The warm, wet weather we’ve experience recently has brought our lawns back to life, as well as a variety of other life forms. If you go out early in the morning, you’re likely to see a variety of tiny mushrooms throughout the lawn. In addition, slime molds have been spotted in a number of locations around Baton Rouge, including at the Burden Center and in one of my neighbor’s yard. A variety of slime molds occur in turf, but the one that I see most often is the ashy or gray slime mold Physarum cinereum, pictured below. This slime mold does no real damage to the grass, other than possibly causing some temporary yellowing because it covers the grass blades and prevents photosynthesis. It is simply using the grass blades for support, but it’s not picky as it can also be found covering weeds as well. In time, it will dry up and blow away, but if you are the impatient type, simply wash it off with water from a garden hose.
Donald M. Ferrin, Ph.D., Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA