When the Michigan snow melts in the next few weeks in Macomb County, Oakland County and Berrien County you might be in for a surprise. And that surprise is gray snow mold or pink snow mold. The good news is that in most cases these two issues won’t require much attention on your part. But Master Gardener Lawn Fertilizing Service will get calls from our clients asking us what is happening to their lawns. So we think it is important to talk about these molds.
Gray Snow Mold is what we see most of in Macomb County, Oakland County and our Master Gardener Lawn Care location in Berrien County. Like the name suggest it is recognized by the white to gray color. No need to worry! This issue will clear up with the help of a little light raking. Just rake the effected area to allow the air to circulate and the mold will begin to diminish. Your first lawn fertilizing application will also help the process by providing nutrients to your lawn which help the turf to grow and recovery.
Pink Snow Mold is little more serious of the two. It has a pink to salmon color. Again the first lawn fertilizing service application will stimulate the lawn to grow and the lawn should recover. Light raking of the damage turf will also help to speed up the recovery. There is more of a chance that pink snow mold damage may need to be over seeded. Wait and see if your lawn recovers before taking any additional action. Please note that if you seed at this time you can not apply a crabgrass pre emergent. This pre emergent will also prevent the grass seed from germinating. Read the label on the bag of the pre emergent to see when it is safe to apply without interfering with the germination of the grass seed.
Note: It is possible to see both gray and pink snow mold on the lawn together.
Why do some lawns get snow molds and some do not? The number one cause of gray or pink snow mold is having snow on the lawn for an extended period of time. Try to eliminate large piles of snow in the same spot year after year. But two other factors that help increase your chances of acquiring snow molds are over fertilizing in late fall with a high nitrogen fertilizer and a heavy thatch build up. Be careful not to over fertilize in late fall and look into reducing the thatch layer to allow better air circulation. Please see the core aerating video under our SERVICES page on the Master Gardener Lawn Care website for reducing thatch.
Please view the video below from our friends at the University of Nebraska for more on snow mold.
About the Author
Patrick Wesley is a Master Gardener and founder of Master Gardener Lawn Care located in Macomb County, Michigan. Pat provides organic based lawn fertilizing services throughout Macomb County, Oakland County and Berrien County, Michigan. Master Gardener Lawn Care was established in 1991 and provides lawn fertilizing, core aeration, weed control, soil testing and insect control. For more information on our lawn fertilizing services or to request a free lawn care analysis please visit our Free Lawn Fertilizing Service Estimate page.