It may not seem like it, but spring is officially here! We have only just begun to see the grass peak out of the snow we’ve been buried in since late January. After this unrelenting winter, you may begin to notice dead patches, grey or pink in color, on your lawn as the snow slowly melts. What you are seeing is snow mold.
What is snow mold?
Snow mold is a type of fungus that surfaces in the early spring. Like all molds, it needs moisture to survive. Remember all of those leaves left on the ground late in the fall? Well, they have been trapped beneath a blanket of snow since January. This means the leaves have been covering the grass which maintains the perfect level of moisture for snow mold to thrive. Snow mold is also caused when snow falls and remains on the ground for an extended period of time before the ground has frozen completely.
Types of snow mold:
The two types of snow mold that can be infecting your lawn are gray and pink snow mold.
Gray snow mold is the far less damaging type. It’s damage only seems greater because of it’s size and appearance. Typically, only the blades of the grass are what is being affected by the mold. Gray snow mold has a white or gray appearance that forms a circular patch that varies in size from about 6″ to 12″ in diameter. Click here for Ortho’s way to help identify gray snow mold.
On the other hand, pink snow mold causes more destruction to your grass. It’s damage reaches all the way down to the roots of the grass blades. It’s identifying factor is a pink ring of growth that can be seen around the outside edge of the patch. Click here for Scott’s way to help identify pink snow mold.
Getting rid of snow mold:
Once snow mold is discovered, your best option is to wait it out. Having ugly dead spots on your lawn is not ideal, but time will do it justice. In order to remove it, all of the snow must be melted and the lawn has to be dry. You know what they say, “April showers bring May flowers.” It may seem like a long time to wait, but it will help your lawn to be beautiful and green once again. When your lawn has dried out, begin by raking the infected areas to remove all of the dead grass. Be sure to avoid raking the mold infested areas to any healthy parts of your lawn. You must then dispose the infected grass into a trash bag.
Gardener’s Tip: If you compost this infected grass, it will begin the regrowth cycle of the snow mold. Also, be sure to give your rake a good washing before you use it anywhere else on your lawn.
We believe that waiting is your best option. With that being said you can also use a fungicide like Scotts Lawn Fungus Control to help make your lawn healthy and green again! Follow the directions on the bag for application. A spreader will also be helpful for coverage of a larger infected area.
Don’t give up! You may seem a little defeated now, but if you follow these simple steps, you will have your lawn back to normal in no time.