Snow Mold – What to Know About This Lawn Disease

Good evening. Welcome to our final blog in our series about common Massachusetts lawn diseases. Today we are going to talk about snow mold. 

What’s Snow Mold?

Most of the signs that you see in spring are the ones we love seeing, including blooms, buds, green grass and warmer temperatures. But another thing that you might notice is circles that are grey in color on the lawn. This is snow mold. This is caused by a type of cold-weather fungi which affect cool-season types of grass primarily. You won’t notice that there’s a problem until the snow melts in the spring.

What Causes It?

A thick blanket of snow as it melts might look pretty. But the problem is that it causes damage to the lawn. It causes the biggest problem when you have a deep, heavy snow before the ground’s completely frozen. The weight on your fragile gas, along with the moisture in the winter along with the leaves, lawn debris, and long grass will cause snow mold. There are two kinds:

  • ·        Grey – also known as Typhula blight
  • ·        Pink – also known as Fusarium patch or Microdochium patch

What Are the Signs You Have It?

Signs of grey and pink varieties of snow mold usually are most noticeable when snow starts melting. As snow melts, circular patches that are straw-colored which are anywhere from 2-4 inches to a few feet across show up on your lawn. The grass that is in the patches usually is crusty and matted down. These patches will be greyish-white when caused by the grey variety or whitish-pink when caused by the grey variety. Pink snow mold’s often much more severe since it can kill grass plants’ roots and crowns, whereas grey will only usually affect grass blades.

How Snow Mold is Treated

The best way that you can beat snow mold’s prevention, since there aren’t any fungicide treatments that can work on it when snow melts. If you’ve found you’re having repeated problems with this during springtime, it’s possible to apply fungicide during the fall, usually close to Thanksgiving, before your first big snowfall.

If you don’t take this step and you’re finding damage from snow mold on the lawn after the snow melts, you want to rake that affected area gently so that you loosen the matted grass. This is going to help your lawn dry out and give the grass that isn’t affected the room needed to grow.

Repair and Reseed

Even though you do everything that you can, discolored, dying or dead grass might never recover the appearance that it once had. If this happens, any areas that are damaged should be repaired when it’s possible.

How You Can Prevent It

  1. Mow Prior to First Snowfall – Grass that is extra-long is a favorite breeding spot for the grey variety of snow mold. It should be shorter compared to your other cuts – 1-11/2” shorter. However, make sure that you aren’t scalping your lawn.
  2. Don’t Allow Leaves to Pile Up – Since thick piles of leaves can be very welcoming to snow mold, your mower should be used to mulch them into the lawn.

  3. Dethatch Your Lawn –Thick layers of thatch gives snow mold a great place to develop. Does your lawnhave a thatch layer thicker than ¾”? You want to dethatch it during the fall. This will help with preventing the development of snow mold in the winter.

  4. Don’t Use a Lot of Nitrogen – Fertilizer with a lot of nitrogen is perfect for quick greening. However, using a lot, particularly late during the season, can help with causing snow mold. It’s better to use a lawn food that is slow release.
  5. Use Preventative Fungicide –Snow mold appearing on the lawn’s totally depends on the weather during the winter. However, if you are noticing it almost yearly, it can be prevented by using fungicide after you do your final mow and before the first big snowfall.
  6. Don’t Allow Snow to Pile Up –As the name suggests, snow mold will develop underneath snow. When you are clearing the snow from your driveway and sidewalks, don’t create deep piles of snow that take a while to melt once the weather gets warm.

We hope that you have found this series of blogs about lawn diseases helpful and interesting. If you have problems with your lawn or you are looking for a company that can help your lawn look great throughout the year, contact us and let us know what you are looking for. We are happy to provide you with a quote.

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