Red Thread Disease

A Fungal Organism that Produces Red Threadlike Strands in the Lawn

Problem Grass Red Thread Disease

What Is Red Thread?

Red Thread is a fungal organism that causes patches of turf to turn brown and produce strands of red threadlike material. Red Thread can be unsightly. In most cases, the grass will recover just fine when the temperature cools in the Fall. 

Why Do You Have Red Thread?

It is normal for lawns to get a mild dose of Red Thread when conditions are optimal. This fungal disease is really a symptom of improper watering, poor grass, poor soil or all of these things. 

The fungus thrives when the surface of the soil lawn is wet and the roots are dry. Also, watering too often will cause the disease to get worse. The solution is to not water more than every 3-4 days per week and make sure to water in the morning or early afternoon, so the grass does not stay wet all night. Water on the blades will cause Pink Patch to get worse. Also, one or more rounds of Liquid Aeration will help the water move down into the soil and can make the disease less severe.

Pink Patch is most severe on Perennial Ryegrass, which is susceptible to a lot of diseases, such as Rust, Dollar Spot, Red Thread, and more. Builders and landscapers plant a lot of Perennial Ryegrass because it sprouts quickly. Homeowners often buy a Perennial Ryegrass and Kentucky Bluegrass blend and seed it at a heavier rate than the manufacturer recommends. If a little is good, a lot is better. Right? Wrong! The Ryegrass takes over because it comes up faster than the Bluegrass. So even though they planted a blend of the two, they end up with a Ryegrass lawn that is susceptible to all kind of diseases. Our solution is try Slice Seeding in the late Summer to get some more resistant types of grass in your lawn.

Newer lawns typically don’t have the most biologically active soil, and because of this, are subject to disease issues. The more biologically active your soil is, the fewer problems your lawn will have. 
Fertilizing organically will gradually build soil biology and improve your soil and your lawns disease resistance. If you’d like to speed the process you might want to consider Organic Compost Topdressing, Liquid Aeration and/or Core Aeration

What Can You Do Now About Red Thread?

To help protect your lawn from Red Thread we recommend the following. 

  1. Don't water more than every 3-4 days, only in the morning or early afternoon.
  2. Clean your mower between mowing, and bag clippings if Pink Patch is severe.
  3. Feed your lawn organically, so you don’t kill the organisms that fight disease-causing fungi.
  4. Add resistant grasses to your lawn. Slice Seeding can help with this process.
  5. Minimize your Thatch with Liquid Aeration in the Spring and Core Aeration in the Fall.
  6. Add beneficial biology with Organic Compost Topdressing in the Fall.

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