Any homeowner who has to look after their lawn can tell you what an uphill battle it can sometimes be. It seems that there is a never ending supply of diseases and afflictions ready to strike down your lawn at a moment’s notice.
From having to constantly clear dead leaves off your lawn all through the fall to making sure you mow it to the correct length all summer, it really seems your work in the yard is never done.
Now that spring is upon us and the winter months are over, you may be wondering what, if any, damage the heavy snowfall and cold weather may have caused your lawn.
While a bit of snowfall won’t usually do any kind of lasting damage, you may be unlucky enough to find you lawn afflicted with the dreaded cold curse: snow mold!
What is snow mold?
Snow mold lawn disease is a fungus that can infect a wide variety of grass types. As the name suggests, snow mold can occur when your lawn has to go through extended periods of snowfall and freezing temperatures.
There are two principal variants of snow mold. Grey snow mold – known as Typhula Blight – and pink snow mold – known as Microdochium Patch.
Each mold type is named after the color webbing the mold shows in infected areas of your lawn.
Snow mold can remain inactive buried in the soil during the summer, only to spring to life and begin to grow and spread once the preferred conditions arrive in winter.
Signs of snow mold
Once spring arrives, if you notice that your lawn has patches of straw colored grass which, on close inspection, appears to be glued together with grey or pink webbing, then your lawn is suffering from snow mold.
Treating snow mold
The first thing to do when you spot snow mold in your garden is to gently rake affected areas. This helps the lawn dry out and encourages growth of unaffected grass.
Mow the lawn very short until you notice the mold has stopped growing. This reduces the amount of moisture it holds making your lawn a more hostile environment for the mold to try and grow in.
Preventing snow mold
It is often said that an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure, and that rings true for dealing with snow mold as well.
Make sure you rake all those leaves in fall. Though it may seem annoying when your lawn becomes covered in leaves on an almost daily basis, this is one of the best ways of preventing trapped moisture in your lawn.
Aerate your lawn at least once a year. You should be doing this anyway to promote healthy lawn growth, but it helps make sure that moisture can be absorbed into the soil underneath your lawn.
During the winter months, after heavy snowfall, be sure to spread snow out into thin piles across your lawn as this encourages it to melt quickly.