Classification: Eukaryotic organism (surprisingly, slime mold is not a fungus!)
Appearance: As the name suggests, slime mold appears slimy. It’s a gelatinous, mass that creeps along leaf blades eating dead organic matter, bacteria, and other molds. Generally, slime mold is black, but it can come in all sorts of color with spores being cream, pink, blue, orange, red, or whitish.
Risk: Slime mold is not an actual problem for your turf, unless you simply do not like the look.
Timing: This mold thrives in warm, moist conditions. Wind drives the spores to your lawn where is blooms and reproduces.
How to Control Slime Mold
Slime mold thrives in thick thatch where moisture gets caught near the soil. You can help prevent it by keeping your lawn neatly mowed, though it won’t completely keep your lawn free of the slime. To make the most of your time mowing, use these tips:
- Mow early in the day, ideally mid- to late-morning. The temperatures should still be cool, but the morning dew should have dried by the time you start.
- Put less stress on your grass by mowing in opposite directions each week.
- Abide by the 1/3 rule: set your mower to a cutting height that removes no more than 1/3 of the grass blade.
- Sharpen your lawn mower’s blade at least once a season. Dull blades can shred grass blades rather than cleanly cutting it, which weakens the grass and makes it more vulnerable to disease.
Slime mold is actually good for your lawn because it clears up many bacteria and bad fungal spores. Your lawn may actually end up healthier and greener than before! If you aren’t happy with the appearance of patches, you can rake or wipe it off the grass blades. Mowing will also help.
And if it rains and you see sudden relief, don’t hold your breath quite yet. It may seem like your lawn improves after rain, but there’s also a chance the spores are spreading around, ready to make a comeback in other parts of your lawn.
If slime mold has to go, you can call your neighborhood lawn pros at Shades of Green Lawn & Landscape. In addition to treating lawn diseases, we have lawn care packages that address the overall health of your lawn. Call us today at 765-771-9998 for more information and a free quote.
Need Help with Slime Mold?
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