Organic help with snow mold?

suggiApril 10, 2008

I have never had snow mold before and do not know if it is gray or pink snow mold from the mountains of snow we got here. 80% of the lawn is brown with quite a bit of white in it. For some reason there are a lot of bare spots also. Hubby has had a really bad disc problem pressing on a nerve and can't use his arm thus had to get a lawn guy as I am 70 and not in good health -- immune comprimised due to mastectomy for BC. They want to come next week and do spring clean up (means blowing the snow mold spores all over as that is how they clean up) and then after the clean up he said they would rake up the snow mold. I want them to seed the bare spots and he said since I don't have a sprinkler system he wanted to wait until fall. Well, last year when they cut the lawn they went over the bare spots and the dirt was an inch thick on the screens and windows and I can't go through that again. If he doesn't seed I guess I will have to and put up little barriers so they don't mow them lol.....they won't be able to get the mower around the stakes.

Any suggestions as what to do. Do not know if either mold is dangerous for human health and right now I can not wash all my screens, windows outside and doors. Do you think if I ask them to blow everything away from the house it would be OK? Also, is there any organic help to get rid of the snow mold after they rake. I probably could do that myself but I do not know what to use.

Thanks for any help.

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

We can help. There is no need to rake anything. The only cure (organic or not) for snow mold is to apply ORDINARY corn meal, yes, like the stuff you cook with. The application rate to cure it is 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Quite often you can buy an agricultural version of ordinary corn meal at a feed store. I paid $6.75 for a 50 pound bag.

Corn meal works by growing a certain beneficial fungus that eats disease fungi. That process takes 3 full weeks, but it really does work. You will also notice at the end of the three weeks that your grass comes in much darker in color than your neighbor's lawn. That is a characteristic of organic fertilizer. Corn meal is an organic fertilizer for your lawn. If you apply it now you will not need to fertilize again until 4th of July.

Call your lawn clean up people and tell them you do not want a spring clean up. Instead you want them to find some corn meal and apply it at the proper rate. Then in a month, if you still want them to come out and clean up, they will not be blowing any snow mold around. It will have been eaten by the beneficial fungus.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 2:02AM
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DC, you have experience applying corn meal right? I understand correctly that it is a little powdery compared to soybean meal? I will use it for the first time for my first application in promoting good fungal growth but I was going to use cracked corn instead. Any experience with the breakdown rate of cracked corn?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 10:05AM
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I did order Plant Helper which has trichoderma atroviride fungus granules in it to put down. They said it is a slow process though and eats the snow mold fungus. Is this the same as the corn meal? Also, we are overloaded with crows and moles and gophers and chipmunks. Would corn meal entice them? I am trying desperately to chase the crows as they are "letting go" when thy fly over the house on the one side and have been hanging out in my neighbors tree.

If you think it won't attract everybody should I put the corn meal out as well as the plant helper? Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 11:52AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I've never used cracked corn but people who read and report here don't have any problems with it. Sometimes you get a corn plant growing, but once mowed down it doesn't come back.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 9:45PM
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So am I to understand that both corn meal or cracked corn will work? Otherwise would the problem take care of itself as things dry out??..........just curious

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 10:05PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Yes, both will work. Living in San Antonio I am no expert on snow mold, but from what I read here, it just goes away in the spring. The time to use corn meal for snow mold seems to be in the fall as a preventative.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 3:18PM
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Once the damage is done nothing is going to repair the damaged plant tissue obviously so on this one keep the corn meal in the cupboard because unless we get some more snow, which we might, the mold will stop spreading as soon as it gets warm. It will dry out on its own. After that the only issue will be the extent of the damage done. Snow mold rarely kills the crown of the grass only the blade so you might not have to reseed if you're patient.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:23PM
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