Fusarium or Snow Mould: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Fusarium, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Fusarium or Snow Mould: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

​​​​​Fusarium patch, also known as snow mould, is a common fungal disease that affects turf grasses, particularly during autumn or mild spells in winter. It is caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale and can be difficult to control. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of Fusarium patch and snow mould.

In this Article we will look at:

  • What is Fusarium patch, In Short

  • Symptoms

  • Causes

  • Treatment

  • Non-chemical control:

  • Chemical control

  • Conclusion

What is Fusarium patch?

Fusarium patch is a fungal disease that affects turf grasses. It is caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale and is one of the most damaging diseases of turf grasses. It is found most frequently during autumn, winter, and early spring, but attacks can occur at any time of the year. The disease is sometimes very noticeable after thaws of snow, when it is given the common name of snow mould.


The disease is first noticed as small patches of yellowish, dying grass that later turn brown. Patches increase in size and may reach 30cm (12in) or more in diameter, often merging together so that large areas can be affected. During wet conditions, a white or pinkish, cottony fungal growth may be noticed, particularly at the margins of the patch. This is not to be confused with another fungal disease called red thread, or with slime moulds in turf.


Fusarium patch is caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale. The fungus thrives in cool, moist conditions and is most active when temperatures are between 0°C and 15°C. The disease is most common in areas with poor drainage, compacted soil, and excessive thatch. It can also be spread by mowing equipment, shoes, and other equipment that comes into contact with infected grass.


Avoiding pests, diseases, and weeds by good practice in cultivation methods, cultivar selection, garden hygiene, and encouraging or introducing natural enemies should be the first line of control. If chemical controls are used, they should be used only in a minimal and highly targeted manner.

Non-chemical control:

  • Ensure that the lawn dries rapidly after dews or rainfall by improving the aeration and drainage. This can be done by a combination of scarifying, spiking, and hollow- or solid tining.
  • Improve general airflow over the lawn by pruning back overhanging trees or shrubs.
  • Remove heavy dews in the morning with a switch (a long, pliable rod) or bamboo cane.
  • Avoid high doses of nitrogen fertiliser in late summer or autumn – use a proprietary autumn lawn feed instead.

Chemical control:

  • No fungicides are currently available to amateur gardeners for the control of diseases of lawns.
  • One Stop Lawn Care offers treatment for certain diseases with professional fungicides.
  • The Sports Turf Research Institute recommends using iron sulphate, a mosskiller, to reduce the severity of the disease. This compound toughens the grass and has an acidifying effect on the turf, which in turn discourages snow mould.


Fusarium patch or snow mould are common fungal diseases that affect turf grasses. They are caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale and can be difficult to control. The best way to prevent these diseases is to maintain good lawn care practices, such as proper drainage, aeration, and mowing. If you do notice signs of Fusarium patch or snow mould, it is important to take action quickly to prevent the disease from spreading. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help keep your lawn healthy and free from disease.


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