What's That White Stuff on My Grass Where the Snow Melted?

Given our long wet winters, most everyone in Wisconsin is glad when the snow finally melts away.

Even then, many homeowners find that some of their grass is still tinged with white. Unfortunately, this isn’t die-hard snow – it’s snow mold, a fungus that grows when grass is blanketed by snow for just a bit too long.

Snow mold is easy to spot. Grass is usually matted down, with a white coloration on the edge of the blades. Lawn areas on the north sides of homes are especially susceptible to snow mold.

There’s not much to do, really. The upper surface grass is dead. Rake it up. If the plants’ root systems are healthy, new grass should regenerate. If not, you’ll have to grow new grass, just as we described in our previous post on winter lawn damage.

Snow mold usually appears in grass that has been buried by mounds of snow, the kind that are the last to melt. Often these are on the edges of driveways, where plowing or snowblowing has built large compacted walls.

Some prevention is possible. Chop down large snow piles remaining in your yard in late winter. Toss shovelfuls around in small quantities that can melt. The sooner grass can access fresh air and sun, the healthier it will be.

Snow mold is an often unavoidable condition of our Wisconsin climate. The healthier your lawn is, though, the better it can spring back after being buried for months. With spring right around the corner, the opportunity for a fresh start might never look better.

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