Most of Columbus & Cleveland experienced some snow over the past month. Yes, remember the little white stuff that usually falls from the sky during the winter months? It seems like an eternity (for some) since we last had real snow cover in Ohio. Most people don’t think about their lawns at this time of the year, but there are some areas for concern.
What is Pink Snow Mold?
There is a disease known in the turf world as Pink Snow Mold. This disease is often noticeable on golf courses in the latter months of winter or early spring. The disease itself can be found in most areas, but just like other diseases requires specific circumstances to become active.
Pink snow mold on home lawns often looks matty, and kind of crusty. The disease becomes active when soils are unfrozen, and snow cover is present. The snow acts as an insulation barrier that coupled with the moisture, and lush grass, can give rise to the disease.
Columbus Lawn Care Tips: How To Prevent Snow Mold
Just like most diseases the best defense is a good offense. Cultural practices of making that last mow a bit shorter in late fall, and fertilizing properly will keep keep this disease at bay. The disease loves long, lush turf, along with the snow cover. Although we can’t always dictate what mother nature is going to do, we can mow and fertilize at the right times to help deter the pink snow mold. Fungicide applications on home lawns for this disease are not usually recommended.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Snow Mold?
If you do happen to find yourself with some areas that are kind of crusty and you think it may be pink snow mold, the best solution is to use a rake and try to increase airflow in those areas. Aerating also helps to improve air flow. If possible keep snow from accumulating in these areas, as well as remembering to mow next fall and fertilize properly.
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Guest Author: Andrew Muntz received his Master’s of Science in Turfgrass science and his Bachelors of Science in Landscape Horticulture at The Ohio State University, Columbus OH.