All About Snow Mold

Winter is upon us and with it comes cold weather, sleet, and snow.  That sparkly blanket of snow that covers your yard could be hiding an unwelcome guest on your lawn – snow mold on grass. But you won’t know until the snow melts and the weather begins to warm up in the spring.  In this article, Summit Turf Services is here to talk about the cause of snow rot or snow mold on grass, precautions to take to prevent snow mold on grass, and how to treat it if your yard is infected.

What is Snow Mold?

Snow mold, also known as snow rot is a fungus that can damage or kill your grass after the snow has melted late in the winter.  There are two different species of snow mold and are identified by color: gray and pink. Snow mold on grass can affect all types of grass. However, fescue and bluegrass are the least affected by this turf disease.  

What is the Cause of Snow Mold?

Snow mold usually occurs in the presence of heavy snowfall before the ground is frozen.  The weight of the snow on top of the grass, and leaves not cleaned up, can wreak havoc in the form of snow mold on grass.    

What Are the Signs of Snow Mold?

Once the snow melts away if you see discolored patches of grass that are the color of straw you may have snow mold.  Generally, the patches will be circular and will range in size from a couple of inches to a couple of feet in diameter.  The diseased patches will be noticeably matted and crunchy. If the spots have a whitish-gray appearance the variety is gray mold and if you notice a whitish-pink appearance the variety is pink snow mold.  While both types of snow mold on grass are harmful, gray mold usually impacts just the blades of grass whereas pink mold can kill the crown of the grass and the roots.

prevention and treatment of snow mold on grass

How Do I Treat Snow Mold?

Snow mold can be an unsightly nuisance, especially if it keeps recurring.  The best treatment is prevention. Preventive measures require that you proactively do the activities that will keep the snow mold on grass at bay. It is good to understand the conditions that cause the development of snow mold so that you can prevent its occurrence.  Unfortunately, there are not any fungicide treatments that will kill snow mold in the spring. However, if you have recurring issues of snow mold on grass in the spring, consider using a preventative lawn fungicide in the fall.  It’s best to apply the preventative fungicide after your last mowing and before the occurrence of the first heavy snowfall. If you prefer to use natural products on your grass, try kelp and humic acid. Kelp and humic acid are bio-stimulants that contain micronutrients and provide a healthy boost to your lawn.  

If you find that you have snow mold, we suggest that you rake the areas that are impacted to loosen up the grass allowing it to dry out and provide new grass the room it needs to grow.  Also, we suggest that you reseed the damaged areas of your grass. Never forget – call Summit Turf Services for any questions or concerns regarding lawn care. We are here to help keep your lawn in the best shape, year-round!

snow mold on grass prevention and treatment

How Do I Prevent Snow Mold?

Prevention of snow mold is not foolproof however there are several steps you can take to prepare your yard for the winter.  

  1. Mowing your lawn is crucial to keep it healthy.  Continue to mow your lawn, regardless of the time of year if it continues to grow.  Once the snow starts to fall, if your grass is too long it will hold too much moisture can increase the chances of developing snow mold on grass.
  2. Keep your lawn clean and tidy.  Make sure to clean up any leaves or lawn debris in the fall months while the leaves are falling from the trees.  Leaves and debris left on your lawn can trap excess moisture which is troublesome in the winter months.  
  3. Dethatching in the fall can be one of the best ways to prevent snow mold on grass.  This helps to improve the circulation of the grass. If left, thick thatch will surely become a breeding ground for developing snow mold.  
  4. Fertilize your lawn in the early Fall.  Late season fertilizing doesn’t do your lawn any good because the unabsorbed nutrients end up being covered by the snow. If the ground is still warm, the nutrients create the environment for the mold to thrive. 
  5. Remove snow that is piling up.  Snow mold thrives under the snow.  Whenever possible, remove excess snow.  When shoveling sidewalks and driveways, make sure that you are not creating deep piles of snow on your lawn.  If you can, spread the snow out so that it can melt as quickly as possible.  
how to prevent snow mold on grasssnow mold on grass prevention and treatment

Keeping a healthy lawn takes preparation, time and patience.  We hope you enjoyed reading about snow mold and hope that the information provided was informative.  At Summit Turf Services we love helping our customers get and keep a beautiful lush lawn.  It’s our passion! If you need help, we are only a phone call away!