Wet weather invites the mold

TUPELO – This month’s relentless rainfall has kept homeowners and landscapers out of their yards and off the grass while inviting some new guests to take root.
Slime mold, mushrooms and other fungi have sprouted prolifically throughout the rain-soaked region, prompting calls for advice to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
“The only think you can do now is wait,” said Carl Oglesby, a master gardener with the extension service in Lee County, who said the problem is everywhere. “Just rake it off when it dries up, and it will be all right.”
The mold, mushrooms and fungi typically grow where rotted roots lie underground. They’re common this time of year when the weather cools and dampens. What’s uncommon is the large number of them produced this season by the record rainfall.
“I’ve had 18 or 19 years of mowing grass, and this is the longest I’ve ever seen it rain,” said Harry Collins, owner of Tupelo Landscape Services. “It’s miserable.”
Collins said the molds and fungi won’t hurt the lawn, but overeager landscapers might do some damage. Lawnmowers and other rolling equipment can cause ruts that become hard to level after the ground dries, he said.
“Don’t get too antsy about wanting to do something,” Collins advised. “I know it’s hard. I get antsy, but you’ve got to wait.”
When the rain stops and the ground dries – which could happen by early next week – Collins recommended raising the blades on the lawnmower before cutting. Cutting too much from grass that has grown taller than normal in the unseasonable rains causes browning to occur.
And Oglesby suggested spraying a fungicide on the lawn after it dries to prevent future mold and mushroom growth.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal