Three months ago I bought an (20kg pack) organic compost mix of (horse-)manure/algae/compost. In addition it states "naturally moist". I used some part of it and I put it, loosely closed, in a dry but badly temperature-isolated place. We had some days of 35 C during the last weeks and all in all it was around 22 C during that period.

Today I wanted to use some more of it and when I opened it I found strange things inside:

  1. White stripe-like threads of 5mm diameter and 10 - 30cm length
  2. The top-level has become somewhat white/brown and dry.
  3. A slug

I assume that due to moisture and hot weather things have gone their way and mushrooms and/or whatever else has come to life. Is this bad? Can I still use it? If not, what should I do with it?

1 Answer 1

  1. These are mycelium, and perfectly normal in "live" compost.
  2. The top was exposed to air, so it dried out. The white may be a fungus growing on the surface.
  3. Slugs like damp places, especially where there's stuff they can eat. It does not seem "strange" to me that you'd find one in a bag of "naturally moist" compost (i.e. slug food) that has been left to sit for a while.

I wouldn't hesitate to use it. (I suppose it is possible that you'll be importing slug eggs, but slugs are everywhere anyway, so it doesn't seem like a big risk.)

  • Good answer, more or less what I would have said too.
    – Bamboo
    Sep 6, 2012 at 9:56

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