Mystery with excessive snow mold

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by joegrass, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. joegrass

    joegrass LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 2

    One development that I treat has gotten the worst snow mold ever, but just on my lawns. Nieghbors have some but the ones we did have it bad, to the point I wonder if it will grow out! It seems to be the clients that got a late treatment, end of Nov. They all had there grass reasonably short. We put on about a pound of N, all quick release. The client have drawn the conclusion, as I have that we caused it. Didnt show up until Beguining of Feb.

    Some others we treat that got thier last app in beguining of Oct have very little

    Any Ideas?
  2. slow release

    slow release LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    What was the analysis on the fertilizer you applied last fall (N-P-K)? Turfgrass doesn't need much Nitrogen in the fall as you don't want to push too much topgrowth that late in the year. This produces new succulent growth with thin cell walls which are more prone to snow mold attack. This may have been your problem. I've seen it before on lawns done by a large competitor. Instead of using the right type of fertilizer for late fall, they just used up what they had. I love when they pull that crap!! :laugh:
  3. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Well now you have to deal with the snow mold. The most important thing you can do now is immediately rake the affected areas. The snow mold damage is mostly to the upper leaf surfaces, generally the crowns are not killed. If you immediatley rake, or spring tine dethatch (JRCO) the area and open the area up, the crowns will not die. The crowns are negativly affected when they start to rot underneath the depressed leaves of the grass. An application of Beyleton or Daconil will also help prevent and contain the infusion of fungus than can occur to a weakened plant as well.

    Next fall offer your client an application of Beyleton for snow mold control. Price it right as the snow mold control rate is very high.
  4. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

  5. grey or pink snow mold?
  6. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    That is usually impossible to tell without a microscope. You have to look at the angle at which the hyphae branch out. 90deg or 60deg
  7. joegrass

    joegrass LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 2

    Dr. john Street has written and spoke about LSF Late Season Fertilization. He has recamended as much as 1.5# n per 1000 all quick release. His article explains that in his trials he did not have an increase in snow mold.

    I guess we live and learn.


  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Joe, do you have a reference to this discussion by Dr. Street? Was he promoting this as common practice on all turf, or maybe sports or golf turf? Was it an experimental regime to manage some special problem?

    You have to be very careful when listening or reading from the researchers, to differentiate between experimental and recommended practice. 5-6 years ago, Dr. Vargas at MSU was having some success in early season disease control: he was spoon feeding at relatively high N rates for spring in C3 turf. But he was not recommending this be undertaken as a practice in the field.

    I believe the standard for fall fertilization of C3 turf is still to apply 2/3 of the total N in the fall. But you do not want to have heavy N available just before dormancy, or you will have succulent blades very susceptable to snow mold. If your climate was similar to ours last fall, the late Nov app was just before topgrowth ceased. I did not start last app until a few days into December here. That last app, only ½# N, needs to go on AFTER topgrowth stops, and it will be used to store energy for spring, rhizome growth, and late winter root growth.

    NOTE: last fall was very unusual in our area. Temps stayed up and leaf growth continued well past normal. I was afraid I would not get the last app on, but I only missed a few places.

    The best fix now is SodKing's suggestion above.
  9. AlpineNaturescapes

    AlpineNaturescapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    Excessive late fall readily available N is the main culprit here.

    Raking is too much work. Better fix is to aerate, and then fertilize with ammonium sulfate - it will green up much better than urea.
  10. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    For someone who hasn't seen a good dose of snow mold, imagine thousands of square feet of turf, every blade tan colored, mashed flat to the ground, and covered with a very thin layer of hardened bacon fat. And the client doesn't see it until snow melts off in mid March. My gosh, do we ever need a magic bullet now!!!!

    Now if someone thinks poking holes and/or throwing any kind of fertilizer on that will help, go ahead. But if that client lives anywhere near one of my clients, where the damaged areas were power flail or tine raked, and probably a lite app of starter fert applied, I'll be taking that client away from you in two weeks, LOL.

    Then maybe you will go and read university recommendations on snow mold management. Basic cultural practices work so much better than magic bullets, even if they require a little work.

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