Snow mold is a lawn disease caused by snow pack on turf grass.  There are two common types of snow mold that are usually found in lawns, pink snow mold and gray snow mold.  Pink snow mold resembles a cob web like material that is pale pink to peach in color.  Gray snow mold is white to gray in color with similar characteristics.  This disease is usually apparent in the spring when the snow melts.  This disease forms fungal patches in the turf grass that can reach up to a foot in diameter.  The biggest difference between pink and gray snow mold is how the fungi attack the turf grass.  Lawns containing gray snow mold can expect to recover relatively quickly once the grass starts to come out of dormancy.  Gray snow mold usually attacks the blades of the grass and leaves the remainder of the plant alone.  Pink snow mold on the other hand can be quite damaging.  Pink snow mold can attack the crowns and roots of the grass plant.  Anytime that you are dealing with a lawn disease that attacks the crowns and roots of the grass plant, recovery is generally harder for the plant.

Snow Mold

Snow mold damage in lawns.

Blade damage is usually more of an eye sore than a debilitating disease.  It is important to know what form of snow mold is present in your lawn, so that proper treatment can be made.  It is possible for both types of mold to be present in your lawn at the same time.  Closely examine the blades of grass to determine which type that is present.

There are several ways to reduce the chances of snow mold in your lawn.  Reduce the amount of nitrogen in the last lawn feeding of the season.  Too much nitrogen will encourage top-growth and may cause the conditions for snow mold to thrive.  Cut your grass shorter in the fall and continue to mow while the grass is still growing.  Do not let your lawn go into winter with extensive top-growth.  Remove leaves or other objects that may hold moisture in your lawn.  Keep your lawn healthy and maintained to reduce fungus out-breaks.

More information on fungus in lawns.