Red Thread is a lawn fungus. It is a disease brought on by cool, wet weather (usually spring and fall).
Red Thread characteristics:
- It appears as 4-8″ diameter circular patches that look tan or pink from a distance.
- Up close, it has red-pink “sclerotia” growing for the tips of the grass blades.
- It is common on slow-growing nutrient-deficient turf.
- The fungus is spread by mowing equipment, thatch, foot traffic and water.
- Red Thread most commonly affects Kentucky blue grass, rye-grass, and tall fescue.
- Lawns lacking in nitrogen are more susceptible to red thread.
While fungicides can be applied to control red thread, there are other ways to help control the spread of it…
- Soil pH should be maintained at 6.5-7.0 or as appropriate for the turf species.
- Fertilize the lawn and add lime to raise the pH to proper levels.
- Water infrequently and deep.
- Only water when necessary to keep your lawn hydrated.
- Avoid watering late, which will extend grass blade moisture.
- Remove thatch, which can contribute to outbreaks in the future.
- Collect grass clippings so not to spread the fungus.
- Prune trees and shrubs to increase sunlight to the lawn.
- Ensure the lawn has adequate drainage to prevent high moisture levels.
- Aerating the lawn will help with drainage.
- Make sure the lawn is fed the proper amount of nitrogen.
- Clean mower blades after use to prevent spreading the disease.
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