Snow Mold

By Pam Sherratt

Snow mold appears on baseball field and newly planted lawns!

Snow Mold
Source: OSU Turfgrass Pathology

With the snow gone, pink snow mold is present on turfgrass, especially on immature, lush, succulent stands of grass seeded last fall. In general, snow cover was not of long enough duration this past winter for the development of gray snow molds. There are some situations where light damage of gray snow mold is present but these are limited to sites where snow was piled up for long periods of time or in snow belt areas.

Recent prolonged rainy periods and cool to moderate temperatures are nearly ideal for pink snow mold / Microdochium Patch. Microdochium patch (that is Pink Snow Mold without the snow cover), is caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale, formerly referred to as Fusarium nivale. If these weather patterns continue this disease will persist. With warmer and dryer weather turf growth will increase and affected patches will recover in most situations. Check damaged areas by looking at the crowns to see if they are alive and producing new leaves.

Tips to Help Recover from Snow Mold: 
  • Lightly rake the grass to promote air circulation and light to penetrate the canopy and encourage new shoot and leaf development.
  • If there is any dead and/or matted material, rake and remove. In the case of dead turfgrass, renovation of the site would be recommended as soon as possible.
  • If the site did not receive appropriate fertility in the fall a modest application of starter fertilizer would be recommended
  • Fungicide applications at this time will not eliminate the disease from affected areas but only protect non-infected grass. So on high profile turf an application of fungicides may be warranted.

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