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Old 03-10-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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We just bought our first house and moved in this week. The former owners blew a thick layer of bark over the entire back yard. I was walking around the yard today when my foot sunk into a pile of thick, white, odorless, pasty goo buried in the bark. I poked around with a shovel and found a bunch of pockets / patches of this gooey paste amongst other bits of garbage like beer cans and plastic bags in this one corner of the yard. I have no idea what this stuff is or what its doing in my yard. The best I can come up with is wet wood ash but I don't know if it would turn all gooey like this. I'm thinking about contacting the Department of Environmental Quality. Any ideas what this could be?
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzle-Chest View Post
We just bought our first house and moved in this week. The former owners blew a thick layer of bark over the entire back yard. I was walking around the yard today when my foot sunk into a pile of thick, white, odorless, pasty goo buried in the bark. I poked around with a shovel and found a bunch of pockets / patches of this gooey paste amongst other bits of garbage like beer cans and plastic bags in this one corner of the yard. I have no idea what this stuff is or what its doing in my yard. The best I can come up with is wet wood ash but I don't know if it would turn all gooey like this. I'm thinking about contacting the Department of Environmental Quality. Any ideas what this could be?
If I had to guess, I'd say it probably is white slime mold. Google that and see if it looks like what you are seeing in the yard.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:37 PM
 
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No, unfortunately, this does not look natural. I would say it has the consistency of toothpaste.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzle-Chest View Post
No, unfortunately, this does not look natural. I would say it has the consistency of toothpaste.
that does sound like slime mold! It has a thin shell and is goo-ey on the inside (sort of why they call it "slime" mold).

Can you post a picture of the stuff in your yard?
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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Default Nope

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzle-Chest View Post
We just bought our first house and moved in this week. The former owners blew a thick layer of bark over the entire back yard. I was walking around the yard today when my foot sunk into a pile of thick, white, odorless, pasty goo buried in the bark. I poked around with a shovel and found a bunch of pockets / patches of this gooey paste amongst other bits of garbage like beer cans and plastic bags in this one corner of the yard. I have no idea what this stuff is or what its doing in my yard. The best I can come up with is wet wood ash but I don't know if it would turn all gooey like this. I'm thinking about contacting the Department of Environmental Quality. Any ideas what this could be?
It's big bird poop!!!

Unknown Large Birds over Wood Island (Biddeford, ME) - YouTube
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:20 AM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,239,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzle-Chest View Post
No, unfortunately, this does not look natural. I would say it has the consistency of toothpaste.

I agree with the others saying the most likely culprit is slime mold. It can be thinner and it can be thicker and there are tons different kinds. There are also fungi that grow below the mulch and later pop up that have a denser feel to them. However since we haven't seen it there is a chance it could be something entirely unnatural. It would be smart to have someone look at it in case something was dumped and covered up by mulch.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:43 PM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions, I hope it's just slime mold, but it doesn't look like any of the pictures I found online, and I've found several basketball size clumps. My camera stuff is still packed in boxes so here's the best picture I can get, sorry!
Attached Thumbnails
Strange White Paste In Yard???-img_0235.jpg  
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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It's slime mold. It's a fungus that grows in damp mulch.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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Little update: I took a sample to garden lab and they threw it under the microscope. Turns out, it's clay based kitty litter. And upon further inspection, I also found about a dozen plastic bags full of crystal kitty litter buried throughout the yard, as well as other random garbage. I'm loving this home-ownership stuff!
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:55 AM
 
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I was going to say kitty litter! When we moved into our house the previous owner had been dumping the litter box in the backyard, and we had a lot of clumps identical to the picture you shared. There was so much of it that it was very hard to dig up. He must have been dumping it there for years. He'd been tossing all sorts of garbage in the backyard as well. It was gross.
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