Monday, April 7, 2014

Snow Mold -- What is that White Stuff on my Lawn?

What's that white stuff on my lawn?
It's been four months since I last saw my lawn.  I'd nearly forgotten what grass looked like.  When it
finally appeared under the receding glacier that had surrounded the yard, something was awry. I know it's been awhile, but since when is my grass white, gray, or even pink in patches?

Patches may be an understatement.  Wide sweeping arches of crusty goo's more accurate.

I've heard these blotches referred to as "fairy rings. "  It's doubtful that Tinkerbell had her tiny wand in this mess.

Snow mold is the technical and descriptive term for the most recent byproduct of an exceptionally harsh winter.  Huge piles of snow created and retained moisture.  There was no cyclical thaw this past season.  The moist cold created a breeding ground for mold.  Notice some sneezing and scratchiness lately?  That could be early allergies, not a spring cold.

The frost line is deep and consistent.  Moisture can't wick away in the soil nor soaked up by dormant root system. 

Areas where the lawn was cut shorter or compacted were not as susceptible.

Treatment will have to wait.  Hold off on using the blow-dryer.  Warmer temps are predicted and much of the unsightly areas will improve after some sun and few cuts.

For those patches that remain, rake and remove the infected blades.

Antifungal sprays are preventative and not always effective.  They won't fix the problem once the mold takes hold.

Try to avoid infected areas to avoid further damage and dispersion.

To prevent a reoccurrence, trim the lawn  short in the fall and limit any fertilization, if necessary, to late spring.

Better yet, hope for a mild winter next year !

This one was an aberration?  Right?

More Articles of Interest:

When to Plant Pansies and Violas?

Trimming Rhododendrons -- Snap!

Planting Bulbs -- Pay it Forward