Not a nice thought is it and it certainly isn’t very nice for UK lawns.
Red Thread is a common fungal disease found on lawns. As the name suggests it causes reddish or pinkish threads to appear on your lawn. The threads are caused by a fungus – Laetisaria fuciformis / Corticium fuciforme and they grow on infected blades of grass. The threads can extend to around an inch above the height of the grass. A blade of grass can be killed off in a couple of days.
So how can you tell if you have Red Thread and what causes the disease?
The disease can take hold of your lawn at any time of the year, but is most common in Spring and Autumn months, when the conditions are perfect for the growth and spread of the fungus. Usually when the temperatures are around 16 to 24 °C.
If your grass is infected it will be patchy and bleached in colour, eventually turning pale cream to white. If the disease has got this far your grass will be looking pretty awful. Once the threads are well developed the lawn will have a reddish / pinkish tinge to it in small patches; keep an eye on this as the patches may join together to form much larger ones.
What can you do to prevent the onset and spread of Red Thread on your lawn?
• Lawns that are lacking in Nitrogen are much more susceptible to the onset of Red Thread.
• Feed your lawn regularly every 6 to 8 weeks.
• Aeration helps to control the disease by improving the drainage in the lawn
• Scarification or raking will remove layers of thatch that will suffocate healthy grass
• Make sure your lawn is drained well to prevent high moisture levels – The fungi thrives in this condition
The threads and infected grass can be transferred in various ways
• Using your lawn mower (even if you wash it you cannot escape the Red Thread spores existing everywhere else)
• Walking on the grass
• High Winds
Make sure you dispose of grass cuttings carefully as this will help reduce the risk of the fungus re-infecting your lawn
What can be done to get your lawn healthy again?
Red Thread can be killed with a fungicide. We use a professional fungicide that contains benomyl or carbendazim to remove the fungal infection; this is not available on the retail market. A Lawnscience lawn care professional can treat your lawn if it has Red Thread Disease. Call us now to discuss any lawn care issues you may have.