What Are Those Brown Patches in My Lawn?

We had a pretty cold winter here in PA so I'm really happy that spring is here.

If you live in an area that received snowfall this winter, you might be noticing circular brown patches like the ones in the photo as your lawn tries to come back. 

These are caused by snow mold. The mold can grow when the ground has not has a chance to freeze before a snowfall.

While the damage is seldom serious, it can be discouraging, particularly when we are looking forward to a beautiful green lawn after a long winter.

To help your grass come back if it has been affected gently rake the area to de-thatch and aerate the lawn. This will promote drying and prevent further fungal growth. If the grass does not grow back, purchase a bag of grass patch which contains grass seed and fertilizer and apply to the affected area. Be sure to keep the area watered until the new grass sprouts.

While snow mold can't necessarily be prevented, there are things you can do to minimize the damage in coming years:

  • Avoid applying excessive amounts of fertilizer in the fall and continue to mow to a recommended height until the grass is no longer actively growing. The taller you allow the grass to be in the fall the more it can mat down and encourage the growth of snow mold
  • Rake up leaves in the fall
  • Keep your thatch layer accumulation to less than 1/2 inch
  • Spread out large piles of snow to encourage more rapid melting.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I'll leave you with this beautiful photo of blooming spring bulbs. With the warmer temperatures we should see them blooming soon!

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