Lawn Disease Identification Part 4: Red Thread

Red thread is a fungus which will attack the leaves, leaf sheaths and stems of your grass, but in extreme cases can kill the entire plant.

Let’s take a look at a the main causes and how you can prevent and reduce red thread through prevention and lawn care maintenance. If you need help, give us a call!

Red Thread (Laetisaria Fuciformis)

When looking for red thread in your turf, you’ll notice it by it’s reddish or pink look in certain areas, though in some cases it may appear as simply dead, brown grass. It usually appears in circular patches of about 4-8 inches in diameter. In humid weather, the fungus will grow visibly on the grass, creating coral-pink to blood-red thread-like strands on the tips of brown grass blades.

The fungus usually takes hold on taller mown grasses during spring and fall, with ideal temperatures ranging between 40-70° F. Usually grass will recover, but not always.

Photo by: Chuttersnap on Unsplash

Prevention And Mitigation

Once you’ve identified that you have red thread, there are some steps you can take to prevent it and reduce it now.

  • Make sure your lawn is getting the right amount of nitrogen through your fertilizer. Nitrogen-poor soil is very conducive to red thread growth, so having a proper lawn care and fertilizer plan is important.
  • Be careful with your mowing. Mowing more than ⅓ of the blade off at one time, mowing too infrequently or mowing your grass shorter than 3-3-½” can add unnecessary stress to your lawn.
  • Avoid watering your lawn in the late afternoon or evening, as the moisture won’t evaporate as quickly as it does during the day, which creates a good environment for red thread disease.
  • Have a lawn care maintenance plan in place. While red thread is not particularly threatening to your grass, the only way to stay ahead of it is to keep your lawn healthy all year long.

Remember, if you need help keeping up with the care your lawn needs, give us a call today!