Record cold leaves behind snow mold, how to help your lawn

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A record-cold February kept snow cover around longer than usual this year, causing a cotton-candy like mold called “snow mold” to spring up on West Michigan lawns.

Snow mold looks either grey or pink and begins popping up in the spring when the snow begins to melt. The fluffy fuzz sticks to the top of grass and creeps out in circle-like clusters. These clusters are anywhere from 3 to 12 inches in diameter.

Snow mold doesn’t happen every year, but it is most common in Michigan during years when an early and deep snow falls on ground that isn’t completely frozen.

This December was mild. We then had a cold and snowy period January through February. The sudden switch in the weather could be why lawns across West Michigan are seeing snow mold for the first time ever this year.

Snow mold rarely causes serious damage, but it can occasionally kill grass permanently. It usually affects areas that typically take a while to green up in normal years.

“Gray snow mold activity stops when the temperature exceeds 45° F or the surface dries. Pink snow mold activity may continue during wet weather in the fall and spring, as long as the temperature is between 32° F and 60° F,” the University of Minnesota Extension says.

To kill the snow mold, gently rake affected areas. Fungicides are not recommended. The mold is most likely to continue to thrive in wet lawns and can survive.

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