PLCAO Online Forums

It is currently February 27th, 2021, 8:05 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: October 30th, 2009, 6:42 am 
User avatar

Joined: October 20th, 2009, 9:38 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Canada


Although snow cover will protect turf from environmental extremes, such as cold temperatures and freeze–thaw cycles, MELTING SPRING SNOW will provide the FAVOURABLE CONDITIONS for fungal parasites to develop. These parasites will create problems referred to as the SNOW MOLD diseases.

The suppression of Snow Mold diseases requires a COMPLETE management program, which includes the proper programming of fertilizers and lime, implementing chemical applications, minimizing moisture, monitoring temperatures, performing adequate irrigation, reducing thatch, and selecting suitable turfgrasses.

The following text will provide suggestions for the use of fertilizers and lime in a Snow Mold management program. Of course, all final decisions must be deferred to the turf manager who is responsible for maintenance, and whose prior experience and understanding of the local growing conditions are essential for the success of such a program. Management options will vary according to the region and the prevailing conditions.

The Snow Mold Diseases

Across the Northern Zone for turfgrasses, an area that encompasses most of Canada, researchers have catalogued at least four distinct types of Snow Mold diseases.

Pink Snow Mold and Gray Snow Mold are two of the most common types, whereas Coprinus Snow Mold (or Cottony Snow Mold, a low temperature basidiomycete), and Myriosclerotinia Snow Scald have both been observed in Western Canada. Also, Coprinus Snow Mold has been reported in Alaska.

Pink Snow Mold is referred to as Gerlachia Patch, and more recently Microdochium Patch. This disease will develop whether a snow cover is present or not. Whenever Pink Snow Mold is identified without the presence of a snow cover, it is referred to as Fusarium Patch, or now, Microdochium Patch.

Gray Snow Mold has also been renamed as Typhula Blight. This disease is caused not by one, but by two fungal parasites. Each of these parasites is known only by their Latin names Typhula incarnata and Typhula ishikariensis. On a confusing note, this disease is unfortunately and inaccurately referred to as Snow Scald, as well as Winter Scald.

In the province of Ontario, the word « mold » is actually spelled « mould ». In other Canadian provinces, as well as the United States, the word « mold » is preferred. Suffice it to say that « Snow Mold » and « Snow Mould » are terms describing the same disease.

Nitrogen Fertilization and Snow Mold Diseases

Throughout the fall months, prior to the onset of frigid winter conditions, levels of nitrogen fertilization that are deemed « excessive » MAY increase the amount of injury caused by the Snow Molds. Excessive nitrogen fertilization is usually defined as rates greater than one pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet per growing month. However, the situation is much more complicated than simply abiding by a prescribed rate per growing month.

In the case of Typhula Blight, or Gray Snow Mold, many turf managers prefer to take no chances. They will avoid the use of « excessive » late summer and early fall applications of nitrogen. However, late fall and dormant nitrogen fertilization are practiced without many concerns.

In the case of Microdochium Patch, or Pink Snow Mold, the situation is more complicated. When it manifests itself without snow cover as Fusarium Patch, research has shown that any rate of nitrogen fertilization with UREA FORMALDEHYDE significantly increases the incidence of disease. Additionally, the use of SOLUBLE urea fertilizer significantly decreases the amount of Fusarium Patch disease, even at high rates. Throughout the fall months, turf managers may potentially increase disease damage with the cessation of nitrogen fertilization, or with the selection of certain sources of slow–release nitrogen.

It should be noted that fall fertilization with rates of nitrogen that are high enough to stimulate large quantities of new and succulent leaf growth can also lead to increased Snow Mold activity. In this case, nitrogen is only indirectly the cause of greater disease injury. The actual direct cause is the presence of long grass blades that are be more susceptible to Snow Molds. Consequently, turf should continue to be mown until all top growth has ceased completely.

Balanced Fertilization and Snow Mold Diseases

In general, using a balanced fertilizer, with adequate amounts of potassium and phosphorus, and of course nitrogen, will maintain a healthy plant that can resist and recover from disease damage.

When compared to the use of nitrogen alone, using a fertilizer with a nutrient ratio of 3–1–2 (N–P2O5–K2O) will tend to decrease the susceptibility to many turf diseases.

Throughout the fall months, many turf managers will determine the nutrient status of potassium, phosphorus, and other elements, with the help of a chemical soil analysis. This analysis is performed by a laboratory, which will assess the plant–available nutrient status of the soil. Hopefully, it will identify any deficiency in nutrients, and specific fertilizer nutrient ratios and rates can be prescribed.

Nutrient Ratios and Snow Mold Diseases

The relationship of fertilizer nutrient ratios and disease incidence has been studied in the past.

Here are the results of some of these studies ...

Research has examined the relationship between nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium on the incidence of Fusarium (Microdochium) Patch. Using nitrogen alone at very high rates will tend to increase the incidence of Fusarium Patch; whereas, using nitrogen alone at moderate rates will not increase disease incidence.

However, the practice of using fertilizer with a ratio of 3–5–5 (N–P2O5–K2O) will tend to significantly decrease the incidence of Fusarium Patch. In comparison, using fertilizer with other ratios will not significantly increase the incidence of disease.

A fertilizer with a ratio of 3–5–5 can be described in more practical terms as 15–20–21, with 50 per cent coated–urea nitrogen. 15–20–21 should be scheduled in the fertilizer program during the spring and fall months, wherever Fusarium Patch suppression is desired. 15–20–21 does not precisely match the 3–5–5 ratio because of the type of raw materials used, and the most cost–effective means of mixing them.

Phosphorus Fertilization and Snow Mold Diseases

It has been observed that inadequate phosphorus fertilization can lead to greater damage from one particular type of Snow Mold, Myriosclerotinia Snow Scald. The type of Snow Mold is rare, and will not likely be found in most turf locations.

Lime Practices and Fusarium Patch Disease

Research has illustrated a relationship between Fusarium (Microdochium) Patch and the rate of application of calcium carbonate. As a rule, liming practices should be AVOIDED wherever Fusarium Patch suppression is desired.


BEFORE the reader decides to change the entire fertilization program based upon the recommendations in this document ... STOP !

Ask yourself the following question ... DO I HAVE A PROBLEM TO BEGIN WITH ?

If the answer is NO, then continue with the fertilization program that has already worked for you.

If the answer is YES, then begin to implement some changes in the program.

On a personal note ... the principal author of this document has programmed, recommended, and/or supervised HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of fertilizer applications on virtually EVERY type of turf situation across the country. As a rule, he has NEVER been given any reason to be too concerned with the relationship between Snow Mold diseases and fertilization programs.

The reader must bear in mind that there is a huge difference between theories and university trial studies ... versus real–world large scale experience.

Use YOUR experience wisely !


William H. Gathercole and Norah G

National Organization Responding Against Huje that harm the Green Space Industry (NORAHG)

William H. Gathercole, Founder

For a free Force of Nature e-newsletter, contact


FORCE OF NATURE was launched for continuous transmission on the Internet on January 1st, 2009. It is a series of e–newsletters destined for the Green Space Industry, the Environmental–Terror–Movement, Government Officials, and the Media, nation–wide across Canada, the United States and overseas.

Force Of Nature is the brainchild of William H. Gathercole and his entourage. Norah G is actually an acronym for the stable of anonymous producers and writers that contribute to this e–newsletter and have now replaced Mr. Gathercole. They consist of people from the following industries : Distribution, Fertilizer, Golf, Lawn Care, Manufacturing, Municipal, Nursery, and Orchard. Many of these people are leaders in their own industries. The opinions expressed in Force Of Nature, even though from an INDEPENDENT PERSPECTIVE, may not reflect those of everyone in the GREEN SPACE INDUSTRY, or Mr. Gathercole’s many associates. Be warned ! Force Of Nature may sometimes be very irreverent and fearless with these e–newsletters. Mr. Gathercole is now retired from Force Of Nature, although his name continues to appear as the founder.

William H. Gathercole is a principal FOUNDER of the Modern Professional Lawn Care Industry in BOTH Ontario and Quebec. He holds a degree in Horticulture from the UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH, and another pure and applied science degree from McGILL UNIVERSITY. He has worked in virtually all aspects of the GREEN SPACE INDUSTRY, including GOLF and PROFESSIONAL LAWN CARE, and has served in public affairs, workplace safety, and environmental compliance. Mr. Gathercole has supervised, consulted, programmed, and/or overseen the execution of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of pest control applications in the urban landscape. He has trained, instructed, and consulted with THOUSANDS of turf managers and technicians. Mr. Gathercole has also been an agricultural agronomist. For many years, Mr. Gathercole was a contributing columnist for TURF & Recreation Magazine, Canada’s Turf and Grounds Maintenance Authority.

Mr. Gathercole has followed the evolution of ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM for over a quarter–century. His involvement in environmental issues reached a fevered pitch in the 1990s, when he orchestrated, with his colleagues, legal action against the prohibition of pest control products in the Town of Hudson, Quebec. For FIFTEEN YEARS, the strategies designed and implemented by Mr. Gathercole and his colleagues guaranteed the control of Enviro–Terror for the entire Modern Green Space Industry across Canada. Although he can be accused of being Anti–Environment–Movement, he is, in fact, simply a strong advocate FOR the Modern Green Space Industry. However, this position has not precluded him from criticizing the Green Space Industry itself. Nonetheless, his vast knowledge of our long journey with environmental issues is UNDENIABLE. ( Hopefully ! )

The mission of Force Of Nature is as a National Organization Responding Against Huje that harm the Green Space Industry (NORAHG) with statements and activities seeking to prohibit FEDERALLY LEGAL, SCIENTIFICALLY SAFE, and TOTALLY IRREPLACEABLE conventional pest control products. Enviro–Maniac–Culprits are identified on the basis of their statements, activities, affiliations, and whereabouts. Even though each Enviro–Maniac–Culprit is a mis–guided adversary, each still deserves our respect. The terms Maniac, Culprit, Terrorist, or Basterd are not accusations of any legal wrong–doing. Force Of Nature is simply holding Culprits accountable for conspiring to change public policies that TERRORIZE and THREATEN the Green Space Industry. Force Of Nature believes that the pretentious prohibitionist policies of the Environmental–Terror–Movement is leading to LOSS OF REVENUES, BUSINESS FAILURES, BANKRUPTCY, and UNEMPLOYMENT, inflicting DESPAIR and DESTITUTION for THOUSANDS of victims throughout the Green Space Industry. The actions of Maniac–Culprits–Terrorists–Basterds in the movement are viewed as a form of TERROR against the Green Space Industry. The information presented in Force Of Nature has been developed for the education and entertainment of the reader by providing a sequence of historical events with commentary. Additionally, Force Of Nature inspires people to believe that ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM can be STOPPED ! The events, characters, companies, and organizations, depicted in this document are not always fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, may not be coincidental. All document excerpts and pictures contained in Force Of Nature were found somewhere on the Internet. We believe that they are in the public domain, serving one of the following purposes : archive, education, promotion, publicity, or press release.

The following Force Of Nature documents are currently available ― ● Alberta Prohibition ● British Columbia Prohibition ● Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment ● Canadian Cancer Society ● Canadian Environmental Law Association ● Consequences ● David Suzuki Foundation ● DDT and Politicized Science ● Death and the Environmental–Terror–Movement ● Enviro–Money ● Environmental Terrorists Unmasked ● Fertilizer-Terror Is Next ● June Irwin, The Clown of Junk Science ● Kazimiera Jean Cottam ● Landscape Trades Capitulate ● New Brunswick Prohibition ● Nova Scotia Prohibition ● Ontario Prohibition ● Organic Fertilizers ● Pesticide Free BC ● Pets and Lawn Care Chemicals ● Prince Edward Island Prohibition ● Quebec Prohibition ● Rachel Carson, The Queen of Junk Science ● Salmon Arm BC Prohibition ● The 9/11 Era of the Green Space Industry ● The Failure of Integrated Pest Management ● The Looming Golf Industry Shipwreck ● The Industry Strikes Back ● The Misconceptions About Cancer ● The National Annihilation of the Modern Green Space Industry ● The Wisdom of Bill Bell ● The Wisdom of Drysdale ● The Wisdom of Health Canada ● The Wisdom of Holland ● The Wisdom of Lowes ● The Wisdom of Mains ● The Wisdom of the Solomons ● Ask For a Copy of Any Back Issue of Force Of Nature Today. Read All About Enviro–Maniacs and Their Environmental–Terror–Organizations in Force Of Nature ! The Whole Truth From An Independent Perspective ! Force Of Nature is TOTALLY INDEPENDENT of any trade association or business operating within the Green Space Industry. DON’T THANK US. IT’S A PUBLIC SERVICE. AND WE ARE GLAD TO DO IT.


Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group