Each and every year the majority of us are faced with some sort of horticultural problem that exists, has existed, or we’re worried that it could become a problem in our future.
Every year, and predominantly in the spring, I receive calls from homeowners and gardeners with concerns about something that has occurred since last fall or something that has been a persistent pest in past years.
I normally can handle and solve most because I’ve answered them hundreds of times at the garden center or have had those exact same problems myself that I’ve had to overcome.
One of the most asked questions is about snow mold that occurs in the spring leaving nasty areas of white and grey. Some are small round circles and some are quite large areas that leave yards a lot to be desired. This occurs when snow is slow to melt in the spring and leaves the grass matted down too long.
If grass isn’t mowed short enough in the fall it creates a harbinger for snow mold. Not to say you need to “butch” your yard in the fall but if you would mow it an extra inch shorter it will alleviate a lot of the problem. Another harbinger is unraked leaves that create wet matted surfaces which snow mold loves — it’s a perfect breeding ground for the disease. This occurs mainly when spring temperatures stay cool (30s and 40s) and snow melt is slow to take place. Another factor is a late application of fertilizer that contained high fast release nitrogen (no need to have quick greening energy this late in the season). Late fall applications should have only slow release nitrogen that gives grass & soil only the nutrients needed to build a healthy start for the following year.