While snow mold disease may be annoying, it can kill turf dead under the right conditions. Snow mold prevention usually means hardening your grass off in the fall with the proper lawn products like potassium, sea kelp, and calcium lime. Mowing short helps reduce matting and can help minimize snow mold in home lawns. Don’t shovel your snow into large piles where melting will be slow and create favorable conditions for the disease. However, the fact remains that Gray & Pink snow mold are out there and given the right moisture content and temperature, along with the host being your lawn, things can get ugly- dead ugly. I personally saw a lot of snow mold this past spring, most areas recovered but some did not due to the severity in NH and VT.
Snow mold comes in a range of colors including gray and pink being the most well-known. Spraying for snow mold in a residential setting is not a common practice but may be helpful if your turf has had a few bad years. The infection begins with spores in the thatch layer and old leaves and lawn debris. Removing your leaves and grass debris at the end of the season is a super way to help reduce the source of infection. Aeration can also help reduce snow mold disease as indicated by a report from Purdue University. Many chronic factors such as long grass, debris, piles of leaves and other cultural problems help give rise to snow mold outbreaks. Even under the best conditions, susceptible turf will become infected and if the weather cooperates, damage can occur in small patches to large areas. Newly seeded lawn areas, those that have not gone through a winter are also susceptible to snow mold. Spraying a fungicide can be a helpful measure to reduce snow mold if done in the late fall before snowfall. If your lawn has suffered from snow mold in the past- for more than a few winters- you may wish to explore a preventative measure to help reduce damage visible in the spring such as a fungicide treatment this autumn (Nov-December). Chippers is pleased to offer this kind of treatment for those residing within our service area.