WINTER’S OVER!! But, do you have white, tan/pinkish, and or yellow blotchy patches in your lawn, - much of which are on matted grass? The answer is probably yes.
What you are seeing is one, or possibly the presence of two kinds of Snow Mold fungi; Pink Snow Mold (causal Fusarium Patch) and Grey Snow Mold (Typhula Blight). Pink Snow Mold infects primarily the roots and crowns of plants. Grey Snow Mold does most injury to blades and upper portions of plant tissue.
CAUSE: Snow Mold can happen due to an extended period of snow on the ground that has not completely frozen; occurring at where soil and grass interface and temperatures are between 26 and 34 degrees.
Snow Mold is made worse if at the end of the prior fall mowing season, grass is left too high going into winter. A consequence is grass blades too long become matted thus easier for fungus disease to develop in winter and early spring. Likewise compounding the problem for harboring favorable Snow Mold pathogen incubation, is allowing clumps of grass, excess grass clippings, tree leaves, twigs and other debris left on the lawn during winter.
Here’s the Deal: Every year to some extent we have Snow Mold on many lawns. However, Winter 2015 was much more severe and extended. Result – a quantum jump in Snow Mold activity.
What to do: Most unsightly blemishes of snow mold will fade as warmer temperatures occur and grass resumes growing. To speed the process of recovery, stiff rake (if a heavy accumulation of thatch is present) or otherwise ‘fluff rake’ grass to allow faster drying and easier air/oxygen penetration. Also, aeration with power equipment will help as well to ‘turn off’ fungus activity. In some situations, extreme turf injury may necessitate some over seeding, or area renovation. Our service technician may advise you accordingly.
Looking Ahead: To reduce incidence and severity of Snow Mold…..
It’s simple, - mow your lawn regularly for as long as the grass is growing in late fall. When growth stops, make last cut leaving grass no higher than 1.5 inches, AND, clear the lawn of all debris (tree leaves, grass left in clumps, clippings, etc.!) This will give you the best chance of reducing the presence of Snow Mold in the coming spring!
Gray Snow Mold Pink Snow Mold Gray Snow Mold