How to Get Rid of White Fungus Balls in Soil?: Simple Hacks
Have you ever noticed a White fungus ball pop out of nowhere in your soil? Whether it is harmful to plants or not? Well, today we have for you all steps on how to get rid of white Fungus Balls in the soil.
Learning goes synchronously with gardening as every day is a new day to find a solution to have a healthy garden. Of all the problems, an ugly fungus with a stinky smell appearing overnight is alarming. You don’t need to flood your lawn with chemicals as the white fungus ball has many types, most of which are not harmful. If you find fungus disturbing the beauty of your garden, you can dispose of it with caution.
What are the White Fungus Balls in Soil?
In layman’s terms, white ball fungus in your soil is a type of fungus that grows above the ground. Being club fungi or Basidiomycetes, the white ball fungus is edible but there are some poisonous varieties. White ball fungus has puffed white ball and stinkhorn white ball fungus.
The type of fungus that grows above the ground helps to enhance the soil quality for plants. They have the advantage of providing natural drainage, aeration, and maintaining the soil ph.
The fungus ball in the soil indicates the soil is healthy and the balls are visible when they flourish in the soil. According to USDA, fungi are aerobic organisms. Soil that becomes anaerobic for significant periods generally loses its fungal component. Anaerobic conditions often occur in waterlogged soil and compacted soils.
Fungi are microscopic cells that usually grow as long threads or strands called hyphae, which push their way between soil particles, roots, and rocks. Hyphae are usually only several thousandths of an inch (a few micrometers) in diameter. A single hypha can span in length from a few cells to many yards.
Fungi perform important services related to water dynamics, nutrient cycling, and disease suppression. Along with bacteria, fungi are important as decomposers in the soil food web.
How to Identify a Fungus Ball?
Identifying a white fungus ball in your soil is complex as there are more than 3 billion species of fungus on the planet. Even when they are visible to the naked eye, it is not easy to say if they are dangerous or not. Leaving that part to specialists, let us determine whether it is a fungus or any other to deal right with it.
- It could be a mold or microscopic fungi. The fungi spores are everywhere and live in the air but people see them when it becomes white fungus ball. But a mold is visible in the microscope and piles up on each other.
- False alarm it is an Insect egg, you might think it is a white fungus ball in your soil. But they disappear and form so often to confuse you. With a magnified view, you can solve the puzzle.
- Finally, it is a puffball fungus, if you see a golf ball-sized mushroom in your soil. They have a perfectly round shape and may grow larger than a golf ball.
Why do Fungus Balls Grow?
The main reason for fungus ball growth is too much organic matter in the soil. The ideal space for the fungus is damp soil, warm weather, and light sunlight. Stinkhorn fungus thrives in decaying organic waste. To avoid the fungus ball growth, a regular check on soil condition is a must. By keeping a clean pot, one can avoid fungus growth.
How Long Does It Take for the Fungus Ball to Grow and How Long Do They Live?
The white ball fungus in the soil grows depending on the conditions such as the soil texture. If it is damp then it grows fast like over midnight. For a fungus to mature, it takes from two to five days.
The fungus has a massive lifespan because of its rate of spread in the air. The rest of the growth depends on the soil. The fungus usually dies on its own or can be removed along with the infested soil. Gardeners face many problems because of fungus growth.
Stinkhorn fungi are found in the lawn around dead trees and flower beds with mulch. The tip of the horn is covered with green slime which attracts flies and has a bad odor. It also comes in a ball shape which will be explained below.
Giant puffball, the largest specimen measured 5ft in size and weighed 50 lbs! They get to be between the size of a volleyball and a soccer ball. With light rainfall in autumn, one mushroom will develop in just hours overnight. This fungus is often found in meadows, fields, golf courses, and sometimes deciduous forests.
Are the White Fungus Balls Harmful to Plants and People?
As far as plants are concerned, they are considered to be more helpful than harmful. By decomposing organic matter and providing nutrients from the fungus itself.
To people, they are harmful only when consumed without knowing whether they are poisonous or not. The appearance of the mushrooms is deceiving.
To pets, it is the same as for humans. But humans know what to eat and what not. As they don’t know, it is safe to keep a good check on fungus mushrooms and remove them. If consumed it is harmful to them.
How to Get Rid of the White Fungus Ball in Soil?
There are many ways to get rid of the fungus in the soil. The ways to prevent this are to dry the soil and place them in the sun, if the plant needs more water then add anti-fungal to the soil. Add the right amount of organic matter and make the soil debris free. If there is a fungus in your garden, depending on the severity of the spread measures can be taken. As they are not harmful, taking serious measures is not needed.
Grab a pair of gloves and a shovel.
- Try removing the puffball fungus along with its root.
- If the root is spread, try transferring the plant to another soil(do with caution).
- If there is something in between then stop adding fertilisers and let the fungus die from lack of food.
Natural Antifungal for soil
Adding natural antifungals to your soil will be a cost-efficient and effective way to remove fungi from the soil. However, using the correct amount according to the infection matters. The items below can be used with water and sprinkled or watered thoroughly in the soil.
Some of the best natural antifungals for the soil is,
- Baking soda.
- Dish soap- Only mild soap.
- Vinegar- only if acid-loving plants.
- Hydrogen peroxide.
How to Kill Stinkhorn Fungus Balls?
According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, stinkhorns sometimes live for only 12 hours and are beneficial to their environment. The University of Florida IFAS Extension recommends letting the fungi live out their short life and explains that their underground mycelial networks can be extensive.
The stinky smell of stinkhorn fungus is the main reason to dispose of it. The best way to eradicate them could be to put on a mask and disposable gloves and dig up the mushrooms and eggs. Dispose of them in a sealed bag and then in a closed garbage container along with the gloves.
After reading this article, you know white fungus balls are nothing to worry about and can be removed in a few minutes. Fungi such as white horn and puffballs are not harmful or a threat if found in the soil. With a little sunbath and cleanup, your soil will be back as good as new.
Other than the White Fungus ball, Mold on plant soil can be harmful. To know what are they and how to get rid of them. Click here.
How to add natural antifungal to the soil?
Add a spoonful of natural antifungals such as neem, turmeric, and cinnamon to a gallon of water and spray over the mixture every week to prevent fungus formation in the soil.
What temperature kills the fungus in soil?
Keeping the moist soil at 60 degrees celsius or higher will kill the fungus in the soil.
How do you test for fungus in soil?
Visible deduction in the health of plants in the soil sometimes indicates the fungus in the soil. But to make sure of it, do a soil test in a nearby centre.