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What Do I Need To Know About Snow Mold?

Posted by: Nick DiBenedetto on February 21, 2020

Snow mold is a fungal lawn disease that develops over the winter when there is an extended period of snow cover and is fairly common here in the North Shore area.  There are two main types of snow mold, gray and pink. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to know if you have these diseases until the snow melts and you see the telltale circles of straw-colored grass start to show up in early spring. You can learn more about this lawn disease in Massachusetts here.

What Does Snow Mold Look Like?

The grass in these patches can look matted down and could have a crusty appearance. These patches are usually a few inches in diameter but can be spread over large areas of turf.  A gray color to the patches will indicate gray snow mold while a whitish to pink color indicates pink snow mold.  Snow mold damage is usually more severe with the pink snow mold as it can kill the crown and roots of the grass while gray snow mold usually only affects the grass blades and is more cosmetic.

How Do I Prevent Snow Mold?

The most important thing you can do is to not let snow pile up.  Snow mold develops under snow cover.  When clearing snow from sidewalks and driveways, avoid creating deep snow piles in the lawn that will take a long time to melt when the weather warms.  Spread the snow out if you can so that it melts evenly.  Piles of snow will keep moisture trapped longer which will allow for the fungal growth to start as the soil temperatures move just above freezing. 

How Do I Treat Snow Mold?

There is no fungicide available to treat snow mold in the spring.  If your lawn seems to be extra susceptible to this disease, there are preventative fungicides you can apply in the fall, but they don’t work in the spring.  The best way to treat gray snow mold is simply to rake up the spot so that the matted grass and thatch layer does not hold moisture in the soil.  They quicker the ground dries, the quicker the fungus will go dormant and stop causing damage.  The crown of the grass isn’t attacked so the patch should fill in on its own as the season progresses.

If you have pink snow mold, the grass may be dead as this disease can attack the crown and roots.  If that is the case, vigorous raking and reseeding will likely be necessary.  A light topdressing of new loam or compost will help ensure good seed-soil contact.  Be sure not to apply crabgrass pre-emergent products to these areas as they will prevent grass seed from germinating as well.  Be sure to let your lawn care company know as well so your technician can be watching for the seeded areas.

Get More Info From The Pros!

Looking for more information on snow mold or just ready to let the professionals take over your lawn care needs? The Grassmaster Plus team is ready and willing to answer any questions you have and can provide you a free quote on your lawn care services for the season. Contact our local office today!