Preventative Snow Mold Spray Best Practices
No one wants a spring course reveal ruined by snow mold. But, without snow mold applications in the fall, this could happen to your course (especially in the northern regions of the Midwest).
Snow mold comes in two types: gray and pink. Gray snow mold needs extended periods of snow cover to develop, while pink snow mold does not. However, both can cause a surface to be unplayable.
The more north you are located, the earlier the snow mold application should be made. In Minocqua, Wisconsin, we are seeing superintendents treat for snow mold in the middle of October and, in Chicago, snow mold applications are applied from November 15th to December 1st.
Side note: While snow mold is not as severe in the transition zone as it is in the north, a preventative app could still be applied. The decision on whether to put down it should be made by November. The snow mold preventative app could also be combined with a late fall fungicide clean up spray to eliminate snow mold, plus take care of diseases like waitea and yellow patch.
The snow mold treatment can be variable, weather dependent mostly. Some customers make one application in the fall, and others make two. Some customers will also re-spray in late winter/spring.
Snow mold spray best practices:
- Employ more than one active ingredient, including multi-active products such as Bayer’s Interface Stressgard, AMVAC’s Premion, or Sipcam’s E-Scape. To take down snow mold, some of our more Northern customers will put four different actives in their fairway spray.
- For fall applications, put Bayer’s Proxy in with your snow mold spray. The addition will help suppress Poa annua seed heads when spring comes around. If we receive a warm winter, adding PGR 113 to your spray will also be of value by reducing growth and prolonging the protection of fungicides.
- Add a surfactant to the snow mold spray. If there is an open winter and zero snow cover, the surfactant can help prevent desiccation. It may also assist the chemicals in the snow mold spray with holding on longer.
- Use a pigment in your snow mold spray. ArmorTech’s Optimizer Green Shade is an excellent one to use. The green color from the pigment can help warm up the ground, which assists in a darker green turf in the spring. In addition, the longer the fungicide stays on the plant, the better protection you have during winter.
- Reapplying may be needed due to weather. Reapply the snow mold spray if heavy rains occur late fall to early winter.
- Protect young turf. Put the snow mold spray down, apply granular Turfcide 10G (AMVAC), or Pillar G (Bayer), and put a cover on top of the young turf. The granular seems to last longer under covers.