Are Orange Mushrooms in the Vegetable Garden Okay?

I’m trying to find out about these orange mushrooms that keep growing at the base of my vegetable plants. Are they okay to leave there? Are they good or bad for the garden? I have lots of questions because I have never had this happen in my garden before.

Read on for the answers I found.  (All photos on this page are my own.)

orange mushrooms in the garden
Orange mushrooms continue to grow in my raised bed garden

As soon as one “batch” of mushrooms dies down, others begin to form. They seemed to begin around the base of the eggplant, which has been growing for nearly 2 years now.  I am wondering if that plant is dying.

So after searching around the internet, many gardeners say that mushrooms in the garden are a good thing. It is a sign that the soil is alive and well, or something like that. But I don’t know about when the mushroom grows off the stem of a plant.  Usually mushrooms grow on dead or dying things, like trees.  It could be that the mushrooms just look like they are on the plant, but are really coming out of the dirt.  It’s hard to tell.

I did dig up the stinkhorn mushrooms that must have arrived when I added certain bags of soil to the bed. They really did stink, and were not something I wanted to look at either. I love nature, but those things were really disgusting.

orange mushrooms
Mushrooms growing at base of eggplant

Some people have mentioned that mushroom compost is excellent for amending the soil, so when these mushrooms die they are helping to compost the dirt in the bed.  Mushrooms will grow on organic matter.  We’ve had lots of rain lately, and they grow in the shady areas, beneath the bigger plants.

orange mushrooms
Orange mushrooms growing under and from the base of the pepper plant

I would love to know what type of mushroom this is. When I search “orange mushrooms” I get info about the chanterelle (good to eat, although I won’t ever eat a wild mushroom found by me!), and “pumpkin, or jack o’lantern, mushroom” (which is poisonous). I don’t believe it is either of those.  Of course there are so many types of mushroom, I may never know the identity of this one.

For now I will let them grow and do their thing. I found some “bird’s nest” mushrooms in the garden as well.
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orange mushrooms

Here are some links to more “mushrooms in the garden” information.

Are Mushrooms in My Garden Bad? @ Garden Mentors site.

Gardening With Mushrooms @ Mother Earth News.

The Washington Post

Garden Fungus Begins as a White Pod and Then Gets Weird

As I have been gardening I keep noticing these weird, puffy white balls under the soil in my raised garden bed. As I dig them up I throw them into the yard.

Yesterday I found another one. I just set the round slushy blob on top of the dirt and left it. Today this is how it looked.  Pretty gross.  There is some slimy thing at the top, and the whole thing smelled bad.

weird smelly fungus
Columned Stinkhorn

The round white balls are around 1-2 inches and have little white roots at one end. They are soft and squishy, and I had no idea what these weird things were.

When I noticed those bizarre orange things sticking up from it, I had to investigate further and find out what it was.  When searching for white “puffballs” mostly the puffball mushrooms show up. Then I came across this post at East Tennessee Wildflowers site which showed the exact same thing.  Now I had a name for it.

So now I know it is a Columned Stinkhorn (Clathrus columnatus) and according to Wikipedia it is commonly found in mulch.  It also mentions that it is edible… gag… who could eat this nasty thing?

Since I live in Florida, home to nasty creatures and all types of weirdness, I was afraid it would be an egg that lots of hideous things would crawl out of.  I guess I am relieved to know it’s only a smelly orange fungus.

Brown Spots on Hydrangea Leaves

wilted hydrangea leaves
What's Wrong?

I have not grown my own hydrangeas, but I did help care for the shrub in the front yard at my rental home. The landlady did not have a green thumb, and since the plant was not really mine, I generally just made sure it got enough water so I could photograph the blooms in summer and fall.

My last year living there, I noticed that part of the plant was not as green as the rest and some of the leaves were getting brown (see photo).

I no longer live there, but I’d like to know what this is for when I do grown my own hydrangeas.

Certain types of hydrangea shrubs can get diseases and have problems with powdery mildew, and mineral deficiencies. They can be affected by mites, aphids and Japanese beetles.

In fact the yard was full of grubs which turn into Japanese beetles and although I did seem some beetles on this plant, they didn’t seem to be doing much damage.

So why are the leaves turning brown? And only on a portion of the plant? Could it be Cercospora leafspot or some other similar fungus? Continue reading “Brown Spots on Hydrangea Leaves”