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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Snow Molds on the Lawn: Ways to Identify, Cure and Prevent

When the snow covers your lawn, it looks like having a white blanket over it. But often, we see the snow melt, but in some places, the grass still has snow that is not usual. Basically, that’s not the snow actually; instead, it is a particular lawn disease. And it is widely known as the snow molds on the lawn.

As it appears just after the snow melts, most people don’t take it seriously, thinking it is the left snow. But if you don’t treat your lawn timely to get rid of the diseases, it can cause severe damage to your lawn. So, identifying it is essential after knowing how to cure it perfectly.

If you have a lawn and have maintained it for a long, you must be familiar with snow molds. But most lawn owners are unaware of the right way to get rid of snow molds from the lawn. That’s why I am now sitting to write this content.

Today, I am planning to disclose everything you need to know about snow mold, including how to cure and prevent it. So, let’s start the discussion with a proper introduction to the snow mold.

What is Snow Mold?


What is Snow MoldSnow Mold is a kind of lawn disease that is very common in the snow belt region. This problem often arises in Spring. You will see patches of discolored grass, either pinkish or brown in color. It sometimes looks like snow and tends.

Snow Mold appears when the snow cover starts to melt and continues to spread as long as the weather remains cool and foggy. However, the discolored spot is noticed when the weather becomes hot and doughty. These spots usually persist the entire summer and into the fall.

Generally, snow molds are of two different types based on how they look. Pink snow mold and Gray snow mold are the types. You can easily differentiate them by the color they possess. And both types of snow molds initially attack the lawn grass between 32 and 45°F.

Causes of Snow Mold on the Lawn


Causes of Snow Mold on the lawnThere are commonly two types of fungus that are responsible for causing circular bare patches in your lawn. These are Pink Snow Mold and Grey Snow Mold, as I told you a few minutes ago. Pink Snow Mold is also known as Fusarium patch, and it looks whitish-pink in color. Likewise, Gray snow mold is known as Typhula blight, and it is a white to grayish-white color.

Here, both molds are accountable for the deadly end of the grass. Moreover, it causes allergies in people as well. The most dangerous one is pink snow mold, which can easily terminate the grass roots and blades. And even if the temperature rises to 60°F, it can stay active and cause destruction. 

Generally, the snow cover is the main reason snow mold appears on your lawn. The snow cover simply puts hindrance the grass from getting sunlight. Also, the fungus was born and spread because of the freezing weather.

Notably, there is still a chance that after the grey snow mold disease, your grass may rise again. However, there is no way that pink snow mold will ever allow the grasses to re-grow.

Generally, cool-season turfgrass is prone to Snow mold disease. The key reason is that the grasses are covered with a snow blanket for a longer time. Some certain grasses are moderately affected, such as Kentucky bluegrass, and grasses like bentgrass are more prehensile to snow mold disease. But fine fescue has more resistance to this disease compared to other grasses.

Signs of Snow Molds on the Lawn


Signs of Snow Molds on the LawnIdentifying snow mold is essential, especially when you want to treat it properly. It would be best if you learned how to identify it so that you can take instant action against it. Some common indications that will tell you if your lawn grasses are already affected or not. And here is how you will understand.

  • When the snow melts during Spring, you will see straw-colored rotund patches ranging from a few inches to distinct feet across.
  • The grasses in these patches will soon start to matted down and become crabby.
  • The patches will turn white if the grass is affected by grey snow mold.
  • Sometimes, the grass might appear with a whitish-pink color which is affected by pink snow mold.
  • You will see the gray snow mold only destroying the grass blades.
  • Pink snow mold usually kills both the crown and roots of grass plants.

So, these are the primary ways you can identify snow molds on your lawn. Once you manage to identify it, you need to take an instant action to get rid of it. To learn about that, you can check out the next section.

How to Get Rid of Snow Molds From the Lawn?


Get Rid of Snow Molds Many people rely on organic treatments to cure their lawn from any type of disease like dry patches on the lawn. Here, snow mold disease is also possible to manage with organic treatment. Check out the following steps to get organically rid of snow mold.

Step 1: First, you need to rake the damaged spots to aerate the grass blades and dry them out. Then you have to let it dry.

Step 2: When the lawn is parched, you have to remove the thatch that exceeds half-inch thick. If the thatch is not too much, you can skip this step.

Step 3: At this point, you have to mow the lawn at least two to three times. Keeping the grass at a more concise length than average is important, and waiting until the mold stops growing. No doubt, short grass height knocks off the humidity that usually gets trapped during the first snowfall. Generally, taller grass retains the moisture more and serves fungal growth.

Step 4: Make sure to bag up the grass clippings to clean the lawn. Also, you have to rake up leaves during the fall season because it will lessen the trepanned moisture. Many lawn users prefer to use nitrogen fertilizer to treat snow mold, but using it during fall must be avoided.

Step 5: Now, you have to spread the existing snow. Remember that piling up snow will only help this disease to grow. Thus, it will not be able to hold the moisture for the fungal growth. To avoid this, you can spread the snow so that it melts in Spring shortly.

Step 6: If your lawn is in a disastrous state, you have to oversee the bare spots, which will positively affect Spring. Make sure not to mow or apply any fertilizer in these spots and wait till the new grass starts to grow.

Sometimes, the lawn infections turn out so acute that applying preventative medicine becomes fundamental. You can use essential insecticides or fungicides before snowfall starts. Late fall means just before the first snow is the most recommended time, and make sure to read all the instructions before using these chemicals on your lawn. Eventually, fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn, and fall fertilizer can also help you get rid of snow mold.

Besides, you can use baking soda, detergents, bleach, tea tree oil, and borax to kill the fungus that causes snow molds. But we are not entirely sure about how they actually work. While using these remedies, you have to mix them with water and spray them on the affected area.

Tips to Prevent Snow Molds


Tips to Prevent Snow MoldsWhen you notice the additional snow falling to the ground, be sure that the snow is actively helping to germinate the mold. The primary condition for removing snow mold is to prevent this disease in the first place as it grows. Here are some points that might help you to protect your lawn.

  • It is essential to mow your lawn before the first snow. Only you need to cut the lawn shorter than the usual form. It helps to trap less moisture. And to avoid the ground damp, you can simply bag up the lawn clippings.
  • Some grass generates more thatch, so it will be wise to dethatch the lawn and keep the layer less than ¾ inch thick.
  • Having proper drainage on your lawn is of utmost importance. Usually, water pools in the lawn help the ground to grow snow mold. To avoid such a disaster, you can fill it up with topsoil.
  • In the case of Cool-season grass, winter dehydrates the grass blades and minimizes the chances of growing snow mold. It is better if you do not put fertilizer on it in the first six weeks of snowfall and let them revive themself in the Spring.
  • Piling up leaves and snow can trap the moisture, and dissolving takes longer than expected.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer is indeed very workable to contain the greenery of your lawn. However, the problem may arise when you apply them late in the season because it will only invite snow mold further. Therefore, you can use slow-release fertilizer such as WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food and Scotts Turf Builder to prevent this disease.
  • Winter is the most crucial time to take care of your Lawn from Snow Mold disease. To prevent this disease, you can simply put Scotts®DiseaseEx™ Lawn Fungicide during Fall. The recommended time is after the last mowing and before the first snowfall.

Remember that prevention is the best way to deal with any lawn disease. So, we suggest not waiting for the snow mold on the lawn and trying the prevention tips so that it won’t appear to irritate you.

FAQ


Q: Does snow mold harm both plants and humans?

A: Yes. Snow mold is a fungal disease, and this kind of fungi can cause Asthma attacks in humans. Also, sneezing, nasal congestion, burning eyes, and coughing are common health problems you may face due to snow mold. 

Q: How does snow mold come into an appearance on grass?

A: You will see circular patches of dull and matted grass blades. It will come to sight as pink or whitish mold. Often, webbing is not there on the place, and only dry brown spots remain on the lawn. It can make your lawn infertile; those patches will not let the grass grow any further.

Q: Is it possible to rake snow mold?

A: Yes. You can rake snow mold, and it is one of the effective methods to deal with this disease. However, you must keep in mind that raking is only allowed during the Spring season. And while raking the molds, you should wear mask and hand gloves.

Q: Which organic element can I use to kill the fungus that causes snow molds?

A: You can use varieties of organic things to use for killing the fungus that causes snow mold. Baking soda, tea tree oil, borax, and detergent are the most common thing you can use in this case. You can also use ammonia, vinegar, and bleach for the same purpose.

Q: Can snow mold affect Domestic animals?

A: In general, Snow mold does not negatively affect domestic animals like dogs. But if your dog is sensitive and has an allergic reaction in its immune system, it will be sensible to put it away from these molds. So, keeping your pets and babies out of direct contact with the snow molds is suggested.

Final Verdict


As you see, snow mold on the lawn is not only dangerous for the lawn grass but also threatening for yourself and your pets. So, you should never allow it to take over your green lawn. Eventually, you should remember that snow mold is one of the most dangerous lawn diseases.

You must learn about some natural ingredients to use to kill the fungus that causes snow molds. We suggest trying out the process we have described as the organic way to get rid of snow molds. It’s because we are not sure about how much those ingredients are effective against snow mold.

However, let us know how you have dealt with this disease if you have it before. Also, share this content with your friends and familiar persons who also face the same lawn diseases. Thank you for your time.

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