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What might this be

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What might this be

Post  Banned Member on 3/30/2017, 11:09 am

This is why I signed up from this forum, hoping that somebody might know what I have stumbled upon.

I was turning over one of the squares in my Square Foot Garden this morning, and I noticed a fuchsia-colored goo on my spade.

At first, I thought it might be rotted purple sweet potato that was missed last year, but then my wife reminded me that they were planted in other squares.  This square had cucumbers, banana peppers, and cherry tomatoes in its previous use.

This goo looked like a pinkish-red porridge with something that resembled fabric fibers.  It had an odor similar to rotting fruit with a hint of patchouli thrown in to make it even more offensive.  
It was about 4 or 5 inches deep in the bed and about 2 feet across by 1 foot in depth.  It stuck to the spade, and I accidentally got some of it on my right hand, and it felt something like runny pudding.

Any thoughts as to what this might be, and if it is dangerous?  I sterilized myself within 3 minutes of getting it on me, and I stopped using the spade as soon as I dug this stuff up.

If I can figure out how to take a picture from my phone and uploading it here, I will do so.

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Re: What might this be

Post  Robbomb116 on 3/30/2017, 11:18 am

Maybe a type of slime mold?
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picture

Post  Banned Member on 3/30/2017, 11:25 am

Here is the picture I just took of a slice that I removed from the garden.  On second thought, it smells more soured fruit.


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another closeup view

Post  Banned Member on 3/30/2017, 11:35 am


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Re: What might this be

Post  Judy McConnell on 3/30/2017, 11:47 am

My first GUESS was a fungus of some sort - like a truffle.  BUT-- truffles don't get that big nor are they purple/pink inside.

So sorry that I can't come up with an educated guess.
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slime mold?

Post  Banned Member on 3/30/2017, 11:52 am

I never heard of such a thing, as the only pink slime I knew about was the junk that is put into meat.

After looking up slime mold, I do not believe this is what I have, and maybe I am glad about that, because I would probably lose my lunch to think I had it.

I guess I will see if our county extension agent can id it if I put some of it in a baggie and take it in.  I'd hate to think it is toxic or something that prevents the garden from being used for food stuffs.

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Re: What might this be

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/30/2017, 12:23 pm

Shocked I've never seen anything like that. Can't wait for the results! Can you send your extension office the photos? That's what I do when I need help. Maybe they'll know and then you won't have to send in a sample.
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Re: What might this be

Post  sanderson on 3/30/2017, 3:10 pm

A previously overlooked or wandering purple sweet potato would be my guess. It is finally breaking down. It will be interesting to see what the Extension says.

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Re: What might this be

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/30/2017, 5:57 pm

It must be what lawn flamingos feed on to maintain their pink coloration....
I've seen stink horn mushrooms that are an unnatural pink, but the dimensions you describe don't match up.
It reminds me of the pink alginate goop (yuk!) that used to make dental impressions for braces/retainers in my youth.
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Re: What might this be

Post  Banned Member on 3/30/2017, 6:38 pm

I sent an email with the pictures to our County Extension Agent.  I am supposed to receive a reply within 48 hours. 

I hope this guy isn't our agent.


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Re: What might this be

Post  sanderson on 3/31/2017, 12:48 am

Very Happy Keep us posted.

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Re: What might this be

Post  Banned Member on 3/31/2017, 12:03 pm

I guess we really do have a Hank Kimball for our agent.

Here's the reply I received,

"Please contact the agent for Williamson County, as she is an expert in botanical diseases."

Williamson County is the county just south of Nashville.  So, I have to start anew and send the email to her.

Meanwhile, I have stopped working in the garden until I hear whether I have a toxic pathogen or rotted purple sweet potatoes.  I went ahead and disinfected the spade by coating it with alcohol and then holding it over a fire for a few minutes.

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Re: What might this be

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/31/2017, 9:11 pm

With those dimensions it sounds like a rotting thing....leftover .
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Re: What might this be

Post  Banned Member on 4/2/2017, 3:30 pm

Sanderson hit the nail on the head--she was correct.

It has been confirmed this morning by our local park horticulturist. I took her a sampling in a baggie, and she said it is most definitely a rotting purple sweet potato that was overlooked last year.  I guess I overlooked it, because I do not recall planting any sweet potatoes in that section.  

She told me to leave all the rest of it in the ground, because worms will think it is a delicacy.

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Re: What might this be

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/2/2017, 4:48 pm

Thanks for the update! I must have misunderstood - I thought you said the purple mass was 2 feet across and went 1 foot down (... or do sweet potatoes get that big where you are? Shocked )
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Re: What might this be

Post  Banned Member on 4/2/2017, 5:37 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Thanks for the update! I must have misunderstood - I thought you said the purple mass was 2 feet across and went 1 foot down (... or do sweet potatoes get that big where you are? Shocked )
That would be funny if the sweet potato were that big, or maybe it wouldn't be so funny, because it might mean some form of mutant from uranium in the ground--yikes.

My prose sometimes misses in the translation as I try to type as fast as an auctioneer speaks.

What I meant to say was that the decayed goo spread out in an area of dirt that was 2 feet across and 1 foot in horizontal depth, not vertical depth.  I should have said 1 foot wide or 1 foot back.

BTW, after seeing your forum name, I came close to going with grubs per sq ft as my moniker.

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Re: What might this be

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/2/2017, 6:12 pm

TNGeezer wrote:
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Thanks for the update! I must have misunderstood - I thought you said the purple mass was 2 feet across and went 1 foot down (... or do sweet potatoes get that big where you are? Shocked )
That would be funny if the sweet potato were that big, or maybe it wouldn't be so funny, because it might mean some form of mutant from uranium in the ground--yikes.

My prose sometimes misses in the translation as I try to type as fast as an auctioneer speaks.

What I meant to say was that the decayed goo spread out in an area of dirt that was 2 feet across and 1 foot in horizontal depth, not vertical depth.  I should have said 1 foot wide or 1 foot back.

BTW, after seeing your forum name, I came close to going with grubs per sq ft as my moniker.
Aah. Those dimensions are more natural sounding. I'm glad it wasn't an alien and that you can proceed with your planting.

You might have gotten the nickname Grubby Razz
I chose my forum name partly because I like bugs, and like to think that I am growing them in my garden. Last year I 'grew' fireflies - the larvae were in one of my garden beds. I like most beetles ... but there are a few that meet their doom (flea beetles, Japanese beetles, and cucumber beetles) when I find them in my garden.
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Re: What might this be

Post  sanderson on 4/3/2017, 2:33 pm

Glad it was just a sweet potato.

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Re: What might this be

Post  llama momma on 4/3/2017, 3:23 pm

The fantastic worms will turn it into worm castings that are worth much more.  Maybe we should all leave a potato here and there throughout our gardens !
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