Slime Mold on Turfgrass

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Slime molds can be found on all types of turfgrasses – from cultivars chosen for lawns to weedy grasses that pop up in places were regular maintenance just isn’t regular. Slime molds are usually more noticeable following extended periods of leaf wetness. With recent rains experienced in NW Ohio, people have been asking what is going on in my lawn?"


Slime molds are a fungus and rely on the grass for support. The slime molds are saprophytes and obtain their nutrients solely from dead or decaying organic matter in the soil or in the thatch layer of the lawn. Poor drainage can also be a contributing factor. 


The species of slime molds can be numerous. No matter the species, common symptoms include discolored and irregular patches ranging from several inches to several feet in diameter. The usual color that draws our attention that something in not right is a result of fungus spores. The fruiting bodies are usually grayish-white to blue-gray.


Slime Mold
Photo Credit, Amy Stone



If you are experiencing a heavy infection, some yellowing or chlorosis of the leaves may be observed due to shading of the turf causing reduced photosynthesis. Even with that said, chemical controls are typically not recommended. Mechanical control such as mowing or raking could help. Spraying the area with water could also help, but should be done when conditions are dry and continue to be dry as not to spread the fungus to other areas of the turf.