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When I uproot my vegetable plants or even sometimes when I remove weeds, I see this white stuff in the soil near the roots:

enter image description here What is this? Is it harmful? How to get rid of it?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is called mycelium. It's a fungus that breaks down organic material. You'll find it on bits of wood buried in the soil, on rotting straw or woody bits in compost heaps, on leafmould and manure in the soil. They are not harmful and these organisms play a vital part in the ecosystem in breaking down material so plants can use it.

It's a good thing when you see this in your soil.

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Might I add "generally a good thing" not every fungus has your plants best interests at heart. – Grady Player Jun 23 '12 at 16:02
Thanks kevinsky for the info! I have accepted your answer. – gatul Jun 25 '12 at 4:17
@GradyPlayer not every fungus has a heart. :) – J. Musser Jun 6 '14 at 1:33
@GradyPlayer kevnsky was referring to mycelium that breaks down dead organic matter, so it's always good to see. – J. Musser Jun 6 '14 at 1:35

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