While we’d like to think that lawn diseases go away for the winter season, that’s not always the case. For example, snow mold is a common problem for New England homeowners. What’s worse is that the issue is nearly invisible until springtime comes.

In addition to snow mold being hard to spot, two types plague New England lawns: pink and grey snow mold. If the conditions are right, both snow molds can take over your grass simultaneously. Here’s how to spot the difference between pink and grey snow mold on your grass to stop snow mold damage this winter.

What is pink snow mold?

Pink snow mold, also known as Microdochium patch, is a fungal disease caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale. Lawn owners and professionals can best recognize its pink hue in wet conditions. While it affects all turfgrasses, it tends to affect creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass more. In addition, it’s most noticeable in spring when the snow and ice have melted away.

What is grey snow mold?

Grey snow mold, also called Typhula blight, is a fungal disease caused by the fungus Typhula incarnata. Grey snow mold also affects all turfgrasses but most predominantly affects cool-seasoned grasses. Like pink snow mold, grey snow mold is most visible at the beginning of spring.

What are the similarities between pink and grey snow mold?

For one, both pink and grey snow molds can affect grass year-round. While they’re most active in snow cover, they can also be present in cooler weather. They’ll only become dormant in warm, sunny conditions but can reappear the following winter. This is why applying a fungicide before snowfall is essential!

The same environmental conditions also cause pink and grey snow mold. A mix of moisture and compacted material is a petri dish for mold growth. A heavy, wet snowstorm is far more likely to trigger snow mold than a light and air snowfall because it compacts the snow, grass, and any decaying organic matter together with no breathing room.

Finally, both snow molds produce an uneven, patchy appearance. While it might not be visible under layers of snow, it certainly will be noticeable when it melts. In addition, all snow molds create dead-looking, matted grass spots that spread throughout the yard. They also produce a spiderweb-like fungus mesh above the grass; This is a sure sign you’re dealing with snow mold.

What are the differences between pink and grey snow mold?

One of the most significant differences between grey and pink snow mold is its appearance. Named after its color, pink snow mold can be recognized by its pink and white patches. Likewise, grey snow mold has distinct grey and white coloring. This difference alone makes the molds super easy to spot and diagnose!

Secondly, their severity can also be different. For example, grey snow mold tends to be a milder disease that can go away with proper lawn care and regular fertilization. On the other hand, pink snow mold can cause lasting damage to your lawn. While grey snow mold typically affects the grass blades, pink snow mold can affect the leaves, stems, and crowns of your grass. If left untreated, pink snow mold can kill patches of your grass.

Pink and grey snow molds also require different treatments. Typically, you can remedy grey snow mold by boosting the health of your lawn in the spring with fertilizer applications. While pink snow mold can also go away on its own, it sometimes tries to stick around. Call in your local lawn care pros to eradicate pink snow mold because store-bought fungicides are rarely effective. However, prevention is always better than treatment, so we recommend removing excess debris and adding a preventative fungicide before wintertime.

Get rid of snow mold in your Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts lawn.

Don’t let snow molds slow your spring! Shoot us a message at getgreen@missiongreenservices.com or call us at (413) 998-7829 (MA) or (401) 475-9884 (RI) or (860) 222-7332 (CT) to learn about our snow mold services.