There are many fungi that like to show up this time of year, usually after a good rain and some lovely Indiana humidity. One fungus in particular, is not for those with weak stomachs, as it is often referred (and yes looks just like) dog vomit.
Dog vomit/mulch vomit, or Fulgio septica, is a type of slime mold. The harmless slime appears overnight in mulch beds and along the sides of untreated wood. Even though this fungus is not a disease, it’s still not pleasant to look at.
The foamy mold will grow up to 8 inches wide and about 1 inch thick. The color varies during each stage, starting yellow, orange, peach to brown. (Sorry for the visual, but it is what it is…)
The good news is dog vomit is easy to get rid of. If it is in your mulch bed you can simply rake it out and dispose it. If you find it growing alongside lumber, it’s easiest to just scrape it off.
If the slime mold has started to grow on your plants, don’t worry about it. From delicate flowers to edible plants in the garden, dog vomit shouldn’t hurt them just prune affected areas of the plant.
To prevent dog vomit, aerating your mulch each spring/early summer is a great idea. Taking a rake or hoe and breaking up the mulch to the wood a chance to breathe will really help prevent many fungi.
Overall, dog vomit fungus is more gross to look at than it is harmful. By keeping your mulch mixed and breathable, you shouldn’t have to worry about this fungi.
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