Snow mold is a frustrating sight to see when the snow melts away in the spring. It's important to know exactly what snow mold is and how to deal with this lawn disease should you find it on your lawn in Iowa. There are two types of snow mold: gray snow mold and pink snow mold. Both are caused by fungi that become active when snow covers your lawn. Snow mold typically causes discolored and matted grass that appears in patchy circles. The good news is that snow mold can be prevented! Preventative fungicides will keep your lawn safe going into the cold months. Should your lawn sustain any damage from snow mold, lawn care professionals can help your lawn recover.

What causes snow mold?

Snow covering a lawn in Altoona, IA.

Snow mold is caused by fungi that are present in the ground. They live in the soil during the year and start affecting the ground in the wintertime. When the temperatures drop and snow covers your lawn, snow mold becomes active.

What are the two types of snow mold?

The two types of snow mold are gray snow mold and pink snow mold. The scientific name for the fungus that causes gray snow mold is Typhula incarnata, and the scientific name for the fungus that causes pink snow mold is Microdochium nivale.

What are the signs of snow mold?

Since the two kinds of snow mold are caused by separate fungi, they have slightly different symptoms from each other:

  • Gray Snow Mold symptoms: Patches of dead and matted blades of grass that are white or tan in color will appear on the lawn. Gray patches of fungi may appear near receding patches of snow. Gray snow mold normally only causes cosmetic damage.
  • Pink Snow Mold symptoms: Patches of dead or matted grass will appear to be pink, white, or tan. These splotches will typically appear within an outer ring of copper-colored grass. Fluffy, white fungi may appear near these copper patches. Pink snow mold may damage the leaves of the grass, but it typically does not affect the crown or root. Patches appear very circular on shorter grass and a little bit more splotchy on taller grass.

Can you prevent snow mold?

Yes, you can prevent snow mold! A preventative fungicide is available to add a layer of protection to your grass to keep snow mold from infesting it during the cold months. There are also several preventative measures you can take to protect your lawn from snow mold. Professional lawn care and maintenance services, like fertilization treatments and yard cleanups, will prepare your lawn for the winter months and better equip it to fight off snow mold.

You can't notice snow mold and its effects until the spring.

What do you do if your lawn is infected with snow mold?

Core aeration service performed in Altoona, IA.

There are several ways to treat your lawn if it becomes infected with snow mold. Unfortunately, there aren't any fungicide treatments that cure snow mold, but there are lawn care services you can schedule that will help your turf recover, including:

  • Aeration: This process loosens compacted soil so resources like water, sunshine, and nutrients can reach the roots of the grass and help them strengthen and grow.
  • Fertilization: Using fertilizers gives the lawn extra nutrients it needs like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This will give it an extra boost after winter dormancy and help heal the damage in the yard.
  • Overseeding: Overseeding involves spreading new seeds on the lawn that will fill in damaged and patchy areas with new grass.

Call us to schedule our preventative snow mold treatment today!

Here at A+ Lawn & Landscape, we know how frustrating it is to find out that snow mold has damaged your lawn. To prevent that from happening, we offer preventative snow mold treatments to protect your lawn during the winter months. We begin offering our preventative treatments around Thanksgiving, and they will keep snow mold from forming on your lawn. If your lawn has fallen victim to snow mold, we can help it recover with our aeration, fertilization, and overseeding services.

We treat residential and commercial properties in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and the surrounding areas in Iowa. Call us at (515) 289-2020 to schedule our preventative snow mold treatment today!