Here in Connecticut, our winters are anything but easy on our grass. In the spring, when the snow finally starts to melt, it’s not uncommon to find something growing beneath. Snow mold is a common late winter and early spring lawn problem here in Connecticut. Fortunately for us, it’s easy to identify and pretty easy to prevent as well. Here are a few tips to identify and prevent snow mold in your Connecticut lawn.
How To Identify Snow Mold
Early snow mold identification is easy and essential to protecting your lawn from further damage. Snow mold is a fungus that grows beneath the snow, during the winter. Because it’s a fungus, snow mold loves to find excess thatch and wet, matted grass under the snow. It isn’t visible to us until the snow melts away. The important thing to remember is that there are two different types of snow mold and they pose very different levels of threat to our grass.
Gray Snow Mold (Typhula Blight)
Gray snow mold is the less-destructive type of snow mold. It is identified by the irregular shaped patches of soaked, matted grass, covered in a web-like gray or white fungus. These patches are 6-12 inches in diameter with a thin ring of gray, fuzzy mycelium around the border. The good news is that gray snow mold only affects the blades of grass, leaving the important crown and roots alone.
Pink Snow Mold (Fusarium Patch)
Pink snow mold is not so kind to the grass. This vicious fungus is famous for attacking grass roots and the crown, resulting in winter kill. Pink snow mold looks similar to gray snow mold in that it produces irregularly shaped patches of white, red, pink, or copper-colored grass. The patches of pink mold are between 1-8 inches in diameter and bordered by a ring of fuzzy, pink mycelium. Pink snow mold doesn’t need snow to grow in the lawn, it only needs cool weather and lots of excess moisture.
How to Prevent Snow Mold
The best way to take care of snow mold is to avoid it completely. Preventing snow mold should be on your mind throughout the year, but especially in the fall. Winter lawn preparation is essential to preventing snow mold from developing in your Connecticut lawn. If your lawn goes into the winter as healthy as it can possibly be, then the chances of developing snow mold will be far less.
Year-Round Lawn Care
The first way to prevent snow mold is with a solid lawn care plan throughout the year. Making sure your lawn gets everything it needs in the spring, summer, and fall helps the lawn better combat the trials of winter. Proper lawn care includes consistent fertilization, unrelenting weed control, tough pest control, and vigilant disease monitoring. Keeping your lawn free of stress all year is the best way to boost the health and immune system of your Connecticut lawn.
Fall Lawn Maintenance
The most important time to prevent snow mold is in the fall. Winterizing your lawn helps protect it from the stresses of winter. First, remove all the leaves and lawn debris. Keep your lawn clear so there are fewer places for snow mold to form. Next, aerate your lawn. This improves drainage in your lawn, reducing the threat of excess water. Aeration also helps break up excess thatch at the base of your grass, a common hot spot of snow mold. Finally, continue to mow your lawn in the fall. You shouldn’t stop mowing your lawn until the first frost or until the grass stops growing. Longer grass becomes soaked and matted under the snow, the perfect environment for the opportunistic snow mold.
Controlling the Damage
If you find snow mold in your lawn this spring, you can definitely help your lawn bounce back and kick the mold to the curb. It’s absolutely essential to help the affected areas dry out. Use a rake on the snow mold to help break it up and aerate the affected grass. This boosts airflow through the grass and aids in quick drying. Refrain from irrigating these affected areas or do so in the early morning to allow the area to dry out before the end of the day. Make sure to wash all the tools that you use on the snow mold as these can spread the mold to other parts of the lawn.
Naturally Green Lawn Care Can Help Identify and Prevent Snow Mold in Your Lawn
Snow mold is not something you want to find lurking under the snow. Luckily, with help from the experts at Naturally Green Lawn Care, we can identify and prevent snow mold from forming in your lawn. With a consistent lawn care program and aeration services, we can set your lawn up to succeed in the winter.
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