Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Snow Mold

In late fall we cover the fine turf areas (tees, greens, & fairways) with chemicals to protect them from snow mold (Pink and Gray). This past winter was a great year for snow mold, I am sure many of you have seen signs of it in your yards at home; Areas that appear a little grayish in color and are all matted down with a wet appearance, or pink in color and probably dead. If it is active you can see signs of a cottony material called mycelium, for Gray snow mold it is gray and Pink it is pinkish. Gray snow mold rarely does enough damage to cause the death of the turf plants, however those spots will take longer to recover during spring. The best thing to do is get a rake and give those spots a good workout, busting up the matted turf and getting the dessicated plant material out of there. Pink snow mold is a disease that often kills the plant and results in areas that need to be cleaned up and seeded, it is more common to closely mowed turf areas such as tees, greens, and fairways.
When out playing you will notice the results of not protecting our fine turf on #16. I used the approach/fairway as a check plot and did not cover it last fall with any fungicide. What you see are the results of Gray and some Pink snow mold infestations. We use check plots on the course to make sure our chemical applications are sound. And while #16 approach will take a little extra TLC this spring to get it back quickly, it has showed us that spending the money on fall turf protection is money well spent. It would be pretty ugly if we had conditions like that all over the course come opener...

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