So you thought you had heard the last of the S-N-O-W word for a while. Well … almost. Snow Mold is an issue we expect to see quite a bit of this spring after the Epic winter we have had!
What is snow mold?
Snow mold is a cold loving fungus that attacks under a layer of snow. The snow cover provides a dark and humid environment suitable for fungal growth. The longer the snow is there, the more time the fungus has to develop.
The two most common types are gray and pink
The difference is in the specific strain of fungus. If your spots are gray, they should just require a good raking out. This will improve sunlight penetration and air circulation. It should look much after the first cut of the season. If your spots are pink, in addition to raking out they will require a fungiside application. Adjusting the ph in the lawn and a fertilizer application are also recommended treatments.
Can snow mold be prevented?
There are no turf grasses that are completely resistant to snow mold, but proper lawn care can keep it at bay for the most part. Late in the growing season is the best time to take preventative measures.
- Apply low nitrogen fertilizer late in the season.
- Continue to cut your lawn until the growing stops for the season.
- Final cut should be approximately 2 1/2″
- Clear your lawn of leaves & debris to eliminate other cold, dark environments.
- Try not to pile all of your snow in one spot during the winter.
- Remove (or scatter) snow piles as soon as possible in the spring.
- Remember that your lawn needs air and sunlight to discourage fungus.
Remember, proper year round lawn care and fertilization are the best line of defense against disease & fungus and will keep your turf looking good!