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Slimy Fungus on gravel



  • pamkeypamkey Posts: 1
    I have also found this on my gravel but only where it is shady. It’s exactky like the photo shown by Barberry. I thought it was seaweed bring dropped by seagulls that settle in a nearby field but it is always in a distinct line and not random. It doesn’t appear to be attached anywhere which is a puzzle how it grows. Did anyone discover what it is exactly?
  • This slim is called "Nostoc Commune"  - has anyone discovered how to exterminate it permanently.  I've used a couple of sprays without success.  I've used Bleach without success.  Copper Sulphate has been suggested but I haven't tried that yet.  Any ideas anyone ?
  • Thank you Margaret Ibbs! Last summer we used your recipe for our driveway and it worked! I made the mistake of using Round up again this year and the bacteria came right back. I am convinced that Round up is the culprit. Never again!
  • The herbicide “Scythe” will kill it in as little as one application.  Unfortunately, it is about $180 US dollars and only
    comes in 2.5 gallon containers.

    Other herbicides (e.g. Bayer 2n1 moss and algae) can control it, or kill it eventually- but may take many applications.

    Best way to kill Nostoc, quickly and somewhat cheaply, is with a weed torch attached to a propane tank.  These are the kind of torches which have about a 3ft long “wand” and a soda-can sized shroud at the end of them.  They are about $45-$65 (or more if you want a fancy one) US dollars.  They attach to a full size propane tank, like the kind you use with a grill.  They attach using the inside threads of the propane tank (not the outside threads like your grill does.). Wait for a day that the Nostoc
    is in it’s dry dormant stage and burn it up very thoroughly.  Torch it until it stops shriveling. Be sure to get it all.
    Remember to be safe: keep your garden hose or a bucket of water nearby in case something catches on fire that shouldn’t.

    Best of luck.  I learned all this thru a lot of research and thru first hand experience.
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    In europe gas guns are usually attached to small bottles of butane - much easier to carry around. 

    I’ve found that if you improve drainage in area inhabited it dies and doesn’t return. 
  • We have something similar in the US and those types of smaller weed torches are great if you only want to focus on a handful of weeds for 10-15 mins.  However, the larger weed torches I describe will cover a much larger area much much faster.  Granted they are annoying to lug around, they are quite loud and they are a bit more dangerous.  In fact, when i use mine, I have to strap the propane tank to a 2-wheel dolly and pull it behind me as I go.  It is also important to work backwards as you go so that you don’t step on what you just heated and melt the soles of your shoes.  Also, be careful to keep the hose line clear of the flame and keep it from dragging on the hot ground as well.  
  • Just trying out Margret Ibbs soda crytals will comment agian later with results
  • foxtrotfoxtrot Posts: 18
    l have just read ALL the posts regarding Nostoc commune with great interest.  Our garden too has been invaded by this pesky phenomenon over the last 5 years or so. I had no idea what it was, and have just continued raking it up when it gets on my nerves (thus, possibly inadvertently helping its proliferation).  Our garden, which I have developed and worked for the last 22 years, is totally organic so products like Roundup have never had a look in.  The garden is totally secluded in an urban area at the back of the building and the only access is through a small door.  The part affected by this bacterial growth is a shady patch where there is a table and chairs, an adjacent patch where irises grow is also affected.  The patch has a concrete base covered over with a layer of sand.  I think it used to be the base of a sort of outhouse structure, which has long gone.  The area is fairly shady but seems to drain well enough - there is never any standing water even after a hard rain.
    So, I'm going to try Margaret Ibb's solution, hoping that the irises will survive.  Thank you to all the contributors - it's comforting to see that we're not the only ones!
  • The reason Roundup (glyphosate) encourages this is because it is designed to be taken up by the plant and taken to the roots by the vascular system of the plant. Nostoc is a very 'primitive' plant - blue green algae were the first green plants on the Earth - and does not have any veins roots or stems to transport food and water. Mosses  liverworts and lichens also do not have true roots stems or leaves and so resist Glyphosate.
    I first spotted Nostoc at the school where I work on concrete steps. Moss killer is iron sulphate so that may kill it. I'm also guessing that it likes alkali as Concrete is alkaline so I wonder if acid would kill it. (vinegar).
  • Moss killer for hard surfaces isn't iron... It's based on quat biocides. Iron stains stonework and shouldn't be used other than on lawns/borders.

    I've not read the replies to this, but has anyone tried a solution of good old bleach? 
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