Spring Tips: How To Prevent Snow Mold
Snow mold is one of our most common lawn diseases in central Minnesota. Our team encounters it across the greater St. Cloud area. With this spring being particularly short, you’ll be more likely to encounter pink snow mold rather than it’s less hardy cousin, gray.
Let’s take a look at how you can identify and battle snow mold in your lawn, and when you’ll want to call the professionals at Valley Green to help out.
Snow Mold Identification
Gray Snow Mold
Gray snow mold appears as brown, matted down spots on the lawn, ranging in diameter from an inch or two to more than a foot. Fuzzy whitish-gray strings may stretch across and out from the area. Occasionally you may see mushrooms appear from the infected portions of your lawn. Gray snow mold lives underneath snow, but will continue thriving as long as the grass is damp and temperatures hover below about 45° F.
Pink Snow Mold
Pink snow mold appears again as brown, matted down spots on the lawn, ranging in diameter from an inch or two to more than a foot. Fuzzy whitish-pink strings may stretch across and out from the area. Just like with gray snow mold, you may see mushrooms appear. Pink snow mold also lives under the snow, but is more resilient and can live in temperatures up to 60° F. With the spring we’ve had, this is the more likely culprit you’ll see in your yard.
Snow Mold Prevention
Once you’ve identified that you have pink or gray snow mold, there are some steps you can to fight the mold and prevent it in the future.
- Avoid adding excessive levels of nitrogen to your soil. Nitrogen-rich soil is very conducive to mold growth, so having a proper lawn care and fertilizer plan is important.
- Gentle raking of the affected area is also beneficial, as it can help dry out the grass and slow or stop the growth of the mold.
- Be careful with your mowing. Mowing more than ⅓ of the blade off at one time, mowing too infrequently or mowing your grass shorter than 3-3-½” can add unnecessary stress to your lawn.
Reduce the amount of thatch you maintain on your lawn. Anything more than ½” is too much and can be reduced by the process of lawn aeration. Lawn aeration removes soil cores from your lawn and deposits them above the thatch layer. This helps breakdown the thatch. At Valley Green Companies, we utilize special aerator equipment which creates 40 holes per square foot.
- Make sure to spread out snow over the winter to encourage quick melting in the spring. Use snow fencing if needed to prevent drifting in problem spots.
Remember, if you need help we’re right down the road. Give us a call today!