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Slimy Fungus on gravel




    I said I would reply when the rain showed me which of my treatments has killed the Nostoc (the green globby algae-like stuff that appears in gravel driveways after application of glyphosate to kill weeds). I could not use everything that might have worked because I had to find something not toxic over time to pets if they got it on their feet.

    Only THREE treatments have worked, so I'm going to ignore the accounts of everything else I have tried. The three treatments are:

    Fire, using a propane torch to burn the Nostoc when it is crispy and black and dried a few days after a rain. This gets rid of it right away.

    Washing soda (sodium carbonate, obtainable in the laundry section of a grocery store)

    Slightly diluted concentrated bleach (sodium hypochlorite, also obtainable in the laundry section)

    When applying either of these chemical substances, wear pants and wear shirts with sleeves and wear socks, shoes, and gloves. Also wear a mask so as not to breathe any fumes or get chemical splashed on your face. Wear goggles so as not to get it in your eyes. Keep the treatment as far away from your face as possible. 

    At first I did not think the sodium carbonate had worked. I applied it as powder and as a solution (1.5 cups of powder dissolved in 1 gallon of water and applied with a sprayer like one would use for weed killer). I did not think it had worked because even though it killed any accompanying moss and turned the Nostoc (the green globby stuff) a sickly yellow, it appeared to return after the next rain. But after the third rain, the areas treated with sodium carbonate were finally clear.

    I got the concentrated bleach (it has the word "concentrated" on the jug) and mixed it 3 parts of the concentrated bleach to 1 part tap water. I also used a sprayer similar to a pump weed sprayer. It turned the Nostoc a sickly yellow. The globby masses were gone by the next rain. 

    Each solution worked best when applied to freshly swollen Nostoc just after a rain. Also, picking up as much dried, crispy Nostoc as you can before a rain really helps the treatments to work. DO NOT rake it as this crumbles it and acts like spreading seeds. 

    Last edited: 06 September 2017 00:45:04

  • I applied my washing soda and that seemed to knock it back a bit but I haven't had a long enough dry spell to re-apply to the stubborn parts and the parts that I may have missed. 

    It's top of my list of jobs-to-do as soon as there's a dry day.

    Congratulations on your success Patty image and do let us know if it continues. 

  • Hi all,

    I have been following this thread for a few months and I have finally got round to trying out Margaret Ibbs washing soda solution. It has been very wet here the last few weeks so this Nostoc Commune has taken over the gravel driveway, especially bad along edges and certain spots where I know I used round up/ weed killer in the Spring. 

    So I checked the weather today, dry all day for once. The Nostac Commune is still damp and active so thought it was a good time to blitz this thing. I used pretty much the same solution as Margaret Ibbs (if not a bit extra washing soda... for luck!) And sprayed the driveway with a fine sprayer (same one I would normally use for killing weeds). All I can do now is wait it out and repeat the process in two weeks time. I will update you soon. 

    Also, can anyone recommend what can be used to kill weeds now that we are fairly sure that round up/ glyphosphate is causing this stuff to appear. Hand picking weeds in theory is the best option I know but it would be near to impossible to do this, there are weeds everywhere!!! Would this washing soda solution kill weeds too?

  • Wow...thank you so much to those who have put time and effort into this post.

    For the 1st time EVER I have seen growth of this alien type gue on my hardcore near my shed. 

    I can confirm I purchased "Roundup" spray ready made and sprayed weeds near my shed about 3 weeks ago (never used roundup before). I'd be confident in saying that this is the route cause.

    I will be burning the area today and will treat using methods in this post. Will keep you updated on progress.

  • This awful slimy,slippery  stuff has appeared on the sloping gravel path  which leads to my front door.I think it has been there about 4 weeks and and I am concerned about people,including me,slipping on it.I don't want to use anything toxic,as I garden organically,and also because my cat sits on the path.I would be really grateful for any ideas of how best to eradicate it!..Thank you.


  • We live in North Devon.  We have 2 miniature dachshunds so are worried about the problems that may be caused to them by trying the remedies.  Can anyone help please?  We hope to try Margaret's remedy - if it works then great, as our patio and stone chip area is covered in this muck.  Problem with North Devon this year is the lack of non-rainy days!

    Last edited: 26 October 2017 16:39:29

  • OK folks, we are about to try spraying baking soda.  Wish us luck!!!!!!!!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,700

    Fingers crossed! 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • we have this all over the drive so it looks like washing soda is the best thing to get it sorted will get some tomorrow but our drive is 300 feet x 30 feet so going to need lots but will try are part first if it works that do the lot  we live in the midlands in Ireland

  • My gravel driveway developed a heavy infestation of Nostoc this summer after I sprayed it with Roundup Biactive. Anybody else notice This?

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