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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Seaweed In My Driveway???

This last summer I noticed some areas in my driveway had some dark ‘stuff’ that looked kind of like a lichen or maybe some sort of moss.  I didn’t really pay much attention as it was a million degrees outside and whatever it was, it was baked to ‘crunchy’ by the sun.

However, when we were working in the driveway late this fall the ‘stuff’ was still there.

Some of it was amongst the grass growing in the drive.

Some of it was in little clumps spotted around the drive.

So I took a closer look…
WHAT is this stuff??
It was kind of … ‘jello-y’.  Not really slimy, not really gooey…

Hmmmmm…  I think I have aliens growing in my driveway!!

I have an acquaintance who is a Master Gardener, so I took her a sample to see if she knew what it was.  Judy was as stumped as I was.  However, she was going to a MG meeting that very night and took the stuff with her.

Everyone there was stumped.  As was the local Extension Agent.  So the agent sent the sample all the way to Knoxville to the state office to have it analyzed. 

In a few days we all had the answer:
Observation Number 20130123104318 that was submitted for your location on 01/23/2013 has been diagnosed or updated. 

Diagnosis / Control:
It may be one of the blue-green algae, possibly Nostoc sp.  Improve drainage so that water does not puddle in the drive. Rake infested areas when dry and remove algae.  Suppress algae using copper sulfate at the rate of 3 ounces in five gallons of water per 1000 square feet. 

To obtain more information concerning this diagnosis, please contact your local county extension office.


“Nostoc is a genus of Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that is often a photobiont of lichens, when on the ground, a Nostoc colony is ordinarily not seen; but after a rain it swells up into a conspicuous brown jellylike mass, which was once thought to have fallen from the sky, hence the popular names, fallen star and star jelly. It is also called witches' butter. I was told by a friend that they called it Buffalo snot a much more appropriate name. Nostoc species are cultivated and consumed as a foodstuff, primarily in Asia.”

I’ve got "seaweed" growing in my driveway?!?! 

For Pete’s sake! 

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