Since we have had absolutely no snow covering the ground over the past few winter months, experienced a fairly steady rise in soil temperatures recently and have had only occasional rainfall, you can be fairly certain that your Chicago area lawn will have little chance of suffering through a gray snow mold outbreak for this 2017 spring season.
Gray snow mold is an early spring season turfgrass disease that usually occurs shortly after a cold and snowy winter. Normally begins when soil temperatures warm well before any/all lingering snow cover melts away.
Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or assistance you may need for this 2017 growing season and beyond. Thank you for visiting!
Depending on actual pavement and ambient temperatures (+/- 32 degrees) at time of application, you can effectively melt light snow and ice (up to 1″+/-) within a very short period of time. With just a single application, calcium chloride is very effective at eliminating the formation of ice on pedestrian and vehicle traversed pavement.
Calcium chloride is not perfect, but it is considered to be the finest form of deicing material available (in it’s pure granular pellet form – in particular) due to it’s ability to easily melt snow and ice at very low temperatures (-25F). It also creates relatively low environmental stress to nearby plants, lawns, etc. (compared to sodium chloride – rock salt) and can be purchased in small or large quantities at a relatively fair price. A 50lb. bag of calcium chloride normally comes in a very durable plastic bag that can be rolled closed for long term storage (as/if needed). As long as the calcium chloride material remains dry (stored in it’s original plastic bag if possible and not left open to attract moisture from the atmosphere), it will remain active, granular and ready to spread whenever the need arises.
Manually spreading calcium chloride by hand (directly from plastic bag or a 5 gallon plastic bucket wearing PVC coated gloves) is the preferred approach for small paved areas. However, large area applications will require the use of a walk behind rotary/drop type spreader or a vehicle mounted material spreader for best results.
Areas best served by the melting power of calcium chloride are:
Now that the snow has finally melted and warmer temperatures are upon us, many lawns are showing signs of a common fungal disease called snow mold (gray snow mold in particular). Snow mold occurs when spring conditions allow warm unfrozen ground that was recently covered by melting snow to activate an existing pathogen. The issues start when a pathogen is present, spring temperatures are between 30-40 F and the soil/turfgrass is fairly saturated. Snow mold may be found in lawn areas where drainage and air-movement is poor and especially where snow has been piled and/or is slow to melt. Damage can be as minimal as just a few small circular shaped yellow/matted down lawn areas or more widespread (conditions dependent). As the lawn dries and warmer weather moves in the disease becomes dormant until the next opportunity arises (late fall/early spring). Damaged lawn areas should be repaired by first raking the problematic areas (very important), add a light layer of topsoil (as/if needed), plant a premium disease resistant grass seed blend and finally cover the repaired lawn areas with a light layer of peat moss to complete. After the lawn repairs have been completed and soil temperatures warm beyond 50 F your lawn will rebuild its lost density and look as if a problem never existed.