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weird grey soil...please help!

Posted by Nicky2122 9a (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 1:20

I was out working in the garden today. I have one very neglected bed that I haven't had the energy to tackle and I finally did today. Well, I started pulling out weeds and as I did I noticed a weird grey soil. It was in large patches. It was stuck to the roots too. I had onions in the bed and I pulled them all out because I had no idea what the grey stuff was. I also noticed a few mushrooms growing in between the large weeds/marigolds/onions. Can someone please help me out on this? I am not sure if I should post here or in the veggie garden section. Also, the only thing I can think of is that there were some feral cats that used to hang out around my house and I would see one in that bed hiding sometimes, so it made me wonder if possibly the cat had used it as a restroom and that was the evidence?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

I think the two biggest suspects would be salt, if you've used steer manure or composted steer manure without mixing it in well, and perhaps fungus, indicated by you seeing spore bodies growing up top and "white" stuff on the roots.

Salt does mechanical damage and the fungus probably does no damage.


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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

Thanks so much for sharing! I will look into both of those!


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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

Was that soil quite moist or dry? Fungi usually do not do well in dry soils.


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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

It was dry actually. It was in a raised bed that has good drainage.


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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

Is the white 'stuff' something new? Is it widespread or just in one area? Is the white stuff plant or mineral?


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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

It is new. It is in one of my raised garden beds but not in the others. It is in sort of clumps and not evenly throughout the entire bed. It looks a little like sand.


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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

I think I know ... it's what happens to cat and dog poop after the soil fungi get through with it. Cat buried poop, and it decayed.

Don't worry about odd things you see in soil - they are usually harmless.


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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

Thanks to everyone trying to help me out! So if it is a fungus will it cause any harm or health concerns with the vegetables that are in that garden bed?


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RE: weird grey soil...please help!

Very doubtful. Fungi are actually an important part of the soil ecosystem and perform many necessary functions. You just don't normally see them.

If it's cat poop - and I have some doubts, manure should really just turn into dark brown to black organic matter - it should be safe to grow in after a few months from the last 'deposit'. Unless you have pregnant females in the household, in which case it would be good to bone up on toxoplasmosis.

I would just turn over this bed and mix everything well, add some compost while you're at it, and plant away.


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