Snow Mold Damage

Snow Mold Damage

What is snow mold? Actually, there are two types of snow mold; in laymen’s terms, they are referred to as pink and gray snow mold. Depending on local conditions, either may become active just about anywhere.White fuzzy mold on grass

In Spring, as temperatures warm, signaling the end of Winter, it is quite common to find circular gray or pinkish circles of matted down grass under melting snow. Temperatures between 28 and 45 degrees are conducive to snow mold development. The key is excess winter moisture. So, further south, where there is no snow, it is still possible to find active snow mold.

The good news is, when conditions change, warmer weather and sunny dry days lead to reduced activity. And, while this wide-spread lawn disease can damage grass plants, permanent damage is not common; especially when you follow these management tips to reduce severity:

  1. When you spot the circles rake up the dead diseases turf. Opening up the turf will speed recovery.
  2. Mowing off the dead grass blades at a height of 1.5 to 2.0 inches initially, to allow sunlight to penetrate to the crowns of the plants. As the grass recovers, gradually raise the mowing height to at least 3.0 inches.
  3. Fertilizing the lawn with a proper amount of nitrogen [one-pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of turf] to encourage quick Spring growth and recovery.
  4. Allow the lawn to dry out before any watering. Reducing excess moisture will help slow the disease.
  5. In severe cases, a diagnostic soil test may help to identify acidity levels promoting disease development. Your local university extension service can guide you in that process.

Simply following the above easy steps will help avoid any significant damage from either gray or pink snow mold. The link here provides typical photographs and more detailed management information.