Lawn Care Guide for Spring Back to story
You may have noticed round white, gray or pink fuzzy patches on your lawn early this spring. This is called snow mold. When the conditions are just right, turf grasses develop this disease during the winter and we find it once the snow melts. Patches can be as small as a few inches across or several feet wide. Often the grass appears matted where the snow mold develops. Snow mold doesn’t happen every spring and doesn’t affect every lawn. It thrives during years when it snows early and a lot. It also is more of a problem when our winter hits quickly while the ground is still warm and the grass isn’t fully dormant.
The good news is that snow mold generally doesn’t do much lasting damage. Once the lawn is dry enough to walk on without squashing, snow mold can be simply swept lightly with a broom. Grass that was moldy may be yellow, but it should quickly grow out of it. Snow mold does not warrant any type of chemical treatment. The grass may tend to be thinner where you had snow mold this spring, so as summer progresses, be sure to follow sound lawn care practices that encourage a strong, healthy turf.
Snow mold may indicate other lawn problems that you’d like to address. To minimize snow mold in the future:
• Use low-nitrogen fertilizers in fall.
• If your lawn/soil is compacted, consider having it aerated this fall.
• Keep the lawn mowed until it stops growing in late fall. You may want to mow the grass around 2” tall that last time in fall to minimize matting, but don’t mow any lower or you will expose the crowns to cold damage.
• Follow lawn-care practices that minimize thatch buildup.
• When you shovel the snow during winter, avoid piling it up on turf areas and spread it out as best you can.