Are you seeing matted, discolored “dead spots” in your lawn?
Our applicators have been noting various degrees of damage in our client’s lawns throughout Clark County, north into La Center, Ridgefield and Woodland and south into Portland. We are finding matted, circular areas, 3 to 6 inches in diameter with grayish or pinkish edges. In many cases, grayish white mold is also present.
This damage is Pink Snow Mold (Microdochium Nivale) that has been caused by the unusually high number of heavy frost days we have experienced this winter. The good news is there is no need to apply fungicide to stop this disease. The bad news is the damage has been done.
So what now? The single most important thing you can do to aid in your lawns recovery is to use a blower or lawn rake to “fluff up” the damaged areas. This promotes air movement and improves turf appearance.
And while you’re out there, it’s a great time to remove as much lawn debris (leaves, displaced bark or mulch and limbs and twigs) as possible. By regularly removing this debris you will prevent smothering damage to your turf.
Mowing, if the turf is dry, can also aid in recovery. But be sure you are not leaving heavy clippings on the lawn that can hinder air movement and cause smothering problems as well.
Having your lawn aerated this spring is highly advisable. This helps relieve soil compaction, aids drainage and can stimulate new grass growth. In the more severely damaged lawns, over-seeding may also be necessary.