Snow mold is a common springtime problem in the Greater Rochester Area and surrounding counties. It is caused by a fungus called Typhula and is actually present on lawns throughout the year. It remains dormant until conditions are just right for activation. These include plenty of moisture and temperatures that are just above freezing. With all the snow we have had this winter, you will most likely find snow mold growing under large snow piles or drifts. So, what is the best – and easiest – way to treat snow mold?
Once the snow melts, take a look around your yard. If areas of your turf are matted and yellow-green, you probably have a snow mold infection. This yellow-green turf eventually turns grayish-white, and a white band often surrounds the infected area. Now that you’ve correctly identified snow mold, you can begin to treat it.
Be patient! Your lawn has to dry out a bit before taking action. Then, start by loosening the matted grass with a basic leaf rake. Try not to dig into the soil. With warmer temperatures and rain showers, the lawn should recover in a few weeks. Your regularly scheduled fertilization treatment will also help the grass bounce back.
Again, be patient! If an improvement is not seen a few weeks after raking and fertilizing, reseeding the infected areas may be necessary. Grab your rake again, and loosen the top ¼ to ½ inch of soil. This will create a good seed bed. Then spread the seed according to the label directions. Water regularly, and within 2 to 4 weeks, the seeds should start to germinate.
Follow these 3 easy steps and your lawn will be healthy in no time. To prevent snow mold from returning next year, mow your lawn regularly this spring, summer, and fall, and be sure to rake your leaves before the snow starts flying!
Photo Credit: Kevin Frank, MSU