What Is Snow Mold?

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How You Can Prevent and Treat Snow Mold

As we countdown the days to the arrival of spring, many New Jersey residents are ready to get outside to work in their yards. As the snow melts away and the temperatures climb, homeowners will begin to see their grass again and may find some missing toys or tools that were overlooked at the end of fall. The last thing anybody wants to see is discolored patches of grass in their backyard. Known as snow mold, this is a common occurrence in areas that experience plenty of snowfall during the winter.

What is Snow Mold?

Snow mold is a lawn disease that grows from two different types of fungi. The first is known as Typhula blight, which causes a gray mold or patches to appear. The second is Microdochium nivalis or Fusarium patch, which causes pink patches of grass. On top of the discolored patches, you may notice a substance that looks similar to a spiderweb.

The fungus arrives during the summer months, where it lays dormant during the hot temperatures. The mold begins to form once temperatures drop, and the grass is covered with snow. Gray mold can survive even after the snow melts until the temperatures are consistently above 45 degrees, where pink mold needs consistent temperatures above 60 degrees.

Here are some of our best recommendations to prevent and get rid of snow mold this year.

Treating Snow Mold

Aerate the damaged spots.

Using a rake or aerator, push holes into the damaged areas to help them dry out more quickly.

Remove any thatch.

Thatch higher than a half-inch think can prevent healthy roots from forming in the spring. Once the grass has dried out, thatch should be removed to allow for more nutrients to make their way into the ground a better-looking lawn.

Mow shorter than usual.

High grass holds moisture longer than shorter blades. By mowing damaged areas shorter than usual, you can help speed up the drying process and shorten the mold’s lifespan.

Overseed if necessary.

If snow mold is severe, overseeding in the late spring may be necessary to help minimize bare spots.

Preventing Snow Mold

Take care of your lawn all year.

Just like with a car, ongoing preventative maintenance throughout the year is the best way to avoid diseases like snow mold. Properly tending to the yard includes mowing, fertilizing, watering, and treating for insects and pests. If it is too much for you to maintain, hiring a lawn care company that offers customized programs may be best.

Get rid of any debris in the fall.

Cleaning up the lawn every fall is a vital step in lawn care. Remove heavy furniture, debris, and leaves to help prevent mold from growing underneath after the first snowfall.

Don’t create snow piles.

When shoveling after a storm, avoid piling snow. By spreading it out, snow can melt more quickly, cutting down the time it requires to melt.

 

For questions about proper lawn care or to learn more about treatments, contact the Perennial Lawn Care team today!

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