! This week I started to get some mould / fungus on my beds and within days it is taking over my lettuce, spinach and soon arugula.
1. Any advice for salvaging the other plants?
2. Is this dangerous, I do plan to wash my plants before eating... Two toddlers frequently play in my garden (not in the bed, but beside it)
3. From what I have read fungus is what makes Hugel Culture work so well... Does anyone else have experience with this? There are all sorts of interesting fungi growing on other maple logs that I used to make these beds raised as well. To me these seemed normal and I realized my raised beds would not last too long as the maple would breakdown.
4. Can I put the fungus in my composter??
Thank you so much!!!! I am still a rookie gardener so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

This post was edited by jenottawa on Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 17:33

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Here is a second photo.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 5:34PM
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Interesting. I use a lot of rotted woody stuff in my garden and see an endless array of fruiting fungi. Their mycelium contribute nutrients and organic matter, so I generally regard them as good. Personally I would not eat the plant parts in direct contact with the fungi, but I have often harvested excellent produce from veggies that had inedible mushrooms growing at their feet.

In one situation when there were too many chunks of mycelium for my taste, I pulled them up and threw them in the compost. Like a novel kind of cover crop.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 7:11PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

Looks like slime mold to me. I haven't known it to be harmful or anything. Even plants that get partly encased it in are fine, it eventually just washes away. I haven't tried eating anything that's came into contact with it though.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Normally fungus isn't a bad sign per se, except that it might be too wet or cloudy. I had several varieties of fungi fruit in my raised beds (from various composts and mulches, I think) but I scraped off the ugly ones, and the others died back when it got regularly hot and dry.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 7:56PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Since multiple forms of fungus growth are standard with most active compost piles - and considered beneficial - I would assume the same would be true for a hugel. That's basically all it is - a big active compost pile.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 8:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yes, it's a slime mold. But the name is very misleading because these unique organisms are not molds nor are they fungi. As a matter of fact, they aren't even related to molds or mushrooms.

Not harmful in any way to you or your plants and they are not toxic.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 5:14AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

yes that can happen, it doesn't seem to cause any issues, like mushrooms it is living off rotting material in the soils.


Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 5:07PM
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