Posted on February 18th, 2020
Snow mold is a common spring problem here in Massachusetts. It could be growing under the snow right now, spreading through your wet, matted grass and excess thatch. When the snow finally melts this spring, you could be looking at quite an ugly mess. Here are a few tips on snow mold control so you can identify and prevent snow mold in your Massachusetts lawn.
The first key to snow mold control is understanding what it is and how to spot it. Knowing the signs and symptoms of this cold weather fungus helps you act fast to prevent too much damage. Snow mold starts growing in the matted grass under the snow. The patches can be enormous under snow cover but will shrink down when the snow melts.
Snow mold is more prevalent in lawns that have longer grass when the first snow of the year arrives. The longer the snow remains on the grass, the more established it becomes. If you have snow piling up next to your driveway or sidewalks, then those will be the hardest-hit areas. The most important thing to know about snow mold is that there are two types and they’re very different from each other.
Gray snow mold is definitely the lesser of the two evils. This fungus appears as large patches of gray or straw-colored grass in the early spring. The patches are between 6 – 12 inches in diameter and have a ring of gray mycelium around the border. Gray snow mold is better to find because it doesn’t affect the crown or roots of your grass, meaning the affected areas will survive and make a comeback.
Pink snow mold is the other type of snow mold and it should not be taken lightly. This fungus aggressively attacks the roots and crown of your grass, causing incredible damage and plant death. As the snow melts, be on the lookout for irregularly shaped patches of red, brown, or copper-colored grass. These patches are between 1 – 8 inches in diameter and have a border of pink mycelium. Pink snow mold damages your lawn and weakens its overall immune system, making it more vulnerable to other diseases, lawn-damaging pests, and persistent weeds.
The most important part of snow mold control is prevention. Being able to prevent snow mold from ever developing in your lawn sets your lawn up for a successful year. Having a solid foundation of health at the beginning of the year allows your lawn to get healthy quickly and stay vibrant and beautiful all year long.
The best way to prevent snow mold from infecting your Massachusetts lawn is with proper lawn care. Lawn care comes down to fertilization, weed control, and pest monitoring. Giving your lawn everything it needs throughout the year while protecting it from weeds and pests allows it to go into winter dormancy as healthy as possible. A healthy lawn is resilient and tends to stay healthy.
Proper lawn care includes proper lawn maintenance. Maintain your lawn throughout the year with proper irrigation, proper mowing, and an aeration service once per year. The simple tasks of keeping your lawn hydrated and mowing it once per week keep your lawn lush and healthy all year. By the time fall comes around, you’ll need to aerate your lawn. This relieves the lawn and breaks up thatch. Ultimately, aeration helps with airflow throughout your lawn. Better airflow means less trapped moisture and less of an opportunity for fungus to grow.
It’s essential to go into the winter with a healthy and maintained lawn. Rake or mulch the leaves and remove all lawn debris before the first snow or frost. Make sure you continue mowing the lawn until the grass stops growing. Shorter grass won’t become as matted as longer grass, thus eliminating an essential ingredient for a snow mold infestation.
Finding snow mold isn’t the end of the world. You can help get rid of the mold by raking the affected areas. This breaks up matted grass and excess thatch, allowing better airflow and allowing the grass to dry off. With gray snow mold, this is all you’ll need to do. With pink snow mold, you may need to rely on fungicide.
Nobody wants to find snow mold, or any lawn disease, on their lawn when the snow finally melts. Keep your grass safe and healthy all year with a lawn care plan from the experts at Turf Unlimited. When combined with our aeration services, your lawn will be healthier than ever.
Let’s get started keeping your lawn safe, call us at (888) 649-9919. You can also contact us here for more information. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can get the latest deals and check out our blog for some helpful lawn care tips.