Snow Mold in Minnesota

Winter Has Probably Trashed Your Yard

No matter how carefully we put our gardens and landscapes to bed for the winter - winter always manages to win out. Here's what you can do to fix snow mold and bring your yard back to life in the spring.

Lawn Repair

Deep snow insulates the ground and often creates conditions where fungus, or snow mold, grows over the winter months. Gray snow mold (also called Typhula blight) is caused by Typhula spp., while pink snow mold (also called Fusarium patch) is caused by Microdochium nivalis.

The best way to tackle snow mold is to let the lawn dry, then rake the areas before any fertilization is done. That's it. Easy.

The damage done by de-icing materials and snowplows should be taken care of as soon as the warmer temperatures of spring arrive. These areas will require a little TLC, fresh soil, and seed or sod. Don't just throw down seed or sod and call it done. Remove the dead grass and any debris.

  1. Level the area.
  2. Add fresh black soil then seed or sod.
  3. In the seeded areas, don't use pre-emergents or strong fertilizers. A starter fertilizer is recommended. Don't forget to water the new areas regularly.

Pavers and Patios

If you have paver patios, walkways, or driveways, a little spring maintenance may be necessary. Check the joints. Do you see spaces between the pavers where sand should be? Fresh sand should be swept into the joints before wind-blown seeds take root.

Check for Rodent Damage

Examine trees and shrubs for rodent damage. The snow provided excellent cover for the rabbits and voles this year. You might see a less vigorous plant this year and improvement next year. Depending on how much damage occurred, you may want to consider replacing the plant.

Learn more here: Wildlife damage to perennial fruits and shrubs, University of Minnesota Extension, Yard and Garden News.

Fix Drainage Issues

One more note: drainage. Did you happen to notice puddles where they shouldn't be, such as walkways and driveways? Think about tackling this problem before next winter. Drain tile and catch basins can be installed to encourage water to go where you want it to go, away from the house and any hardscapes.

Wait to Water

And here's a money-saving, water-saving tip: It is not necessary or recommended to water your lawn during the month of May unless it remains dry and/or the temperatures climb into the 80s or 90s for long stretches at a time.

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