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GREY SOIL, WHAT IS IT?

Hello all

I have a problem in a part of my garden. I am extending a border, so have taken away some lawn. Since I've lived here, (7 years) there has been a patch of fungi growing about 6" diameter. I dug these up and disposed of them then started to take away the soil around them, only to find this grey ash like soil is widespread.

As far as I dig outwards, this grey layer is still there. I live in east anglia where soil is very sandy. Over the years I have added lots of manure & bought compost. This soil though has never been touched because it was under the lawn.

Just beside this part of lawn though, we did have a veg bed, which got watered more than the rest of the lawn. We are normally extremely dry here, but last 2 years has been very cold and wet all year round.

This grey stuff is firmer than soil around it and as shown on the photo's there is a layer of it about 4" down then it's soil again underneath this grey layer. No matter how far outwards I dig, the grey layer is still there.

I thought I would replace this soil after I dig it out, but there is no end of it. Could the fungi have been honey fungus, and this is the result or is it something else, or can i just leave it?

Rather worried about this because I want to plant shrubs around the area.

Can anyone help please?

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Posts

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,782

    Yes, it's mycelium (the main part of fungus) but it is NOT a problem.  Fungi are essential in a garden as they break down woody matter which nothing else can do.  All you need to do to is to dig the area over and add as much manure and compost as you can and your new border extension will be fine.  Honey fungus has black root-like rhizomes (aka 'boot laces') and there is no evidence of that in your photo's. image

    There do appear to be a few couch grass roots though (white) so I would get all of those out while you are digging the area over. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,521

    Archaeology for beginners.image

    Actually, I think it might be mycelium from the fungi.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Oh thank you for that. I will carry on. As for the couch grass, (bain of my life) been trying to get rid of this for 7 years. This garden had been neglected for decades before we moved in, it was in a terrible mess.

    Also neighbours gardens are very overgrown and have every nightmare weed you can think of. It's always a battle against them and is heartbreaking. Even harder when we are both disabled. Our garden means everything to us and the birds who visit us every day, who have become fairly tame. Shame not everyone can appreciate the garden they have!!!

    Thank you both for your help and for saving me even more work.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,521

    How did you agree with me before I'd said anything Bob? Weird.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,638

    Yes, mycellium - we had a patch when we turned an area of lawn into a border and planted rhubarb, herbs and a grapevine - four years on and all growing well - nothing to worry about.

    We're on light soil in East Anglia too image

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







  • Hi pansyface, I refreshed the page and you were there! I was watching for replies in desperation. I think I replied as soon as you had posted. Maybe also the times on the posts are a little out. Anyway thanks Bob. X

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,782

    No worries - I did reply directly to you Lesley but we both replied at exactly the same time and it was just coincidence that it looked like I'd already seen pansyface's reply. The mysteries of web browser caching no doubt complicated things! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,521

    Einstein might have something to offer on the subject.image

    Not on the subject of mycelium obvs.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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