Dealing with Snow Mold

October 8, 2021 | By: Amy Dearinger

pink snow mold

A winter with less worry? After the last two growing seasons, that slogan has more appeal to it than it has in the past, am I right? That being said, let’s talk about dealing with Snow Mold.

Admittedly, living in the deep south the last three years, that is one turf disease I hadn’t thought a lot about in some time. Needless to say, a little refresher was necessary. I think a quick refresher every once in a while is perhaps beneficial for us all. So here goes, the cliff notes version…

There are two kinds of snow mold:

Gray Snow Mold – Typhula spp. and Pink Snow Mold – Microdochium nivale. There are significant differences between the two that are important to understand.

grey snow mold
Gray Snow Mold – Photo Courtesy of Syngenta
pink snow mold
Pink Snow Mold – Photo Courtesy of Syngenta
  • Gray Snow Mold is usually found in areas with heavy snow accumulation and is often first noticed when the snow melts in the spring.
  • Unlike Gray Snow Mold, Pink Snow Mold does not need snow cover for the infection to form. Pink Snow Mold is identified when the web-like fungal spores pile on the leaves of the infected plant resulting in a white to pink color of circular patches of matted grass.
  • Gray Snow Mold is less likely to cause plant death. It typically only damages the grass blades
  • Pink Snow Mold is much more capable of complete turf loss as it can kill the plant crown, root, and blade.

Preventative cultural practices:

  • Avoid high nitrogen applications in the fall
  • Prevent excessive thatch accumulation
  • Mow low late in the season as the turf begins the dormancy process
  • Remove leaf debris and grass clippings
  • Snow fencing can be used to prevent drifting and piling of snow on the turf

Winter With Less Worry

A well-timed preventative fungicide application can surely aid in a more sleep-filled winter night. Some proven Snow Mold preventative fungicides include Instrata, Concert II, Enclave, and Traction + 26/36.

I realize that as much as we all would appreciate owning that crystal ball, no such mythical magic exists. What does exist is your friends here at Green Velvet. The Green Velvet team is here to assist you in making the best decisions for your turf. Please feel free to reach out directly to your sales rep or call your local branch for assistance in selecting the best snow mold product for your needs.