When the last frost has passed, garden owners often notice small, brown spots in the lawn. If the blades are also covered in a film of slime, it is most likely so-called snow mold or typhula blight. In the fall and spring, grass plants are naturally susceptible to disease. Prevent the dreaded snow mold with our tips.
How to prevent snow mold?
Snow mold, or Typhula rot, leaves behind brown and patchy areas of cottony, grayish-white to pinkish mycelium after a winter. This refers to the entirety of the filamentous cells of a fungus. In agriculture, this damage to crop stands is also known as winterkill.
Avoid snow mold – no treading on lawns!
You can prevent the spread of these fungal diseases. Tread on your lawn as carefully and as little as necessary and only in an “emergency” once winter has taken hold of your lawn. The resulting compacted snow will cause an air lock over the lawn. Your lawn is especially vulnerable to snow due to the constant temperatures and high humidity under the snow cover. The natural aeration of your lawn fails to occur and subsequently leads to the symptoms of snow mold or typhula rot described here.
Consequences of lawn mold or fungus
As a result, the spores of these fungal diseases find particularly good growing conditions under a packed snow cover and multiply rapidly. The spread of Typhula rot is also favored by the compressed grass under the snow.
It’s only after the snow melts in the spring that you see the unsightly problem areas in your lawn. Your formerly beautiful lawn will show you irregularly shaped blades of grass and the brown and patchy areas already described.
What to do about snow mold and fungus?
The good news is that if you take good and proper care of your lawn, snow mold will grow itself out in the spring. To do this, remove the affected parts in the spring by raking the lawn intensively and deeply. If possible, also scarify your lawn. This allows fresh air to reach the roots and greatly improves the microclimate under the grass.
To further support the stricken lawn, you can also treat it to a good lawn fertilizer. This will strengthen the stricken lawn plants and help them thrive again. Fertilize at regular intervals approximately every 4 to 5 weeks and mow your lawn no more than once a week.
If your lawn is suffering from another disease, our guide Lawn Diseases: Tips for Detection and Control will help.