Gray Snow Mold in a lawn in Idaho Falls 3/12/2013
With the warmer weather this past week (Only in Idaho does warmer mean temperatures above 40 degrees) the snow has been receding rather rapidly. But with snow lingering as long as it has into what should be spring, the chance for snow mold in our lawns increases. This is a picture I took of the lawn alongside my driveway this morning.
Snow mold is a fungus disease that damages or kills grass as the snow melts. There are two types of Snow mold, pink and gray. Luckily the most common type of snowmold in east Idaho is the gray (Typhula blight). It is less damaging than pink because it typically only affects the leaves of the grass and doesn’t kill the crown.
Pink Snow Mold on golf course
Pink snow mold is a more severe form, and often kills the roots and crowns of the grass, causing more widespread and lasting damage than gray snow mold. (‘Pink snow mold’ is the term used when this disease occurs with snow melt, while ‘fusarium patch’ is used for the disease in the absence of snow.) Pink snow mold is more common in bentgrass (golf greens) than it is in bluegrass.
Regular lawn care like mowing and raking of leaves is usually all that is needed to prevent damage from snow mold, but the use of chemicals may sometimes be necessary, especially on golf greens. Since the spores of both gray and pink snow mold can lie dormant but viable through the summer, the best way to prevent infestations is to apply a suitable fungicide like Fertilome F-Stop just prior to the first big snowfall of winter.
But for now, just get our there and rake through your grass as the snow recedes and the snowmold is not likely to cause a lot of damage.