Is My Lawn Dead After Winter?
As the warm sunshine and milder temperatures return, Spring fever starts to creep back into our minds with thoughts of lush green grass and beautiful spring flowers. However, what will the grass actually look like when the snow melts away?
If your lawn was in good shape in the fall of 2020 and as the snow melts you see patches of dead grass, the problem is most likely caused by a lawn disease called Snow Mold.
We have spent the majority of the winter under heavy snow cover here in Fleetwood, PA. Prior to the heavy snowfall, temperatures were relatively mild and the grass was still green in most areas. The snow came quickly and relentlessly, leaving the green grass buried under the snow for a long period of time. When these conditions occur, it sets the stage for cold weather fungi, called ‘Snow Molds’, to wreak havoc on your grass.
As warmer days cause the snow to retreat, you may start to notice patches of matted grass which appear pinkish-brown or gray in color. The affected areas will commonly appear where snow was piled next to sidewalks and driveways, and may range from small circular marks to very large, irregular patches. These ugly patches are a result of Snow Mold damage and can vary from a very minor cosmetic issue to a major turf damaging situation.
What is Snow Mold?
There are two types of snow mold in Pennsylvania – Pink and Gray.
- Pink Snow Mold causes grass to be matted down and pinkish-brown in color.
- Gray Snow Mold causes damage that can be much darker – the matted grass appears light (almost white) to dark gray.
Both Pink and Gray Snow Molds will leave behind crusty layers of matted grass when the area begins to dry.
Gray Snow Mold is less damaging than pink because it only causes damage to the leaf (grass blade) of the plant.
Pink Snow Molds often kill areas of a lawn. This is because the Pink Snow Mold attacks, and can kill, the roots and crown of the grass plant (the crown is the base of the plant and connects the roots to the above-ground part of the plant).
How Can I Bring Back Dead Grass After Winter?
Fungicide treatments are not effective because the damage has already been done under the snow. By the time the snow has melted, the snow mold will no longer be active.
If you find Snow Mold damage on your property, we recommend gently raking the area to break up the crusted mat and remove any dead material from the lawn. This will allow the areas to breathe and continue to dry out. In very minor situations, healthy turf will repair itself in these areas with Spring Fertilization. In more extreme cases, and especially when dealing with Pink Snow Mold, these areas may need to be repaired with Aeration and Seeding.
Ready to Beautify your Lawn? We can help! Green Giant offers a variety of services in Lawn, Tree, Vegetation and Pest Control. Contact us today for your free, no obligation estimate. Text or Call 610-944-0408.