Mold Can Affect Your Lawn Too

Jan 29, 2021

The term mold describes several fungal species that have a fuzzy appearance, especially when found on that loaf of bread in the back of the pantry that you forgot about.

Depending on where you live in the state, other molds known as snow molds may also create that fuzzy look on grasses at this time of year and can appear as temperatures start to warm and snow cover melts away. These are the pink and gray snow molds, and they infect grasses under snow cover but may also become active when the weather is cool and wet. 

Symptoms of the two diseases begin as small circular patches that change color from orange-brown to dark reddish-brown, and eventually light tan or gray. That fuzz I mentioned may also appear at the edges of the patches. As snow melts, and I'm thinking mainly of northern Utah here, the patches appear as matted areas of light yellow or straw-colored grass. As the grass dries, the leaves may turn more silver or gray.

So, what should you do if your lawn is starting to show these symptoms? For most homeowners, fungicides are not recommended for the treatment or prevention of snow mold disease. That is because the grasses are tough, and in most cases, they will recover on their own with proper management. You can speed up recovery a bit by raking the damaged areas, removing the dead and matted leaves, and fertilizing to promote healthy growth. More information on this and other topics is online extension.usu.edu