Go look out a window, how do you feel?
March and early April provides a most distasteful view of a seemingly dead landscape highlighted with brown turf, leafless trees, plow damage, and randomly scattered debris. Speaking of yuck, what are those pink blotches or patches in your lawn? As the pictures below illustrate, you have snow mold! No, I’m not making this up; snow mold is really a disease and comes in many colors with varying degrees of damage. But wait, there is more? What do you see now?
Tunnels on the surface of your lawn with random grass piles means mice were feeding and most satisfied with your grass. This is not mole activity, but past mice activity- like a buffet of turf- these mice are dining on your landscape! If that is the extent of mice damage, consider yourself fortunate because they love small trees and shrubs- often causing girdling and subsequent slow death.
What can you do? Lightly rake up the snow mold- give your injured lawn some fresh air and allow the air to reach the growing points to encourage new growth. The sooner your lawn begins to break winter dormancy, the better. While snow mold may thin, stunt, damage, or even kill sections of your lawn- never give up hope. Sunny April days can do wonders to assist in recovery. Don’t apply pre-emergent crabgrass controls or broadleaf weed controls- these products will only stunt, thin, and impede recovery due to their chemical properties according to the label- and the label is the law!
You should apply a granular, slow release fertilizer or some other non-chemical product to help supply your lawn with some energy to jump start growth and begin the recovery process. Some snow mold recovery can last into late May depending upon the severity and weather conditions. If the damage is significant, aeration and overseeding may be warranted in May or June.
Turf care is like watching the stock market, it goes up and down. Key rules dictate doing as many positive actions to gain an edge as possible, knowing that bad things follow like drought or high heat.
Leave me a comment or question- I am here to help. Knowledge is the key to a super lawn and overcoming the abuse of winter.