Mulch bonding polymer with XPF fungal inhibitor  incorporated

is for the treatment of nuisance fungus in hardwood mulch beds

Our XPF product  provides an effective low cost bio-organic  control  of  bird’s nest and artillery fungi in hardwood  landscape mulch.    

In  2007 ,  we  developed our XPF product  as  a  response  to noticeable  outbreaks  or significant  “blooms”  of  different  nuisance fungi  in installed hardwood mulch beds where customers typically went several years without mulch maintenance.   Where outbreaks occurred most often, the mulch was deep and well into the composting cycle and bed mulch was very dry and moldy at the topsoil/mulch layer indicating a die-off of beneficial bacteria and fungi that naturally inhibited nuisance fungal growth.  

Competitive naturally occurring beneficial fungi and bacteria that keep nuisance fungi in check at times may not  be initially  present in new mulch or may die off  in improperly maintained existing mulch beds.  This creates a temporary out of balance condition  ideal for nuisance fungi to arise.  Extended periods of  very dry or very wet weather  may also directly and/or indirectly contribute to creating conditions favorable for fungal outbreaks.

Our XPF product adds hybridized versions of beneficial fungi (50 X  more viable than naturally occurring varieties) which produce enzymes that aid in beneficial bacterial growth … These fungi and bacteria then feed on and out compete the nuisance fungi until they are naturally inhibited.   Combined with the bonding polymer our XPF additive stays locked in place in your mulch bed until conditions are right for fungal growth and then it microscopically goes to work preventing nuisance fungi from maturing to their visible fruiting body / reproductive stage.    

The top nuisance fungi offenders:

Artillery fungus is the common name for a genus of fungi  which is a small phototropic fungus responsible for the annoying black spotting (spore packets called peridoles) often found on home siding and trim, fences, cars, windows ,etc...    The small fruiting  body of artillery fungus actually “shoots” or propels its single black peridole up to 20+ feet by absorbing and discharging water.  This type of  fungi propels its spores towards the sun and light reflecting objects, e.g. white cars or fences vs. black,  light colored siding vs. brick,  glass windows reflecting sun, etc. .

Bird’s nest fungus is the  common name for another fungi  that produce multiple spore peridoles that upon dispersal by raindrops can also be found stuck to home siding & trim, fences, cars, windows, etc..  Peridoles in bird nest fungi have a wide range of color including shades of gray, white, browns, reddish browns and black and are not phototropic.

By themselves the offending spore packets of  artillery fungus and bird’s nest fungus can be difficult to differentiate from each other, especially when both are black.  

Typically, it is necessary to inspect the proximate area for remains of the fruiting bodies of the fungi to determine the culprit.  Don’t be surprised to find both kinds and possibly some of their family cousins like the stink horn fungus, puff balls and toad stools.   Regardless of which type of fungi … the peridoles of artillery and bird nest fungus, if attached to your property,  can be very difficult to remove.

Above is a photo of  a colored mulch bed that has been colonized by one species of  bird’s nest fungus.   This bed had not been mulched in 2 years.  Most of the fungus is growing underneath the top layer of  drier mulch with root-like mycelium penetrating the more composted mulch adjacent to the topsoil layer.  What you see in the pictures is the reproductive part of the bird nest fungi which is cup-like/nest-like and contain typically 4-5 spore packets each (which look like eggs in a nest) which are “dispersed”  by raindrop strikes which propel the packets as much as a meter or more in distance.     

To the left is a colony of dense artillery fungus and to the right is a magnified close-up of this fungus which propels its spore packets towards the sun or lighter colored objects.

A Google search of either bird’s fungus in installed mulch  or  artillery fungus in installed mulch will return thousands of  resulting websites and articles.  You’ll note two  things on nearly  every  result ...

  1. Each result describes how these small fungi shoot extremely hard to remove black spore packets (about the size of a pinhead each)  that adhere with mother nature’s version of super glue to any light colored or reflective surface in its path.   That includes, vinyl siding, house and window trim, fencing, cars,  patio furniture,  stucco,  etc.  A few spore packets … No problem, but  when you see hundreds or even thousands dotting your property that’s a problem.
  1. Until XPF, there has been  no low cost proven way to control the spread of these fungi or prevent them from getting established the first time around when conditions are ripe and spores are present.  

Our  XPF product has  proven to be a very effective low cost treatment for control of  bird’s nest and artillery fungi since 2007.  

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