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Do My Own Lawn Care - How to Get Rid of Snow Mold

By DoMyOwn staff

Snow mold is a fungal disease that starts to show its ugly self in spring time, after all the snow has melted away. In this video, we go over what to look for and how to prevent snow mold.

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Video Transcript

And that right there is what remains of what little snow that we will get for the winter.

Not only in the driveway but a little bit on this side and some in my back yard here, but really this is all that remains.

I know it's not a lot, one to two. maybe three inches of snow here and there in Georgia, but we don't really get this that often. So, we don't really know what to do other than run to the store and get a whole bunch of milk and bread, and lock ourselves away in the house. It's just what we do!

But it did get me thinking about all of you folks up North who just get hammered with this stuff and causes a problem in your yards. What is that problem I'm talking about? Snow mold.

So, what exactly is snow mold, now most of you up North are probably already really familiar with this, but for those who are not, it's a cold weather fungi that really only affects cool season grasses.

The biggest problem with snow mold is you most likely will not see signs of it until the snow melts when Spring weather is rolling in. Now, don't get me wrong! Huge blankets of snow like this is beautiful to look at and play in if that's your thing. But you might change your mind when you see what kind of damage it can cause to your lawn.

If you get a deep heavy snow fall before the ground has even frozen, snow mold can be a very big problem for you. The weight that snow throws down on top of your turf and fragile grass plants, as well as leaf piles that have kind of pilled up through out your yard, and other yard debris, are all contributing factors to snow mold.

And there are two types of snow mold that you're going to be dealing with. You've got pink and gray snow mold. And like I mentioned before, signs of both pink and gray snow mold are really going to be noticeable when Spring air rolls through and melts all of that snow away!

And when the snow finally does start to melt, you'll start to notice these straw like circular patches, either a few inches or several feet across, start to show up in and around your yard. If it's caused by a gray snow mold, those circular patches are going to be grayish-white kind of color. And if it's a pink snow mold, those circular patches are going to kind of pinkish-white.

And pink snow mold can be the more severe of the two because it can kill the crown and the root system of your grass. Gray snow mold really only affects the grass blades themselves.

My Bermuda is not happy with this stuff, one little bit.

Now let's talk about how to get rid of snow mold in the yard, and really there's only one way to tackle this problem, and that's to prevent it in the first place.

Once all the snow's melted and gone away from the Spring, there's not really a fungicide that you can put down in your lawn to tackle the snow mold problem. But, none the less, if you do have the problem in your lawn, all you got to do is gently rake out those affected areas to loosen up that matted down grass.

What that's going to do, is allow for the lawn to dry out and that UN-effected grass, it will give it room to grow.

So instead of treating for it, let's talk about how you can prevent snow mold setting into the lawn in the first place. So first things first, if you have extra long grass, you want to mow it down before the first expected snow fall. Your last cut of the growing season, you want to make it about one to one and a half inches shorter than normal, but just be careful, you don't want to scalp it down. Just cut it about an inch, inch and a half shorter than you normally would.

And we've touched on this before in some of our fall lawn care videos, don't let your leaves pile up around the yard. Another great kick starter for snow mold is large piles of leaves, just decaying and rotting, sitting on top of your turf. Bag them up, and toss them out!

And another topic that we've covered in this lawn series, dethatching your lawn. If that thatch layer is greater than three quarters of an inch thick, you need to dethatch in the fall time and get rid of it before that snow mold can form in the winter.

Another great tip for preventing snow mold, go easy on the Nitrogen when your fertilizing. Now fertilizers that readily have nitrogen available in them are great for greening up the grass, but you have to be careful and not apply it too late in the season. But if you do want to put down a fertilizer that has readily available nitrogen in it, just make sure to choose one that's slow release.

Now let's talk about preventative fungicide applications, and we've already made a video on this, you can click that little "i" icon at the top of the screen or click the link in the description box below, and you can hop over and watch that video, where we go more in depth in it. But let's touch on it in this video.

Snow mold is really dependent upon winter weather and if you've noticed it in the past and it's been an annual nuisance for you, if you put down a preventative application of fungicides in the fall, you reduce the risk come winter time. So, when you've done your last cut for the growing season, that's when you should put down your preventative application of fungicide, especially before the first expected snow fall.

And lastly, just like your leaf piles, you don't want your snow to pile. Underneath those large piles of snow, that's where snow mold is really going to start to develop. So while your shoveling your driveway and side walks with a huge ole smile on your face from all the fun your having, remember not to pile it up too high. Big piles of snow like that, take awhile to melt, once again, inviting some snow mold problems.

Having done all of that, doing the best that you can to prevent it from setting into your yard, if you still get those dead decaying patches, you might have to do a little bit of repair work to make it bounce back. If that's the case, if that's the problem you've got on your hands, once the weather gets good enough, you might have to use some form of mulch, new grass seed and fertilizer to get those areas to bounce back. But fear not! With a little bit of work, some patience and time, you can do it!

So I hope you find that helpful. This was mainly for all you folks who live up north who really got to deal with this snow mold problem. If I left anything out of this video, if you have any other further questions, leave those in the comments section below, email them over to our customer service staff, or pick up the phone, give us a call, we would love to help you out!

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