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Snow Mold and Your Denver Lawn

When it snows as much as it does in Denver, it’s important to be aware of the damage that it can do to your lawn. As the snow starts to melt in the spring, you may notice a fuzzy, straw like patches on your lawn. These patches are called snow mold, a fungus that can grow under snow and in wet conditions.

The most common types of snow molds in Colorado are pink, or Fusarium patch, and grey, or Typhula blight. Pink snow mold survives as mycelium or spores in infected plant debris, while grey snow mold can survive warm temperatures in soil or plant debris. Regardless, both become active under the snow cover. The mold is most common during the years when an early deep snow cover prevents the ground from freezing. However, the damage caused by snow mold is rarely severe. In most cases, the infected areas are delayed in becoming green again. Here are some symptoms of mold growth on your lawn:
  • Circular, straw colored patches after snow melts in spring
  • Patches grow as long as grass remains wet and cold
  • The patches usually have a matted appearance and colored fungal growth
  • The mold is commonly found in the margins of the patch or covers the entire patch
  • Mushrooms may be seen emerging from the infected turf
When these symptoms are noticed, gently rake the areas affected to prevent further fungal growth and to help dry the area. Once you have raked the area, throw out the excess brown grass. In severe cases, a fungicide may be recommended, but make sure to check with your Denver tree service if this is the best course of action.
Here are some tips for Denver snow mold prevention:
  • Don’t apply excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer in fall
  • Mow your lawn at a lower height. Mold grows better in matted grass under snow.
  • Make sure to rake leaves in the fall
  • Spread out large snow piles to encourage quicker melting
As always, taking care of your lawn and keeping it healthy in the late summer months is a great way to prevent mold. Apply the correct amount of fertilizer in fall and make sure you’re are mowing the lawn at a healthy length. Before the winter comes, your grass should be cut at no longer than 3” tall and no less than 2”.

Not sure if your lawn has snow mold? American Arbor Care is always here to help diagnose and treat it.  Now that winter is in full swing, make sure that you keep an eye out for signs of Denver snow mold when the snow starts to melt. Have more questions about Denver tree care? Don’t hesitate to contact American Arbor Care, we are happy to help!