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Snow mold, dead leaves, fertilizer...?

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Snow mold, dead leaves, fertilizer...?

Postby conniepr » Apr 21, 2013 11:11 am

Now that the two feet of snow is melting away, areas of the lawn are being uncovered. Under my trees, I have shade gardens and I had left the leaves that fell last fall to use as fertilizer in the flower beds in the spring. BUT! Now a whole section of the lawn (and dead leaves) is covered with a thick layer of snow mold. Instinct tells me to carefully get rid of it. BUT! I just read a garden tip that leaf mold is a good soil amendment. ??? So.... what about my leaves that have snow mold on them?
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Re: Snow mold, dead leaves, fertilizer...?

Postby Jersm » Apr 21, 2013 5:01 pm

"What causes snow mold?

Snow mold is caused when there is an extended period of snow cover on ground that is not completely frozen. It can also be brought on by a badly timed fertilizer application which causes a flush of growth too late in the fall. Snow mold can also occur under leaves that have not been cleaned up or amongst long grass that should have been mowed once more before winter set in.

how is snow mold prevented?

To minimize the risk of snow mold occurring on the lawn it is important to "put the lawn to bed" properly.

Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizers in the fall,
mow the lawn until it stops growing,
clean up leaves in the fall,
manage thatch to avoid accumulations of more than 2"

How do I repair snow mold damage?

Fungicides are available for both preventive and curative treatments of snow mold. However, they are not recommended due to the largely superficial and temporary damage snow mold inflicts on the lawn.

Although it can look really nasty in the early spring, most snow mold damage will recover in time. Once the area has dried, the infection will cease and the turf will grow out and renew itself. To speed up the process, the infected area can be lightly raked to encourage drying. Some overseeding may be necessary and if the damage is extremely severe, topdressing can be applied and areas can be repaired like a bare patch.
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