Hello again!

At first, the word fungi doesn’t sound all that great. There are a few fungi on our lawn and landscape plants that can damage the appearance of, or even worse, produce toxins that affect plants and animals. For the most part though, fungi are important decomposers in most ecosystems. Mycorrhizal fungi are essential for the growth of most plants. Fungi, as food, play a role in human nutrition in the form of mushrooms, and also as agents of fermentation in the production of bread, cheeses, alcoholic beverages, and numerous other food preparations.

One of the most prized fungi is the morel mushroom. It's not only sought after, but the locations where morel hunters find them are greatly guarded. Much like that closely guarded fishing or hunting spot.

We see fungi in the form of mushrooms pop up in our yard and landscapes after a summer rain. I’m frequently asked for the remedy of the fungi. It's about as simple as the remedy for the common cold. Take a couple of aspirin and it’ll go away. In the case of the strange growths in our yard, they’ll be gone in a day or so and really do no harm. I believe that the sign of mushrooms in the landscape shows we have healthy soil, full of rich organics that are breaking down and enriching your soil.

Our lawns and landscape are full of fungi, and most of the year, the conditions are good enough to not allow much damage to the plants. When the conditions are right, (as they tend to be in the early summer) the fungi can erupt and cause damage. The perfect storm of moisture at night, watering late in the day or late afternoon rainfall, poor air circulation, and nighttime temperatures in the 70’s encourage the dormant fungi to come to life.

It’s much easier to prevent damaging fungi in the landscape than it is to cure it. Brown patch is a common turfgrass disease that is caused by the rhizoctonia species fungus. Apply ferti-lome F-Stop Fungicide Granules during the growing season for diseases such as brown patch, powdery mildew, pink snowy mold, dollar spot, summer patch, and many others. F-Stop contains Eagle fungicide, which both prevents and controls fifteen different diseases in both established lawns and ornamental turfs. One application protects for up to 4 weeks.

Some of the most common fungal diseases that infect tomatoes grown in the home garden include anthracnose fruit rot, early blight, septoria leaf spot, and late blight, all which produce distinct symptoms making them easily diagnosable by the home gardener. ferti-lome Broad Spectrum Landscape & Garden Fungicide treats fruits, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants for these diseases and more!

Keeping irrigation water off of the foliage of plants and planting disease resistant types will help prevent many diseases in our landscape and on our garden plants. Don't worry about the occasional mushroom in your lawn. But, as always, if a disease or pest has you concerned, bring in a bagged sample, and we'll help you diagnose and treat it.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center