Menu

The Snow is melting, whats wrong with my lawn? Snow Mould!

Here is a common question we’ve received in the past week, snow mould is pretty normal after a winter with lots of snow. (But it can be very damaging)lawnsavers lawn care packages

“I used your services last year and am about to renew, but noticed my lawn doesn’t look like the others on the street.  All lawns are a brownish colour, but mine also has many very white patches and spots throughout. Any idea why?”
SS

Hi Mr. S             ,

The white spots on your lawn are snow mould. A common problem after we have a heavy snow load in the winter.

What is Snow Mould?

Snow mould is a fungal disease that occurs in lawns that remain wet and consistently damp for long periods of time. As the name implies, it occurs most often after the winter as the snow is melting from your yard.

There are two types of snow moulds, gray and pink, that become active under the snow.

  • Gray snow mold (also called Typhula blight) is caused by Typhula spp.
  • Pink snow mold (also called Fusarium patch) is caused by Microdochium nivalis

Why Is Snow Mould Growing On My Grass?

snow mould (snow mold) on a home lawn

snow mould (snow mold) on a home lawn

Snow mould growth usually occurs for two reasons:

The main reason, with lots of snow and the up and down of melting, you will accumulate a layer of ice under the heavy snowbank, (the greater the weight of snow, the greater the weight of ice underneath) this often makes the grass blade tissue more prone to snow mould.

The second reason, if the grass is more lush underneath, (from being taken care of well) meaning there is more nitrogen in the leaf blade, then it will be more susceptible to snow mould.

But this is also the reason why it appears more pronounced when contrasted against your greener lawn. It is also why your lawn will green up even quicker this spring since the nutrients are already there!

 

 

How Do You Prevent Snow Mould?

There are a number of tasks you could do to your lawn to prevent snow mould. These should be done in the fall before any snow accumulates.

Mow your lawn before winter sets in. (should be 2.5 inches)

  • Long grass blades will bend and fold during the winter as the snow piles on top of it. The folded grass will trap moisture and accelerate the growth of snow mould. Mowing your lawn below 2.5-3″ should help to prevent the fungus from growing.

Rake leaves and other debris off the lawn before snowfalls.

  • Leaves and debris in your lawn will trap moisture and prevent the snow from melting as quickly. Freeing up your lawn will help prevent snow mould from growing.
  • Snow Mould (mold) combined with dog damage on a home lawn

    Sometimes it’s not just snow mould.  In the 2nd picture, they also have a dog that has been doing its business on top of the snow, mainly in one section of the lawn.

    * Dog and Pet damage compound the problem by adding a higher level of salt to the soil in a concentrated location.  This can be remedied with a specialized application from your LawnSavers professional!  In addition, it is important to rake these areas out thoroughly and to dilute the area with extra watering as soon as possible to flush and spread the salt concentration so grass can regrow.

How Do You Treat Snow Mould in Toronto?

lawnsavers truck logo lawn maintenance packages

Like all lawn fungal diseases, you can apply a fungicide (for snow mould this would be done in the Fall). However, in our experience, the prevention of snow mould by regular lawn maintenance is the best option.

Will My Grass Recover From Snow Mould?

Yes, your grass will usually recover just fine. It doesn’t normally kill the grass as the mould does not affect the roots of the plant.

In the Spring, when the grass is relatively dry and not frozen on the surface; just lightly rake the grass to lift up the blades a bit to allow air circulation. The situation normally resolves itself as the grass starts to grow with warmer temperatures.

It doesn’t normally affect the roots, just the leafy tissue on the surface. It usually looks like a bit of a fuzzy web-like mass is growing on top of the blades. These are mycelium that are part of the fungus. You’ll notice it’s usually on the areas where the snow was slower to melt. Make sure to mow your lawn between 2 3/4″-3″ before winter sets in. Be sure to rake leaves and other debris off the lawn before snowfalls. It doesn’t normally kill the grass. Re-seed with cultivars of grass-like LawnSavers custom blend which contain varieties of seed that are bred to be resistant to this fungus.

The good thing is that it’s only superficial and just requires a very light raking with a leaf rake to allow air penetration through the lawn.  The well-nourished plant will grow through this with new leaf tissue.

Aerating and OverSeeding, as well as a balanced and well-fortified slow-release fertilizer, will make all the difference

So in short, snow mould is nothing to worry about.  A light raking and those areas will more than likely disappear as soon as the soil warms up and the grass starts to grow!

Use our spring checklist to get the growing season off to a good start.
Start whenever it’s above 10 deg C outside and the lawn is not too wet.

I hope this helps,

Kyle!

 

 

Get a FREE estimate! Get a FREE estimate!
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Managing within ever-changing Covid Restrictions -Covid Update: (updated 01/01/22)

    Hi Everyone, 

    LawnSavers managed to persevere through this last pandemic year with the loyal partnership of our clients, and we are extremely grateful to our loyal customers.

    We are still able and authorized to service lawns and perform pest control services in all our GTA service areas as an essential service.

    Our office remains open in addition to some remote staff.   Please note with many people working from home, our service is experiencing a higher demand and volume of calls.
    We know how much everyone hates being left on hold, so please feel free to  leave us a message,  or email  greatservice@lawnsavers.com and we will get back to you in less than 24 hours.  (you can also text us at 905-707-9994)

        Please be patient with us, we will get back to you as fast as we can and do
    our very best to help you.

    You can also sign up for all services on our website by clicking here.

    2021 is now behind us.  Together with our customers, we face Covid-19 head-on as a community-minded local small family business and are extremely grateful to be able to survive and keep all of our loyal employees working hard with us through it all.

    2020-21 important turf and tree high (and low) lights:

      • Nine days of snow, ice and wintry weather in May 2020
        2021 was the driest April May and June in 51 years See Actual GTA daily weather records by clicking here.
      • One of the hottest driest summers on record in 2020 with long spells of grass-killing heat and drought. Read more here in our 2020 summary blog.
        2021 carried on this trend with only a few days of rain in July and August, with extreme dryness and heat.
      • A bumper crop of crabgrass that germinated in the perfect (rainless) storm. As expected, even more arrived this past summer in 2021!
      • Chinch Bug numbers in 2020 were record breaking and persisted through the dry heat they love, secretly killing lawns while dormant! We can help with Chinch bug damage  Expect even more this summer!
      • Fall of 2021 provided excellent conditions for lawn that were treated through the summer with our recovery amendments to bounce back and regain their vigour. (thanks for the compliments!)
    • We put together an easy to read lawn care service timeline that you can use to know when to expect us for each scheduled service in your package. 

    Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our employees and customers.  Safety, Integrity and honesty are our most important core values.  We will continue to follow strict safety guidelines that ensure “low/no touch”.  We will not let our guard down on exercising our safety protocols!

    Thank you all for your understanding and extra patience during these challenging times. Our team works hard, so if you are met with our exceptional service from our technicians or office team members- please give them a thumbs up to make them smile or let me know through a quick email to feedback@lawnsavers.com

    We thank you for supporting our local, family-owned business of 31 years.
    We
     genuinely appreciate you and promise that we will do our part to ensure our mutual safety.

    Thank you in advance,
    Kyle Tobin
    Chief Environmental Officer