Cultural Practices to Prevent Snow Mold
The last thing your customers want to see when the snow melts next spring is mold growing on their lawn. Snow mold is a sneaky disease that infects turf underneath the snow. It appears in patches that range in size from eight inches to several feet. The mold can be pink or gray and sometimes has a layer of mycelium, which looks like melting snow. Understanding the disease gives us several insights about how to prevent it.
Snow mold thrives in lawns that have a lot of organic materials like thatch and dead leaves. Raking leaves before the first snow of the season is a good preventative measure, in addition to dethatching. A good rule of thumb for how much to dethatch is that you shouldn’t leave more than ¾ inch of thatch in the lawn.
Following the same logic as for raking and dethatching, your final cut of the season should be shorter than in-season cuts. Mowing shorter at the end of the season helps prevent moisture build-up and disease growth.
If your company offers snow removal in addition to lawn care services, you have another opportunity to prevent snow mold for your customers. When plowing driveways and sidewalks, be careful not to pile snow too high in any one spot on the lawn. That way, it will melt more quickly and not give snow mold as much time to grow in the spring.
Incorporate these practices into your fall and winter routines, and your customers will be impressed with how healthy their snow mold-free lawn looks in the spring!