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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SNOW MOLD (ever heard of it?)

I have mentioned Snow Mold a few times in posts, how it makes many of us sick…kills the grass, and is just generally ugly. I never thought to explain exactly what snow mold is…or even show it. It wasn’t until someone actually asked me what the heck snow mole is…that I realized that maybe some of you haven’t had the ‘privilege’ of dealing with it…and decided to enlighten you all! So buckle up kids…this is going to be another exciting learning post! hahaha

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This is a shot of my front garden. It is an ugly mess right now. Nothing has been done out here since the first snow fall of 2010. We had a lot of snow this year…and it is almost all gone (thank goodness). The ugly mess you see here…is primarily snow mold.

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The next few shots will be different patches of it…close up to show you what it looks like.005

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Snow mold develops when there is an extended length of time when the snow cover on ground is not completely frozen. (during the early spring melt for example) This fungal disease 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. I tend to raise the blade on my lawn mower to leave the grass a little longer in the fall, as it helps keep the grass a little greener for a little longer. Mine is not considered too long. It can also be encouraged by large amounts of thatch being left un-checked year after year. I deal with the thatch every spring…when I wake up the grass. (this will be discussed in my next post)

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Even though it can look really nasty in the early spring, most snow mold damage will recover if given a little help and some time. After the snow has melted and the area has dried, the infection will stop growing and the grass will begin to grow and renew itself. To speed up the process, the infected area can be lightly raked to encourage drying. Just fluffing up the grass will help a LOT.

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I think it is just the ugliest!!!

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Snow mold makes many people suffer allergies in the spring…but, in my case and many others, an over the counter antihistamine will help a lot.

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I also don’t get out there and rake by hand…I use the thatch blade on the lawnmower…it will fluff the grass, pick up any leaves that fell or blew in over the winter and remove the thatch that has accumulated since last spring. Once I have thatch raked, I pick up all that has been pulled by the blade, with either the lawn mower, or by hand.012

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So ….that is snow mold…and everything I can tell you about it…first hand. If snow mold is not taken care of promptly, it can cause dead patches to appear on your lawn, which may require re-seeding. Lucky for me, I am always aching to be outside after a long winter indoors…so I take care of it…right quick!

I do hope that cleared up any questions you might have! If not…feel free to ask, I always do my best to answer!

This is a very hectic time for me here in Tootsie’s world….I am doing my best to get around and say hello…please be patient…I am just one girl who is a single mom of three, daughter, friend and gardener, and everything else in between.

Until next time…happy gardening!

*)*)*)…to those three ever so special peeps…you know who you are…and to one in particular…silence is GOLDEN..duct tape is silver. mwuah!

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`*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie
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