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November 26, 2018 | Grass Seed

Snow mold on grass: learning symptoms and treatment

Snow mold on grass: learning symptoms and treatment

The snow in your lawn has melted and you’ve discovered that everything is awfully riddled with patches and circles of your dead looking grass. It can look tan, grey, white or pink. That’s snow mold.

What causes snow mold?

It’s provoked by cold-weather fungi, mostly affecting cool-season plants. Eventually, signs of an issue aren’t clear until the snow starts melting in the spring.

Snow mold happens to be most problematic after a deep, heavy snowfall before the ground has entirely frozen. All of this puts pressure on fragile plants, and along with tons of wintertime moisture, to say nothing of cover from leaves, lawn debris, long grass, creates a big problem in the form of snow mold.

Types of snow mold

There’re two major types of snow mold. These are pink snow mold and gray snow mold. Both these lawn diseases show up as circular dead patches, normally 3 -12 inches in diameter. In the worst case, the patches join together, covering most of the lawn. You can notice fuzzy strands on top of the blades of your plants or at the edges of the damaged spot.

Grey snow mold

Compared with the pink one, it’s less severe. As for damage, it the leaf blades are only affected. As soon as your lawn starts greening up in the spring, and temperatures stuck with the mid-40s and higher day and night, your lawn won‘t be damaged any longer. Snow mold will rapidly dry out and it’ll be difficult to find. If your lawn is deeply rooted and healthy enough, it will easily recover.

Gray snow mold treatment

Perhaps, the best thing you can do for grey snow mold, apart from drastically improving your soil bioactivity and aeration, is to fluff up a bit the dead plants with a rake. Thus, you’ll let it dry more. Moreover, the sunlight will have better access to the soil, promoting new grass growth. To further assist recovery, fertilize it a bit after the rest of the plants start greening up. You’re recommended to utilize All-In-One for LAWNS. Alternatively, you can use any fast acting fertilizer. In the autumn, your thatch needs to be cut short and handled.

Pink snow mold

Pink snow mold stays active much longer than its grey peer. It’s capable of keep growing until temperatures slip below 60’s. You’ll discover it at the outer edges. It’s often seen when there’s dew on the ground in the morning. It affects the blades and the crowns of the plant. When the crowns, exactly where both the roots and the blades emanate from, are affected the plant might not recover at all.

Southern lawns are often subject to pink snow mold, in particular on golf course greens. Damp conditions and temperatures in the low 30s – that’s what you need to effectively withstand pink snow mold.

As with the grey snow mold, rake or fluff up the pink snow mold a bit in order to enable sunlight and air access the soil. Be especially careful with pink snow mold, as it’s possible to spread it by means of the rake on the rest of your garden. Having raked your pink snow mold, have your rake cleaned with some anti-bacterial soap or alcohol.

By the way, pink snow mold can stop on its own. You just need to wait until the temperature is high enough.

Pink snow mold treatment

The general advice in handling this grass disease is to make use of chemical fungicides. You require applying it twice a week and to ten days apart.

Liquid Kelp and Humic Acids come with a lot of trace elements as well as bio-stimulants capable of helping your lawn to rapidly recover from snow mold. Using any of them or both will undoubtedly be beneficial to your soil and plants. Spraying liquid forms of these substances will give a quicker effect compared to applying powdered forms.  As for a late fall application, it might act as a preventative as well.

Earthworm Castings Teas and Compost Tea can help you to tame most grass diseases. For this purpose, you require taking a cup of earthworm castings or compost and have them soaked for up to 24-36 hours in a five gallon-bucket. The bucket needs to be filled about 2/3 with water. Keep stirring this stuff in order to get some air in the liquid or utilize an aerating device. Having strained it, you should place the ready-made tea in a sprayer or watering can and soak the snow mold and the plants around it.

Alternatively, you can try hydrogen peroxide. You require one cup of it in 2 gallons of water. You require applying it 2- 3 times, 5 days apart. However, it fails to kill this grass disease, you should at least try to keep your snow mold from further spreading. For example, you can utilize Cedar Yard Guard because it features anti-fungal properties. Just spray it on your snow mold as you did with the hydrogen peroxide.

Preventing snow mold

  • Remove piles of leaves: Piles of leaves favor snow mold development. Have leaves mulched in your lawn by means of a mower.
  • Have your lawn mown before the first snow:There shouldn’t be extra-long grass in your lawn because it’s a breeding ground for this grass disease.
  • Have your lawn dethatched:A thick thatch layer can be a cozy environment for snow mold. If the thatch layer in your lawn exceeds 3⁄4 inch, dethatch in the autumn to prevent this disease from developing in the winter.
  • Apply a fungicide in advance: To successfully prevent this grass disease in the lawn of yours, you can utilize Scotts DiseaseEx Lawn Fungicide in the autumn, after your last mowing and also before the first great snowfall.
  • Be careful with nitrogen:Of course, a fertilizer with nitrogen is good for fast greening. However, the excess amount of nitrogen in the soil, especially late in the season will be favorable for snow mold. You’d better use a slow-release lawn fertilizer dubbed Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food.