Snow Mold

Snow mold. Have you seen it? It’s not cute.

If you have big piles of snow in your yard that melt slowly through the spring, your grass is in danger of getting snow mold.

Snow mold happens when the snow insulates the ground, preventing it from freezing and keeping it wet for a long time, which encourages mold growth. (Like when you go down to your washer to do a load of sheets and discover a load of towels you put in last week and forgot to put in the dryer. Wet and smelly. The cure for this, by the way, is vinegar, but that won’t work on your lawn.)

Snow mold can, in fact, even occur in the absence of any snowfall. As long as the ground is wet and temps are cool, snow mold can grow.

How to Identify It

What does it look like? Well, there are two types ― pink and gray. (We won’t tell you the Latin names ― that won’t help you recognize it or get rid of it.) They both look pretty similar, like dead patches of lawn, except one looks a little pinker and the other a little grayer. It looks not unlike ringworm, which is not really that surprising, since they are both fungi.

The bad news is, once your grass has snow mold, there’s not much you can do to cure it. Commercially sold lawn-care products purporting to treat funguses will do little for this type of blight.

The good news is, it just goes away on its own! But, like a big pimple on your nose, it’s unattractive and you’d rather it be gone sooner than later.

Take Out Your Rake

One thing you can do to hurry it along is rake the areas gently. The goal here is to dry out the area, so you don’t want to attack it to too vigorously, or else you’ll be left with a muddy patch instead of a moldy one.

Snow mold thrives in cool temperatures ― it won’t grow in freezing or hot weather. So once the mercury gets up past 60 degrees in your area, you should see significant improvement in your lawn.

While you wait, find out how to prevent this from happening again next year. We’ll give you some help.

Spread any snow cover out evenly so it melts quicker. An early, heavy snowfall can wreak havoc on your lawn. The ground may not have had a chance to freeze yet, then snow sits on top of your grass perhaps all winter.

Once snow starts to melt, go outside with a shovel and toss snow that you may have piled up next to your sidewalk onto bare patches of lawn to give it a chance to melt faster.

Make sure your grass is short going in to winter. You don’t want to keep your grass too short in the summer ― it should be 2 or 3 inches during hot months ― but if it’s too long in winter, it could get matted when the snow falls, creating ideal conditions for mold growth.

Rake up all your leaves before the snow starts flying. A bed of wet leaves under the snow is the perfect environment for snow mold.

If the snow melts this year to reveal brown patches on your lawn, call Earthworks Landscaping. We can diagnose the problem for you, let you know if it is snow mold, and if it is not we’ll tell you what needs to be done to fix it.