Yes, you read that right. We're going to talk about spring snow mold in the fall. That's because the snow mold that you see on your lawn in the spring actually starts in the fall. With a bit of preparation, you can prevent it altogether.
What is Snow Mold?
Snow mold is a lawn disease caused by two mold species, commonly called either gray or pink snow mold. There are slight differences between the two, but you'll treat and prevent them in the same way. Snow mold is identified by pink or gray circular patches in the grass, likely in an area where the grass is matted down.
Both strains thrive in cold, wet environments, which is why they are most often found after a winter with alternating periods of snowfall and unfreezing. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, this winter is predicted to be "warmer than normal, with above-normal precipitation." If that's true, this spring may show increased instances of snow mold, unless you use the following preventative measures.
How Do I Prevent Spring Snow Mold in the Fall?
There are several things that you can do to prevent snow mold, and luckily they overlap with our recommendations for fall lawn care. So that means by taking care of your lawn in the fall, you'll benefit now and later. Specifically, the best things you can do to prevent snow mold are:
Clear your lawn of any debris before snowfall. This includes leaves, grass trimmings, and anything that could pack down your grass and promote mold growth.
Cut your grass short (2") to allow to allow for proper draining. If grass if kept too long before snowfall, it can get matted down and allow mold to grow.
What if I Didn't See This Post Until Spring? Now What?
If you already have signs of lawn mold, you'll want to clear the area of any coverings and keep it open. Additionally, you should rake the matted grass to allow air to circulate. As the spring days warm up, the air circulation and warmth from the sun should dry out the affected area naturally.
We hope these tips help you prevent snow mold and save you some time in the spring. If you have anything to add, please let us know in the comments!