puff balls and toadstools
years ago I gathered pine needles to put as a mulch on the garden
at my holiday home at Twizel. Unfortunately, since then I've had
big toadstools growing among my plants, and now this season, puff
balls and small toadstools are growing in the lawn. In spite of
digging them up, white spores and all, pouring boiling water on
the spots and adding compost, they still persist. Because of the
intense heat and the need for watering, the soil becomes leached
out of any nutrients and as I'm there only at holiday times, I have
a problem. Is there some solution that I could put on that would
improve the soil in garden and lawns? Now, later in the season,
red-capped toadstools have appeared on the edges of the lawns and
in the shingled drive. I would be most grateful if you can help
me defeat these invaders.
problem with gathering mulch from the wild is that you run the risk
of introducing unwanted elements to your garden. Plant material
can harbour all sorts of nasty insects, fungal and bacterial problems
that can boom in numbers when they get into a home garden environment.
The fungal spores in your garden would have been present on the
forest floor. Pine needles are also slightly acidic and need to
be added with something like lawn clippings to help them decay faster.
Try spraying or drenching the area with Yates Fungus Fighter or
Greenguard. This will kill off a lot of the spores, but you will
need to persist, as they spread by water or wind. The other alternative
to try is to sterilise your soil with Yates Basamid Granules. To
do this you need to remove the plants in the garden and apply the
Gardener, Issue 106, 2002, Page 24
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.