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How To Control Pink Snow Moldpink snow mold

For a lawn owners the two colors that get the most attention is green, signaling a well-maintained lawn and brown which indicates that there may be a lack of nutrition or water being delivered to the grass. However, most lawn owners don’t expect to see the color pink on their turf, but it is very possible. Pink appears on lawns usually in the form of pink snow mold, a common lawn disease which occurs in cooler areas during or after the winter season.

Snow molds usually occur when there is an extended period of snow cover on turf which takes longer to melt away, the turf underneath is affected and results in mold growth. When it comes to pink snow mold, once the snow actually does melt away, you are left with pink patches of turf or even slimy sticky pink mold on blades of grass.

The accumulation of pink fungal spores pile up on the leaves of infected grass plants, producing a pink cast on circular patches of matted grass. Usually only leaves are attacked, but under conditions favorable for disease development the fungus may kill the crowns and roots as well. Thus, pink snow mold can be more severe than gray snow mold.

What’s interesting about pink snow mold is that it doesn’t even really require snow to develop and can accumulate via icy or freezing temperatures without the presence of snow. If you have pink snow mold on your lawn, we at Solutions Pest and Lawn can help you to remove it in the form of specially designed fungicides and helpful how-to lawn advice.

Browse our pink snow mold control products below. If you have any questions or concerns, send them our way via email, phone, or online live chat and we will be happy to assist you.

 

How To Get Rid Of Pink Snow Mold: 3 Step Solution

Pink snow mold which develops on your lawn must be treated quickly to keep the fungus from spreading. Damage to the turf can be severe and long-lasting without intervention so it is best to mobilize into a control program upon discovering the presence of it in your yard. However, just buying a random fungicide and spraying around may not do the trick. That is why we have outlined 3 basic steps to follow to tackle pink snow mold properly so it is completely removed from your lawn.

 

Step 1: Inspect and correctly identify if the mold or disease your are seeing is indeed pink snow mold. If you see pink it may very likely be pink snow mold but there are cases where you may get the disease confused with pink snow mold when it is actually a different disease. Identifying the growth correctly will help you in selecting the proper fungicide and help you in your treatment approach. If you are not entirely sure that it is pink snow mold, we here at Solutions can help. Send us a photo of what you see to identification@solutionsstores.com and we will respond back quickly with the proper ID of the disease as well as give you recommendations on fungicides specially design to treat pink snow mold.

 

Step 2: Once the disease is properly ID’d as pink snow mold, you can move on to treatment. We have a variety of different fungicides which can effectively treat and remove pink snow mold. Which fungicide you choose is up to you. The most important factor when treating this pink snow mold is to act quickly. Spray the affected areas immediately going in accordance with the instructions found on the fungicide label. You may have to re-apply fungicides a few times to provide continuous control of pink snow mold. Retreat if you begin to see symptoms again.

 

Step 3: Once the pink snow mold has been taken care of, you can carry out a few maintenance tasks to ensure the mold doesn’t return during the cold season. Mowing your grass shorter before winter is recommended as longer grass makes it more likely for snow mold to take hold on a lawn. Mulch leaves in the fall to eliminate additional breeding ground. Also using a low-nitrogen fertilizer to feed your lawn is a good choice to reduce the chances of snow mold growth.

 

Learn More About Pink Snow Mold

While snow cover can be good for the lawn in some cases and it may be nice to look at and play in in the winter time, they are not great for how they damage your lawn as well as when it begins to melt to reveal snow mold underneath.

 

If you’re in an area of the country that gets a lot of snow, one issue which may come up when the snow begins to melt is known as pink snow mold. Snow mold is a cold weather fungi which really only affects cool season grasses. The biggest problem with snow mold is that you won’t realize signs of it until the snow melts when spring weather is rolling in.

 

If you get a heavy amount of snowfall before the ground as even frozen, snow mold will become a major issue for you when spring has arrived. The weight which snow brings when it lays on top of your turf as well as leaf litter and yard debris that has gathered can all play a role in developing snow mold.

 

Pink snow mold in particular is caused by the micro pathogen microdochium nivale which is similar to how other molds can appear on a lawn with the difference being that pink snow mold does require snow cover for disease development.

 

There are two types of snow molds, gray and pink snow mold. The gray snow mold is not as damaging as the pink but either one the grass can eventually recover.

 

The fungus is pretty much in your snow almost all year round, basically staying dormant and then becomes active when it starts to snow. So there isn’t really a way that you can prevent snow mold, it’s more about keeping snow mold from becoming a problem on your lawn.

 

Optimal conditions are periods of high humidity and temperatures ranging for 32 to 45 degrees fahrenheit.

 

Have A Lawn Issue That Isn’t Pink Snow Mold? Check out Our Lawn Care Main Category!

 

Which Grasses Are Most Affected By Pink Snow Mold?

Pink snow mold is a disease that may affect all cool-season turfgrasses, but appears to be most destructive to creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass on golf courses and residential lawns. Juvenile creeping bentgrass that are less than a year old after seeding are most vulnerable to the disease and likely to suffer the most lasting effects.

 

On Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass in lawns and professional landscapes, pink snow mold is most prevalent on turf maintained at heights of 3 inches or greater. In major cases on juvenile creeping bentgrass, it is suspected that turfgrass thinning will lead to annual bluegrass infestations within the affected patches. On mature golf greens, pink snow mold appears to prefer to infest annual bluegrass.

 

Have Some Grassy Weeds You Want Gone? View Our Grassy Weed Control Section.

 

Symptoms and Signs of Pink Snow Mold

Pink snow mold occurs for a number of reasons. One is if you have a lot of snow on your lawn for a long period of time, the mold tends to develop underneath the snow. Secondly, if you fertilize too late in the season and you have a lot of nitrogen on your lawn, this can also promote the presence of snow mold and thirdly, is if you have a lot of thatch (over 2 inches of dead grass underneath your lawn) can be why pink snow mold has developed.

 

Pink snow mold symptoms will become more apparent in the springtime as the snow begins to melt at which point tan to bleached white patches generally a foot or less in diameter will be present with the edges appearing more pink in color.

 

So why is the mold pink? Mycelium is typically white but exposure to sunlight results in a pinkish matrix of mycelia and sporodochia. You may or may not see mycelium as well as pink to red sporodochia on dead plants.

 

Cultural Practices Which Hinder Pink Snow Mold

The best way to tackle pink snow mold in your yard is to prevent it from developing in the first place. Once all the snow’s melted and gone away, even with the help of fungicides you may not always get rid of mold right away.

 

With any good disease management program, cultural strategies become very important. To combat snow mold on your lawn needs to be addressed by addressing air flow. Matted areas are where pink snow mold problems will happen.

 

So raking areas of your lawn is important to get some airflow and should be done just enough to stand the matted grass up. Just fluff up your grass a little bit

 

For pink snow mold, you must control excessive amounts of thatch. If that thatch layer is greater than 3/4ths of an inch thick, you need to dethatch in the fall time and eliminate it before the snow mold can form in the winter.

 

Mowing your grass short is also important. Continue mowing in the fall until top growth has ceased. If you have extra long grass, you want to mow it down before the first expected snow fall. Mow at about 1 to 1 and a half inches shorter than normal but make sure not to scalp it down.

 

Another thing which can help is clearing out all of that leaf litter. Do not let leaves pile up around your yard since old rotting leaves sitting on your turf is basically an invitation for pink snow mold to establish itself. Bag up your leaves and toss them.

 

Also you should maintain a spoon feeding program in the fall but increase the rate to a quarter to 3/10ths a pound every two weeks (in the summer time)

 

Research has shown that low to moderate rates of nitrogen do not encourage snow mold and in fact enhance spring turf recovery. So go easy on the nitrogen when you are laying out fertilizer.

 

Also, just as you do not want leaf litter to pile up on your lawn, the same with snow. Underneath those large piles of snow, that’s where pink snow mold is really going to start to take form. So while you are shoveling your driveway and sidewalks, make sure not to pile them up too high.

 

These big piles of snow take some time to melt, which invites the arrival of pink snow mold problems.

 

Lastly provide surface drainage and expedite drying of the playing surface in the spring.

 

Make Sure You Have The Right Equipment For The Job. SHOP For Sprayers and Other Lawn Care Essentials

 

Pink Snow Mold Management With Fungicides

 

When it comes to fungicides for pink snow mold control there are products that provide better preventative control for pink snow mold vs. gray snow mold.  In addition, fungicides are generally applied at lower rates for pink snow mold than that for gray snow mold.

 

For pink snow mold on green and tees, Strobe 50WG Systemic Fungicide , Headway G Fungicide And Heritage G Fungicide all show great control when applied at the right time.

 

Snow mold is really dependent upon winter weather and if you have observed that in the past and it’s been a yearly problem for you, by putting down a preventative application of fungicides in the fall, you lessen the risk of pink snow mold come winter.

 

When you’ve conducted your last mow for the growing season, this is when you should put down your preventative application of fungicide, especially before the first expected snow of winter.

 

Better Safe Than Sorry: Equip Yourself With Protective Safety Equipment Before Spraying

 

Conclusion

 

With a combination of cultural practices and fungicide application which we’ve shared above, pink snow mold can be successfully controlled on your lawn.



Additional Resources:

 

Pink Snow Mold and Fusarium Patch — Center for Turfgrass Science

 

Pink Snow Mold | Texas Plant Disease Handbook

 

Pink Snow Mold (Microdochium Patch) - Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab



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