What are those fuzzy patches on my lawn?! The early spring fungus, snow mold.
O.K., the snow has cleared! I think we are through this long winter this time... If you take a walk across your lawn or even look out over it, you may notice small "fuzzy atches" scattered across your lawn. What are they? And is it a problem? This is a fungus called snow mold. There are two types; pink snow mold and gray snow mold (the gray sometimes looks more white). They are both typical of our cool season grass types. In our search for beautiful lawns, we typically fertilize heavy (particularly in the fall), and mow tall. This is what is prescribed by the Ohio State University Extension Office, but sometimes there are side effects. During times of prolonged periods of rain in cool weather, the conditions are right for pink snow mold. When our lawns are covered by snow for days or weeks at a time, conditions are right for gray snow mold. Thankfully, snow mold is usually easy to manage. There is typically no need to call in a lawn professional or buy expensive fungicides. Some lawns may simply outgrow mild cases as temperatures rise, encouraging turf growth. The concern here though is that your lawn is literally "suffocating" under those spots as we wait for that to happen. My recommendation to help speed up recovery is to take a walk around your lawn with a rake. Lightly rough up those areas a little bit by running a rake over the areas where you see patches of the snow mold. Just enough to break up the "fuzz". This breaks up the fungus and allows air and sun to the turf. This will overcome most problems. Easy enough, right? If there are areas where the lawn has already been damaged and needs repair, you can choose to seed the area (spring seeding, my next blog!) or if the area is small enough, allow the lawn to recover on it's own. Our lawns will be growing aggressive and well enough during the warm and sunny spring days ahead to most likely overcome these small areas all on it's own.