Strange fungi on compost heap

Strange fungi on compost heap

compost heap fungi

Midday Sunday, a strange mould or fungi, bright yellow, almost chrome yellow, on top of a compost heap. An hour and a half later it had changed, the surface starting to brown. This was more noticeable mid-afternoon. By late afternoon, early evening, the surface was browned as though it was a loaf of bread just out of the oven. The fungi had appeared during the morning or overnight as it was not there the day before.

During the morning there had been heavy, fine rain. The previous two weeks or more, hot dry weather, though the compost heap had been watered with lukewarm water to stop it from drying out.

The compost heap consists of mainly garden weeds, autumn leaves, with vegetable scraps from the kitchen and scrunched up paper to provide fibre.

On at least one other occasion there has been a similar mould or fungi on the top of the compost heap, but not seen on any other compost heap.

What is it?

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6 Responses to “Strange fungi on compost heap”

  1. Liane Says:

    I have that too in my yard as a result of throwing old mushrooms to make compost. I found your photo as well as this one from Univ of Connecticut.

    http://uconnladybug.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/mulch-molds-what-is-growing-on-my-mulch/

    Sounds like its good. Hope this helps.

  2. Lindsay Says:

    Thanks so much for posting the Connecticut Univ. info – I was concerned I’d done something terribly wrong to my compost pile.

  3. Joy Says:

    Hello, just came across your photo online in researching a type of mold growing in my compost pile. It looks like you have what’s called “dog vomit” mold/slime. I’ve reaad that it isn’t harmful. http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/chicago_gardener/2007/06/dog-vomit-slime.html

    Aside from that, I noticed that you have colored, glossy paper in your pile. I’ve read many resources saying that you really should not add those types of papers and inks to your compost.

  4. kurt Says:

    I have a lighter colour version of this mould in my compost heap as well. It appeared overnight, I think it maybe commercial bread scraps that I dug into the heap some days ago. I had noticed that this type of bread doesn’t break down quickly, What are we eating?

  5. keithpp Says:

    No, nothing to do with bread.

    If the bread was contaminated, the fungi would not grow.

  6. Rozalia Says:

    I noticed the yellow stuff creeping out of the bottom of my compost bin. It was dry and hot here for about a week. Sooooo, last night before dark I threw water on the top of the bin cover. Yikes, this morning there was more growth. I hear that it’s not toxic,; so not a problem. I only have leaves, from last year, fruit and veggie scraps. That’s it. Has anyone asked the American Horticultural Society or one of the state extension services why this is happening? Let me know.

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