Snow mold is a danger in late winter and early spring. With these few simple spring lawn care tips, your turf will spring back, green and lush. The key thing is to get out there now, and help your grass recover from the winter snow.
Start Now Even Though You Still Have Snow
Drifts of snow that compact your lawn are the worst thing for your grass. These spores thrive at just above freezing temperatures in the moistness under the snow. So, as the warm weather arrives, start shoveling down those big drifts to even out the layer of snow on your yard, and you can prevent the mold from ever appearing.
Tip: On sunny days, an asphalt driveway will get quite warm, and any snow thrown on it will quickly melt away.
Is It Pink Or Gray Snow Mold?
Spring lawn care and treatment is easier if you can tell which type of mold you have: pink or gray. They both look like candy floss or a spider web. The pink kind looks salmon-pink to white in color, and gray ranges from dirty white to gray. The biggest difference between the two is that the gray type only affects the blades of grass, whereas the pink can invade the crown and roots and may require digging up the roots to get rid of it.
The Next Step After The Snow Is Gone
Getting rid of the drifts was the first step, so the air and sun have a chance to dry up the snow mold. The next thing to do is to rake. This is not just to ‘fluff’ the turf up; you also want to get the thatch layer down to a half inch.
Thatch removal should be part of your spring lawn care every year, but with mold it’s truly crucial. You can also use a de-thatching liquid to help and cut down the heavy raking labor.
What Is Thatch? Thatch is a brown layer of dead turf material between the soil and the blades of grass.
Air Is The Enemy Of Fungus
Remember, with Pink Snow Mold it also attacks down the crown and into the roots. So, getting more air to the roots is a great way to combat it. Aerating the soil should always be a spring lawn care task, too, and you can either hire a pro to use an aerating machine, or use a liquid aerator and do it on your own time.
Fertilizer Know-How: Too much nitrogen is a leading cause of mold in spring; it’s well worth your time to have your soil tested.
Remove any and all damaged grass, and dispose of it. Do not add it to your compost or lawn. If you’ve had to dig down to remove damaged roots, add fresh topsoil and lawn seed to replenish once you’re sure the snow mold is gone.
Mow your lawn short to give even more air circulation. If you do any watering of your turf, do it in the morning so the blades have time to dry in the sun. If after trying all these steps, you still have snow mold, you will have to use a fungicide in late fall or early winter. The good news is the odds are very good that you won’t have to resort to a fungicide.
Now is the time to spring into action with spring lawn care that will keep your turf happy, healthy, lush and green. Shovel down the snow piles to prevent mold from gaining a foothold. Rake to remove debris, as well as raking to remove thatch, or use a liquid dethatcher. Give the roots air by hiring a pro to use an aerating machine, or by using a liquid aerator. Remove the damaged turf, remembering to get the roots if they are infected. In the unlikely case that you still have trouble after that, use a fungicide for snow mold to finish the job come fall.
Did You Know? Raking, removing thatch, and aerating are all spring lawn care tasks that should be done every year, whether you see mold or not!