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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Actinomycetes or Fungi

Anonymous added on May 17, 2014 | Answered

I have a cow manure pile that has composted for over 10 years and I thought that by working some of it into the soil it would add beneficial nutrients to the garden. When I started applying a 1-2″ layer to the top of the soil, I noticed there was a white material coating some of the composted manure. I did some searching and my best guess is that it is either actinomycetes or fungus mycelium. Do actinomycetes or fungi affect the growth of any vegetable or plant? Will these they cause any other unforeseen problems or are they beneficial for the garden? Thank you in advance for any help.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 17, 2014

No, these will not cause any issues and are actually welcome additions to the compost pile. Since your manure has been sitting for so long, it's not a surprise that they would be present. The more a compost heap is turned, the less you see these. However, Fungi and actinomycetes are great. Actinomycetes also help to give compost that earthy soil smell. There are different types of actinomycetes bacteria present in compost and each has a very specific role--all of which are important. In short, the compost should be perfectly safe for mixing into the soil around your veggies and plants.

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