Monday, July 7, 2014

WTF Is Up In The Garden?!?!?

I've seen some pretty strange stuff on my gardening rounds, but last week's shocker takes the cake. As I neared the veggie garden one late afternoon, a flash of yellow caught my eye down by the cedar planks of the raised beds. Hmm - that's weird. I didn't plant anything that yellow . . . or in that space . . .  or that looks like - YIKES!!!!
Holy cow I thought. This is bad. Who vomited in my veggies????  What to do? Google it of course! Surely somebody else on this planet has had the same shrieking reaction when encountering something like this in their yard. BINGO! It has a name. YELLOW DOG VOMIT SLIME MOLD (I kid you not). Harmless. People in Mexico even eat it, cooking it up like scrambled eggs. They call it "Caca de Luna". Appetizing name? Not so much. So, what's it doing here, you ask? Evidently it probably hitchhiked in on some mulch I put down, and conditions were just perfect for the stuff to blossom (if you can call it that). BTW - the scientific name is Fuligo Septica, in case you want to sound all smarty-pants.

Slime molds are considered beneficial organisms in the garden because they decompose dead organic matter. They also  eat plant pathogenic fungi or bacteria in the soil, so they help to reduce plant disease. Sounds pretty good to me and my organic garden.
By the next day, it had somewhat coalesced into a less yellow, more rounded mass, moving it's way up onto the board.
By the third day, it had started to turn a dark grey color and shrink a bit. It looked like it had gotten harder too (although this is totally conjecture on my part, because I wasn't going to actually touch the stuff). NO WAY. And eat it? Yeah - NO. Not in this lifetime anyway.

So there you go. Another installment of WTF is Up in My Garden. I'm sure there will be more to come.