Dealing with Snow Mold
“Will winter ever end?” is the question on many a landscapers when snowstorms hit. The bad news is that when snowstorms end, they could leave behind mold and mildew if necessary landscaping precautions and steps are not taken. Snow mold and mildew is the yucky aftermath of heavy snowstorms and could wreak havoc on all landscaping, lawns and gardens.
How to Identify Snow Mold
Snow mold can be identified by two identifying qualities. It’s a fungus that grows after the snow melts and is either gray or pink in color. Gray snow mold grows on the leaf or the blade of a plant while pink snow mold, the worst type of snow mold, infects the crown of the plant.
Landscaping to Help with Snow Mold
Landscaping efforts to remedy this are to focus on keeping the lawn and garden areas dry. Of course, when the lawn or garden is covered under a thick sheet of ice or a few feet of snow, this isn’t possible. What is possible, however, is ensuring the lawn is not covered during the first initial weeks of spring or when the snow melts and warmer temperatures return. A second step is to get outside in the chilly temperatures and rake the grass to loosen any potential mold. Landscapers might feel a little silly getting outside with a rake in sub-zero temperatures, however, it is necessary to ensure a healthy mold-free lawn for spring.
Repairing Brown Patches after Storms
Many landscapers, professional and amateur, also dread the after storm brown patches that are caused from dry, humidity free air as the snow melts. A lawn or garden that isn’t watered properly are more susceptible to brown patches after a winter storm–yes, even when sitting under a thick sheet of ice or a few feet of snow. As the snow melts, the air remains so dry and the melted snow does not provide enough moisture that a lawn or garden can retain.
Avoiding nitrogen rich fertilizers and maintaining a consistent watering schedule in the spring, summer and fall will greatly help aid and will lessen the amount of brown patches seen in lawns after the cold temperatures of winter.
Landscapers are also encouraged to check every few weeks for new mold growths, for mildew growths and for the early appearance of brown patches to ensure spring will bring a healthy mold-free lawn or garden!
Once the snow ends and the temperature increases, homeowners should look out for springtime challenges like powdery mildew, fungus, mushrooms, and other warmer weather diseases. For now, waiting for the last of winter to pass and restoring your lawn to health is a good next step, using mulch and topsoil.