When I started to dig holes and plant plants this week, I found that just under the mulch there is a mysterious substance which is white, thready, and somtimes clumps. What ever it is , I found it in every area of my garden. If anyone knows what this is, please tell me. Also what to do about it. I feel so discouraged about getting back out there now. My health prevents me from doing as much as I would like out there, but it always makes me feel happy when I can spend a little time with my plants. Some of them are more like friends that I have had for years and years instead of just plants. Yeah, I talk to them. :) It cannot hurt anyway!!
This is a common fungus that grows on decaying matter such as moist mulch. It is ubiquitous in forests, mulched gardens and even in containers that have chipped bark or wood as one of the media ingredients. You should not have to do anything about it but turn the mulch with a small rake so it can air out a little. Unless you see plants dying, it is probably not a pathogenic fungus.
Some of these fungi are actually beneficial to trees and shrubs, forming a symbiotic or mycorrhizal relationship with them.
LariAnn , Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am so relieved to hear that I do not have to rip the whole garden apart. Just some air is what is needed. My DH always likes to get mulch that is large wood chips and I always want something smaller that would decompose into the dirt easier. Now I feel perfectly justified in insisting on what I want. After 45 years I guess he will survive it. It is so great to have somewhere - - someone - - that I can ask when I have a problem. I feel happy again.