Snow Mold Prevention for Sports Turf
No one wants the first practice or game of spring to be ruined by snow mold. But, without preventative applications now, that’s a very real possibility—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. Both can do serious damage to turfgrass.
Snow mold treatment is variable, mostly dependent on weather. Some field managers make one application in the fall, and others make two. Some also re-spray in late winter or early spring. Below are some best practices to keep in mind as you plan your approach to snow mold prevention.
- Employ more than one active ingredient. Consider a multi-active product, such as Interface Stressgard.
- For fall applications, put a growth regulator like Proxy in with your snow mold spray. The addition will help suppress Poa annua seedheads when spring comes around. If we receive a warm winter, adding PGR 113 to your spray will also prove valuable by reducing growth and prolonging the protection of fungicides.
- Add a surfactant to the snow mold spray. If we have an open winter with zero snow cover, the surfactant can help prevent desiccation. It may also help the chemicals in the snow mold spray hold on longer.
- Use a pigment in your snow mold spray. ArmorTech’s Optimizer Green Shade is an excellent one. The green color from the pigment can help warm up the ground, contributing to a darker green turf in the spring. And 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 in the late fall or early winter.
- Protect young turf. After you apply snow mold spray, apply granular Zoxy-PG, Turfcide 10G, or Pillar G. Then put a cover on top of the young turf because granular products seem to last longer under covers.
Contact your ATS representative to secure your needs for snow mold prevention this fall.