Having been one of the snowiest winters in history, Idaho lawns will have some rare issues to deal with this spring. In this article, I’d like to address Snow Mold. This fungus presents unique problems for the lawn that are difficult to treat, however, very easy to prevent.
What is Snow Mold?
Snow Mold occurs when the soil temperatures rise above freezing and there is still a lot of snow and ice sitting on top of the lawn. This creates a unique situation where the soil and grass begin to grow and do its normal “spring” stuff. However, the ice above it melts slowly and will cause molding and decomposition. Once the snow finally melts completely off the lawn, there will be large patches of dead grass. Sometimes you may even see the mold growing throughout the dead grass as white or pinkish strands.
Treatment and Prevention
Unlike other lawn diseases, Snow Mold is not infectious. It is a product of the conditions in the lawn i.e. unfrozen soil and excess snow and ice. This makes chemical controls difficult. The key to stopping Snow Mold is reducing the amount of snow and ice sitting on top of the lawn. Snow Mold will most often appear around the edges of your lawn. Mainly from under the piles of snow you have shoveled off your sidewalks and driveways. Those areas are more susceptible because the middle of the lawn will melt faster, and the soil underneath will begin to warm up. It is at that time you have a great chance to prevent Snow Mold from damaging the lawn. As the snow begins to melt, use a shovel to begin breaking up the larger piles of snow. Spreading out the piles, will speed up the thaw overall and prevent the conditions favorable to Snow Mold.
Like you, I live in the real world and understand that sometimes life just gets in the way of our best intentions. If you aren’t able to get to this, you may end up with some dead areas that will need to be fixed in the spring. Zamzows has a number of solutions to help your lawn recover. The first step will be to remove any dead material. This will physically remove any of the growing molds. It is very likely you will need to reseed these areas. After sowing Zamzows lawn Seed top dress with some planting soil. Applying Zamzows Thrive (@1cup/gallon) will kick start the soil and help your seed come in faster and stronger.