In order to have a healthy lawn in spring, it is important to take some protective measures during winter. The ideal situation is that the lawn had proper aeration, fertilization, as well as thatch, leaves, and debris removed during autumn so that the lawn was properly prepared for the winter season. Fallen leaves that remain on the lawn present a potential problem in helping the growth of snow mold.
There are two types of snow molds, which grow on lawns during winter. They are easily distinguished from each other by their color. One is grey and the other is pink. It is possible to have both types of mold growing on the lawn at the same time.
The grey snow mold is Typhula blight. It is not as strong as the pink variety and usually only affects the top leaves of the grass. The pink snow mold is Fusarium patch. It can affect the entire lawn, even down to the roots of the grass. Once the temperature gets up to about 45°F, grey snow mold will start to disappear, but the pink continues to grow up to temperatures around 60°F.
Prevention and Treatment
When left unchecked, snow mold can attack the entire yard. It starts with discoloration of certain areas and then spreads. Removing fallen leaves is important because the dead leaves create an area where the mold likes to grow. If there is a break between snowfall during which the ground is uncovered, that is a good time to rake up any leftover leaves.
Once the lawn is uncovered, the first step is to use a rake to clear any areas with snow mold to help dry out the bad spots. The second step is to treat the affected areas with the proper fungicide according to the type of snow mold that is growing. Then when the weather is warm enough, re-seed the bad spots to ensure the lawn grows back and is healthy once again.
Other Winter Tips
Pruning trees during winter when weather permits is a good time of year to do this. Also, the best time to maintain lawn care equipment is to take it in for an annual checkup during the winter season when it is not in use. Ready to bring in equipment for maintenance? Check out this list of services at Ralph Helm. Click here to claim $5 off any $15 or greater purchase to help ease the cost of your winter lawn maintenance needs.