Red Thread - The first of our “cool and wet” turf diseases
Posted: June 2, 2011
The first of our “cool and wet” turf diseases has started to show up in home lawns. Red thread (and the similar disease pink patch) is enjoying our weather conditions. In home lawns, these two diseases are more common where nitrogen fertility is waning – or other factors (poor drainage, compaction, cold, infertile or low organic matter soil, etc) are slowing the ability of the turf to generate new leaf tissue. In most cases, this disease only blights the leaf tissue and doesn’t kill the plant.
If cool, wet conditions last for weeks, some plants can die or severely thin out, and weeds will move in. Since it doesn’t usually kill the grass we don’t recommend fungicides. Instead, use a moderate fertilizer application, especially if the person has not applied fertilizer this spring. Half to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet is recommended.
Soil test to correct pH and other nutrients. If this is something that happens every year on a lawn, best remedy is to overseed with resistant varieties. The main way it spreads is from infected clippings – either by blowing them around to uninfected areas or transporting on equipment, shoes, etc.