Snow Mold on My Carolina Lawn? You Bet Ya! Find Out How To Prevent It

Living in North or South Carolina, you may be confused about whether or not you should prepare your lawn for winter. Our winters are shorter than those in some of the northern states and though it does occasionally snow, the amounts we receive are low. You may have a mixture of both warm and cool-season types of grass, making it even more confusing. But because we never really know what Mother Nature will throw our way, it’s important to be prepared. Impeccable Lawns has you covered. We’re here to help you understand the damage Old Man Winter can do to your turf and how you can prevent it this fall.

Types of Grasses in North and South Carolinasnow mold

First, it’s important to know what type of grass you have on your lawn. Warm-season grasses include Bermuda, zoysia, centipede, and St. Augustine. Cold-season grasses include fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass. Both warm and cool-season types of grass go dormant and turn brown in the winter. Warm-season grasses start to “hibernate” when soil temperatures reach 65 or below, while cool-season grasses go dormant once temperatures fall consistently below 45 degrees. They will not turn green again until spring arrives. This doesn’t mean your grass has died; it is, in fact, just waiting to grow again when the warm weather comes back.

The Dangers Winter Brings to Your North and South Carolina Turf

Winter doesn’t just bring cooler temperatures and longer nights, it also brings risks for your turf. Sections of your lawn can die from cold temperatures, harsh winds, ice, and lack of moisture. When temperatures drop extremely low, especially for extended periods, warm-season grasses can die or take much longer to bounce back in the spring. Snow, regardless of how much or little is obtained, can create a fungal disease known as snow mold. While it occurs mainly on cool-season grasses, it can affect both types of turf.

What is Snow Mold?

Snow mold is a fungus that grows in circular patches on your lawn. Because snow traps heat and moisture beneath it, the grass creates the perfect environment for bacteria. Snow mold typically appears after the snow melts in late winter or early spring and comes in two different varieties, grey snow mold and pink snow mold.

Grey Snow Mold
This fungus appears as large patches of grey or straw-colored grass in the early spring. The patches are between six to 12 inches in diameter with a grey border. Grey snow mold┬ábecomes more severe when your lawn’s surface temperatures stay at or above freezing for an extended period.

Pink Snow Mold
Pink snow mold is a bit more serious. This fungus aggressively attacks the roots and crowns of your grass, causing incredible damage and plant death. Symptoms include one to eight-inch irregularly shaped patches of red, brown, or copper-colored grass. Pink snow mold patches have a pink border around them. As winter progresses, pink snow mold takes over large portions of your lawn.pink snow mold

Both types of snow molds damage your grass and weaken its immune system making your turf more susceptible to other diseases, damaging lawn pests, and persistent weeds.

Prevention of Snow Mold Starts With Lawn Care

When it comes to snow mold and other problems that occur in the winter, the best way to manage these conditions is through prevention. And what better way to prevent this condition from destroying your lawn than through proper lawn maintenance. Keeping your turf healthy throughout the year is the best way to build up your grass’s immune system. Maintain your property throughout the year with proper irrigation, mowing, and aeration. Utilize an adequate fertilization program that contains weed and pest control. Stop using nitrogen-rich fertilizers at the end of the fall because nitrogen feeds fungi. Following proper practices will provide your North or South Carolina lawn with the health and resiliency it needs to remain healthy year-round.

Fall Lawn Preparation

When fall comes around, it’s important to prepare your lawn for the upcoming winter. There are several ways to help do this. Continue to mow your grass until the first frost or the grass stops growing. Shorter grass tends to become less matted. Rake or mulch the leaves and remove all lawn debris before any snow or frost occurs. And have a lawn care professional such as Impeccable Lawns apply a fungicide in the fall that will help protect your lawn against snow mold and other lawn fungi.

Protect and Prevent Your Grass from Snow Mold With Impeccable Lawns Lawn Fertilization Service

Impeccable Lawns can help protect and prevent your lawn from becoming damaged this winter. Our 7-step lawn fertilization program offers the appropriate lawn maintenance needed at the right times throughout the year. Our comprehensive program includes a blend of nutrients for proper fertilization, weed control, green-up, and fungicide treatments applied in the fall. During these autumn months here in North and South Carolina, we will take a soil sample to determine your soil’s pH levels. We will also perform aeration, which will help reduce any soil compaction that occurred over the summer and apply fungicide to eliminate and prevent any lawn fungi that creeps up over the winter.

Learn more about our 7-step lawn fertilization program by visiting our website, contacting us online, or calling us at 910-575-5296 now.

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