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Dealing with Snow Mold

Why is snow mold a problem in spring? After being covered by snow for an extended period the lawn can be matted and in need of some air and sunshine. The lawn is the host and the disease we call snow mold was present waiting for conditions to be ripe. You see even though we as people are dealing in winter with frigid winds and cold….under the snow which serves as insulation the turf is in a wet humid dark environment with temperatures around or just above freezing….ideal conditions for snow mold. Especially if you are a person who puts their lawn mower away based on a calendar last fall as opposed to putting it away with a good short cut when it stops growing. The turf continued to grow and could not photosynthesize due to dark conditions. At that point the dormant snow mold had the “perfect storm” conditions to develop under the snow and persist until the snow finally clears in early spring. In most cases a leaf raking with some sunlight and air will allow the lawn to recover. In serious cases where there is crown damage there may be dead grass where turf areas need to be re-seeded. It is a good reminder too that if you have a clay based soil lawn, that fall aeration is a good idea. It is also interesting to note that the fungus under the cover of snow produces a gas that can be toxic to turf leaves. The good news is in most cases a light raking with a leaf rake allowing light and air into the turf will eventual fix the problem and the lawn will grow out of it. Feeding by picking up a Flowerland 4-step lawn plan and some over seeding when the soil get’s warm enough in April (soil temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees) will also make the difference in recovery for a great lawn in 2021! 

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