Fungus-like Growth in Soil of Potted Tomatoes
I discovered a white, coarse hair-like growth on the soil surface of one of my tomato plants this morning. What is it? Should I be concerned? How can I get rid of it if it something that could harm my plants? Thank you.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
White mold is caused by the soil borne fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Also called stem rot, many vegetable crops are susceptible to this fungus. It requires an abundance of moisture to grow. Therefore, keeping the area as dry as possible and growing plants in well-draining soil is important for prevention of this disease. If the soil in your pot is too wet, I would definitely allow it to dry out some. Though tomatoes need lots of moisture, especially in hot weather, you need to ensure that your container has adequate drainage to prevent fungal issues which may become detrimental to the plant. Also, make sure it is receiving plenty of light, which will also help dry the soil some.