For many people, white snow on the ground conjures cozy winter feelings. But when the snow melts, away and you’re left with white splotches on your lawn, your grass might be infected with snow mold.
Snow mold spores live in the soil all year, but they sprout and spread following exposure to moisture in cold weather. Use these tips for preventing and removing snow mold.
Mow Grass Low Before the First Snow
A lawn mower with sharp blades is essential equipment for better lawn care. While you want to keep your grass a little higher in the summer to protect the blades from scorching and drying out, you should mow the grass low for the winter.
Long grass can hold moisture that breeds fungus. The recommended winter height depends on your grass type, but in general, you can cut the blades about one inch shorter than usual.
Don’t Let Debris Accumulate
One of the most important ways to prepare your lawn for winter is to keep debris from building up. A thick layer of debris can smother the grass, preventing healthy growth in spring.
Debris traps moisture and creates hospitable conditions for snow mold and other lawn diseases. Dethatch your lawn, remove leaves and sticks, and avoid creating deep piles of snow in the yard when you clear sidewalks and driveways.
Apply the Right Treatments
While fertilizer gives grass the nutrients it needs in the growing season, it can harm your lawn during its dormancy. Applying fertilizer in winter can give weeds and lawn diseases fuel to grow, so don’t fertilize your lawn before spring.
If your lawn is susceptible to snow mold, apply a preventative fungicide. The fungicide won’t kill the mold once it starts growing on your lawn, so use the product before the first heavy snow.
Keeping the grass low, removing debris, and applying the right treatments to your lawn can prevent snow mold from forming. These practices also promote the general health of your lawn, helping it look lush in the growing season.