Shotgun Fungus

Shotgun Fungus, also known as Artillery Fungus, is common and you may have already come across it in the past forming in your mulched beds. It typically grows in rotted wood or dung, which is why it can become an issue with mulch. Generally, it forms during the Spring and Fall months.

Why It’s Called Artillery Fungus

The fungus will form little bulb-like spheres about 2mm in diameter. Inside the bulbs it produces spores within a gooey liquid which it uses to reproduce. Once these bulb-ish spheres become mature, they burst open and the sticky spores are shot-out as far as 20ft through the air. Shotgun fungus is light sensitive, so the spores are aimed for the strongest area of light.

As far as we understand, it is not harmful, but can be a real nuisance. The tiny black spores can land on plants, cars and siding on houses, which nearly impossible to remove- leaving an unsightly mess.

How To Manage It

Unfortunately, there are no chemical treatments specifically for Shotgun Fungus, but there are a few things that can be done to prevent it from forming in your beds.

It’s advised that older mulch be “roughed-up” and raked around to expose any spores to the Sun in order to dry them out. This will help prevent the fungus from forming in the first place. And other thing that can be done to prevent Shotgun Fungus is to reapply new mulch thick enough to smother out the spores stored in your beds.

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