Pink Snow Mold

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Handidrummed, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. Handidrummed

    Handidrummed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I originally posted this in a less appropriate forum. My apologies.

    Hello everyone, I'm new here and I had a quick question regarding Pink snow mold. I'm in Massachusetts and my lawn is a usual mix for this area of KBG, Fescue, and Rye and was planted in June 06. Last year I took over my own lawn maintenance and made the mistake of stopping my mowing about two weeks too early. I also put down my winter fert at this time which as I've read, because it was applied before the grass was dormant, it was too early.

    So as a result I got slammed with a huge amount of snow mold, 98% of it grey. I've raked most of it out and will do the rest next week. It still looks terrible but at least I know that this will most likely recover. My question in regards to Pink snow mold. We have one tree in my front yard and around January I noticed a few small patches during a brief period where the snow melted. I couldn't do anything about it then because not enough snow was melted to apply anything. Once everything did finally melt and I could fully survey the damage, those patches had multiplied a bit and one had expanded to a large area a few feet across. The blades are tan with a pinkish hue (especially from far away) and are curled up, thinned out, and I can see the soil a bit. The blades also pull out easily. I'm worried that these areas are dead, though I'm holding out hope that they're just infected, the turf weak, but not 100% dead yet.

    So what are the chances that this grass will not come back? My plan for this week is apply Bayleton to that area and just wait and see until May if the grass looks like it's going to come back. I'm cleaning up and putting down Dimension but I'll skip this area until I know whether or not the grass might recover a bit. If it is going to, I'll just put Dimension in this area a few weeks late. If it is not, I'll then just expose the soil in these areas with a rake, throw down some seed, use the rake again to increase soil contact, and then fertilize my whole lawn, which I'm planning to do in May once more of the lawn has woken up.

    Does this sound like a good plan of action? If the grass is going to come back, even if it's a little thinner than last year, I can wait until the fall to overseed with the tine dethatcher. I just don't want these areas to look terrible before then all year.
     
  2. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    Sounds like you already have a good handle on it. You sound well informed compared to most homeowners I speak to on a daily basis.

    You may want to check with your local extension service on their recommendations but it sounds like you are already on the right track.

    I've found that a good fertilizing treatment should "grow out" the the damaged area without having to renovate.

    If the tree is growing close to the ground you may want to "limb" it up a bit to promote air movement on the turf.

    Good luck!!!
     
  3. Handidrummed

    Handidrummed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Thanks for the reply. Should I do the fertilizing now or wait until May? I've heard that I should wait until the lawn has fully greened up before I should bother with that, and right now it's on its way but there is still a lot of grey snow mold around, both in patches all over and in a few larger areas.

    This is my first year experiencing snow mold and it's definitely causing me to lose sleep. My neighbor got 0 but I got completely slammed.
     
  4. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    Snow mold is most common in shaded areas, north faces etc. In the future you may want to reduce fall applications high in nitrogen (the first # in a fertilizer analysis) and make certain those areas are mowed short in the fall to prevent matting. There are also fungicides which can be applied in the fall which will prevent most snowmolds.
    You've already raked up the area, good move, mow it short to further remove affected top growth, aerate to increase air flow, and fertilize ASAP to encourage new healthy growth. As was suggested earlier, you may want to look at doing some pruning to reduce shade, if applicable.
    If you follow this advice, the area will recover very quickly.:waving:
     
  5. Handidrummed

    Handidrummed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    There is no harm in cutting dormant turf? I still have a lot of gray mold infected areas that haven't greened up yet.

    Cutting the pink infected areas is a tough one because the grass has shriveled up so low that I can't cut the top growth. I wasn't even sure if the grass was dead or not, it pulls out easily.

    I realize my mistakes now with regards to mowing and fertilization. I stopped mowing a few weeks too soon (I was watching the calendar not the lawn) and fertilized at this point as well. The grass continued to grow and didn't get too long, but I suspect the fert did more harm combined with all the snow we got.
     
  6. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    Lawntamer hit it on the head. yes, you can mow anytime but it may be a good idea to bag the infected area. Fert asap. Use the Bayleton in the fall, not now. Read and follow the label. Forget seeding in the spring. fall is the only time to seed.

    Good luck!!!
     
  7. Handidrummed

    Handidrummed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I don't have a bagger, but I'll go through with my sweeper to get all the clippings.

    So it's safe to assume that even though these patches look dead, that I should still get some new growth? I was always under the assumption that Pink Thread = Red Death :) With the blades being curled up and pulling out easily I wasn't sure.
     
  8. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    Not always. Can you post a pic of the damage? Entire area & close-up
     
  9. Handidrummed

    Handidrummed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Oh, yes of course. There is some more damage on the other side of the tree but it looks the same. The rest of the lawn is just gray snow mold and I'm already starting to see grass poking through and one large area seems to be getting smaller and smaller by the day.

    Now that I think about it, the grass I believe was thinner in this area at the end of the growing season last year by a little bit. That might explain why I'm seeing dirt. I'm going to have to cut short, drag around my tine dethatcher and overseed the whole thing in the fall.

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  10. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    Don't see any tree but I can see what your talking about. Try to avoid spreading spore infested clippings into the healthy part of the lawn. Sweeping may cause spores to become airborne

    I would "lightly" rake the area just to "fluff" up the grass this spring before fertilizing. Avoid evening watering. Stop watering early enough so the grass can dry before it gets dark.

    No dethatching. Aerate spring and fall or just fall if you can only do it once per year, then seed again early fall only Mid Aug- mid Sept
     

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