Lawn Diseases 101: Snow Mold

Lawn Diseases 101: Snow Mold

Snow Mold Tips

Early Spring

  • Lightly rake affected areas
  • Fertilize & aerate to spark new growth
  • Over-seed with disease-resistant seed


  • Mow lawn extra short before winter
  • Collect lawn clippings
  • Do not mulch tree leaves
  • Core aerate to improve drainage

What Is Snow Mold?

Snow mold is a common winter lawn disease. Early symptoms of the snow mold appear as white circular patches 3-12 inches in diameter that change to light pink or grey. The pink or grey color quickly fades shortly after snow melt, leaving behind brown, circular patches.

Why Does My Lawn Have Snow Mold?

Fungi present in our local soils attack specific varieties of grass under certain weather conditions, especially a heavy snow on unfrozen ground. Other conditions that favor this disease include poor drainage, compacted soils, tall grass, excessive clippings or leaves left on lawn going into the winter.

Snow mold.
Snow mold on a lawn.

How Can I Prevent Snow Mold on My Lawn?

Early Spring

Lightly rake any infected areas immediately after snow melt. Stand up matted-down grass and lightly remove any loose debris.

Raking will allow air to reach the roots, reducing the chance of suffocation. It also allows room for new growth. Damage normally recovers on its own with proper raking and fertilization. Areas that do not recover by mid-May will need reseeding.

Choose disease-resistant seed. Turf Care can core aerate your lawn to help with surface drainage. Excessive thatch can be addressed with core aeration or bio dethatcher treatments.

Fungicide treatments can be applied in the late fall, these treatments however, are expensive and are only effective in preventing the lawn disease, not curing it. Proper cultural practices are usually your most economical defense against snow mold.


Reduce any conditions that hold moisture near the surface of the lawn. For compacted soils, aerate your lawn to improve drainage.

Starting in late October, lower your mower’s cutting height one notch at a time, so grass is as short as possible without scalping going into the winter. Collect clippings and tree leaves since debris left on the lawn that holds moisture will encourage fungal growth.

How Turf Care Can Help

Turf Care can core aerate your lawn to help with surface drainage. Excessive thatch can be addressed with core aeration or bio dethatcher treatments. Call 847-304-4144 or contact us to get a free quote.

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