Once the snow melts, you shouldn't still see patches of white areas covering the turfgrass. If you do see it, there's a high chance you have snow mold in the yard. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newbie to this lawn fungus, we'll go over what snow mold is and how to prevent it from damaging your lawn.
What is Snow Mold?
Snow mold is a fungal disease that affects cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and bentgrass. It infects the grass as the snow melts and appears as white spots on the lawn. You may also see hay-colored spots, which is dead grass caused by the infection. There are two types of snow mold to look for:
- Pink snow mold, known also as Fusarium patch, is named for its pinkish-white color.
- Gray snow mold, known also as Typhula blight, has a whitish-gray color.
The fungal spores live in the soil and are most likely present in the summer, but they remain dormant due to the high temperatures. Once the temperatures reach between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the spores spread and infect the grass.
While gray snow mold is damaging, the grass may regrow after being infected with the disease. However, pink snow mold attacks the roots and the blades, causing more damage and killing the turf.
How to Get Rid of Snow Mold
The problem with snow mold starts with seeing it on the lawn. Once it's sprouted and visible, there's nothing more you can do but to rake it up. The fungus has already done its damage. The best thing you can do from then on is to take preventive action against future infections.
We've compiled a quick checklist of things to do if you want to make sure that snow mold doesn't infect your lawn after the snow melts in the spring:
- Rake the leaves in fall. Don't let them pile up, or they could trap moisture.
- Mow the lawn before the first snow. Shorter grass will trap less moisture. Also, bag the clippings.
- Dethatch the lawn to prevent moisture buildup as well as pest infestations.
- Keep fertilization to a minimum in the fall unless otherwise specified for your grass type.
- Use a preventive fungicide to keep snow mold from forming on the lawn. A few recommended types include:
Controlling Snow Mold with WinProOnline
Just because you see snow mold doesn't necessarily mean there's big trouble ahead. Most of the time it will resolve itself, and the snow mold will stop growing as the temperatures heat up. Once the grass dries out, things can get back to normal. Just follow our steps, and use a preventive fungicide if you don't want to take any chances come next spring.