After the snow melts, you may find that your lawn is riddled with circles or patches of dead-looking grass. It will look gray, tan, white or even pink. While it could be that the grass is dead because of the extreme winter conditions, you likely have one of two kinds of snow molds: gray or pink. These diseases are related to the length of time your turf is snow covered (usually three or more months). A heavier thatch layer also promotes snow mold.
Some grasses are more susceptible to snow mold, but all grass types can get it. Both of these diseases will appear as circular dead patches, often 3-12 inches in diameter. Sometimes it is so severe that the patches all join together and cover most of the lawn. Upon closer inspection, you would see fuzzy webbing or strands (mycelium) on top of the grass blades or at the very edges of the damaged spots. Gray snow mold damage is less severe than pink snow mold. The damage is primarily to the leaf blades of the grass only.
Once lawns start to green up in the spring, further damage to the lawn usually ceases. The mycelium will quickly dry out and be hard to find.
When temperatures reach 45 degrees and above, the lawn will usually recover if it’s healthy and deeply rooted. Pink snow mold remains active much longer than gray. It can continue to grow until temperatures reach the low-60s. You will find pink/salmon-colored mycelium at the outer edges. You can see this easily in the morning when there is dew on the ground. Pink snow mold damages the blades as well as the crowns of the grass.
To help alleviate damage, we at Garpiel Group recommend aeration or lightly raking up the affected area to improve sunlight and air flow to the soil. However, you should hold off on aeration until the disease has subsided, and don’t transfer your rake from the affected area without cleaning it before you continue to rake your lawn. This disease can spread very easily throughout your turf, and heavily damaged areas may not recover.
Garpiel Group has the knowledge and experience to help your lawn recover from snow mold. Call us at (989) 797-4749 today.