Does your lawn look like this?
You could have the wrong fertilizing practices. The fall fertilizer is an important application, but when it comes to the rate of Nitrogen, it can be detrimental. Snow mold can begin to grow under the snow and represent itself in the Spring as illustrated in the photo here. If you see snow mold in your yard this Spring, here are a few precautions/steps you can take to prevent it from happening again.
- Apply a fall fertilizer with less than 18% Nitrogen. – Ask us for a quote!
- The taller you leave the grass in the fall/winter, the more suitable the conditions for snow mold. For the last mowing of the year, cut the lawn down to 2″. – Ask us for a quote!
- Make sure to do a thorough Fall Clean Up – Ask us for a quote!
- Do a yearly Core Aeration to help manage a healthy thatch layer. The thatch layer is a perfect place for snow mold to manifest itself. – Ask us for a quote!
- Try not to pile up snow in one area all winter. Spread it out more evenly. The thicker the snow base on the grass, the more encouraging for snow mold to develop.
YOU’RE SAYING, “THAT’S GREAT, BUT WHAT DO I DO ABOUT IT NOW? I HAVE IT, NOW!”
Here are the steps you can take to clean out the snow mold of the yard and get it back on the fast track to aesthetically pleasing turf grass.
- Spring fertilizer can help induce new growth faster and essentially outgrow the lawn disease.
- The snow mold is only on the grass blade. Once the grass grows tall enough to mow, the lawn disease will be cut off during the next mowing.
- Make sure to bag snow mold clippings and discard them in a safe composting location.
- GENTLY rake the areas affected by snow mold. You do not want to rake hard enough to tear up any healthy grass, just get the dead looking stuff out.
- Raking loose, dead grass out will help with air circulation, something snow mold won’t appreciate.
- Over seed these areas, by raking the seed into the soil for as much seed to soil contact as possible.
Snow Mold for the most part is a cosmetic issue and will “grow out of it” as the Spring warms up and temperature are no longer suitable for it’s growth. However, this can leave bare areas for weeds to infiltrate and take over, so over seeding these areas with lots of seed to soil contact is highly recommended.
I GOT THOSE SPOTS, BUT I THINK THEY’RE BECAUSE OF MY DOG!
Dogs can over fertilize the lawn and create dog spots. These spots can look very reminiscent to snow mold. They are most commonly caused by the high acidity or salt in the dogs urine. Mowing high can help prevent these, but in Minnesota the last mowing of the year we need to mow short to help prevent snow mold. If you have noticed these spots every Spring, here are some safe Minnesotan steps to take to help minimize them next Spring!
- Mix in a spoon full of yogurt in their dog dish a day. It’s healthy for dogs too! High in calcium and protein. Good for their coat, digestive system and helps neutralize the acidity in their urine. Very important – choose yogurts for your dog that have active bacteria and do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Too much sugar in the dogs diet can create ear infections. I learned that!
- Spread Lime or Gypsum over the affected area. This is a natural mineral that is safe for everyone. You really can’t apply too much either. Not like fertilizer, it will not burn your yard by applying too much. Make sure to water it in!
- Water the area as fast as possible. Either with your irrigation system or simply with a hose. This will water down the area and help neutralize it immediately.
- Gently rake out loose, dead grass so you can expose the soil and over seed making sure to rake the seed into the soil for lots of seed to soil contact.
Call Me, Jeremy @ 612-655-5477
PO Box 270234
Golden Valley, MN 55427