Heavy snow plus slow melting contribute to lawn mold. The mold is a fungal disease that appears as the snow disappears. It looks like matted, dead turf. Mold forms a grayish-brown patch. This gray-snow mold affects only the grass blades. Its stronger cousin, the less-common pink mold, infects the crown of the grass, causing severe injury and possibly killing it.
Heavy snow still is affecting us. Look at your yard. It’s probably suffering snow mold. I see it all over our neighborhood. It’s the price for tending a nice lawn.
Conditions a month ago were perfect for mold. Heavy snow plus slow melting contribute to it.
The mold is a fungal disease that appears as the snow disappears. It looks like matted, dead turf. Don’t assume that it’s dead.
Mold forms a grayish-brown patch. This gray-snow mold affects only the grass blades. Its stronger cousin, the less-common pink mold, infects the crown of the grass, causing severe injury and possibly killing it.
Look for circular patches of seemingly dead grass. They can be a foot or less or in a large area.
Pink mold spreads a cobweb-looking mold onto the turf. It is white at first, then a reddish-brown color. The color is pinkish around the edges of the splotches.
Gray mold remains a whitish gray on the turf. Look closely to find tiny black particles or spots on the blades.
The mold attacks yards that were lush when the season ended last year. The better your yard, the better your chance of snow mold.
Moldy mess can be heartbreaking to yard fans. Don’t rush out and tear it up or fumigate it with chemicals. Most molds are temporary and disappear with the new grass growth. A light raking is all it needs.
Heavy outbreaks may need seeding or top dressings of soil and seed. Repair spots like you would a bare patch by raking. Wait to do this to make sure the turf will not recover on its own.
Recovery time in most cases is as long as it takes your turf to wake up and begin growing.
The time to think about snow mold is the late fall. Fertilizing late causes a very lush soil going into winter, perfect for molding. Cut back on the nitrogen if you fertilize in fall. Don’t use spring fertilizer in fall.
Mow your yard until it stops growing. That last cut is important, as snow mold needs longer blades to grow and spread.
Be sure to clean up your leaves in the fall. Leaves left on grass promote snow mold.
If your yard is heavily thatched, two inches or more deep, that can cause mold. Dethatching it with a thatch rake or rented machine will help.
Remember, your grass is your most resilient plant. It survives flood and drought, weeds and pestilence. It probably will take snow mold in stride and push it out with new, spring grass.
Jim Hillibish writes for The Repository in Canton, Ohio. Contact him at email@example.com.