April showers bring May flowers, right? Well, they also bring snow mold. As the snow melts this spring your lovely lawn is vulnerable to an unsightly fungus. Here’s what you need to know to help you spot it, treat it, or at the very least, prevent it next year.
What is Snow Mold?
Snow mold is a lawn disease caused by two main freeze-tolerant fungi:
- Gray snow mold (Typhula spp; also known as Typhula blight),
- Pink snow mold (Microdochium nivalis, also known as Fusarium patch)
These fungi can grow on all types of lawn grasses subject to cold, wet, snowy winters. It occurs in the spring after the snow melts. Both are present in virtually all soil. However, the damage they cause is slightly different.
The Signs You May Have It
Snow mold isn’t too difficult to spot. It typically appears with small, straw-colored patches of grass that have a cobweb-like goo on them (this is the fungus). Gray snow mold will appear as a whitish “bleached” or gray color, and pink as pink, white, or tan.
How to Restore Your Lawn
The good news is that Snow Mold isn’t particularly extreme if it invades your lawn. And, it usually takes care of itself because it dies as temperatures increase. Gray mold dies at about 45 degrees F and pink mold at around 6- degrees F. Here are three ways to get rid of it faster:
- Mow the lawn as usual. Tall grass is a great breeding ground for mold.
- Gently rake over any straw-colored circles to help the area dry faster.
- Hold off on applying any lawn chemicals because they aren’t necessary if the grass heals itself.
The secret to keeping your yard mold-free is in preventing it rather than fixing the damage after it occurs.
How to Stop It Before It Starts
The best way to keep your lawn lush and healthy is to prevent snow mold from growing in the first place. Here’s how:
- Avoid fertilizing within six weeks of the first expected snowfall so your grass can go dormant.
- Mow the lawn shorter than normal (to a height of 1 ½ inch) in the fall.
- Rake up dry leaves to reduce trapping moisture under decomposing leaves.
- Remove any thatch layer that is more than ½ inch thick after the lawn has dried out.
- Fill low spots with topsoil to encourage water drain off rather than pooling in the low areas.
- Avoid leaving heaping piles of snow along walkways and driveways. Spread the snow out. It will help the snow melt faster in the spring instead of holding moisture during primary fungal growth periods.
Keep Your Lawn Healthy
Keep your lawn healthy and protected from lawn disease like snow mold with professional lawn care services by Nichols Reliable Lawn Care & More. We ensure your grass and landscaping is beautiful all year long.
Call us today at (479) 502-2192 for a FREE estimate. We happily serve residential and commercial customers in Northwest Arkansas.