Prevent Red Thread (a common fungal disease) From Taking Over Your Lawn

Summer is usually the peak time when you are happy with your lawn. You're scarifying regularly to keep on top of thatch and irrigating your lawn in the heat to keep it looking gloriously green. You're having friends and family members round for BBQ's who admire your stripes and make all that work worthwhile. Alarm bells ring when you see the first signs of pink/red grass- this is red thread.

Red thread is no real harm to your lawn however when you are a perfectionist like most of our customers with high-end lawns it can be a pain. Red thread is one of the most common fungal diseases found in lawns across the UK. Red thread does not kill the roots of the grass plant. 



What is red thread?

Red thread is a common fungal disease caused by a microscopic fungus called Laetisaria fuciformis. You may think your lawnmower's blades are blunt as it can cause a colour change in the grass almost like your grass has been bleached.  Look a bit closer at your grass and you’ll see that there are tiny pink-coloured threads attached to each blade of grass. 



What causes red thread? 

Red thread is most common in Summer and Autumn following wet and humid conditions and when we have had a lot of rain. Poorly maintained lawns will suffer the most-lawns that are poorly aerated and deficient in nutrients.

Poor Soil Health: Soil lacking essential nutrients particularly nitrogen can weaken the grass making it more susceptible to diseases like red thread.

 Overwatering: Excessive watering can create a humid environment promoting the growth and spread of the fungus.

Incorrect Mowing: Cutting the grass too short can stress the lawn and increase its vulnerability to diseases.

Low Air Circulation: Lawns that are shaded or have poor air circulation can retain moisture providing an ideal environment for fungal growth.


How to prevent red thread?

Some people leave it to take its course. As the weather conditions change it will grow itself out.  A good feed of fertiliser will help get rid of red thread and even prevent it establishing in the first place.

A good aeration programme will help to avoid the disease as well as regular scarification with your spring rake scarifier cartridge. Scarifying will help remove the thatch layer which often harbours fungal spores. 

Regularly feed your lawn with a balanced fertiliser that provides essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.


How to get rid of it if you have it

Remove Infected Debris: Rake up and remove any grass clippings or debris affected by red thread to prevent the spread of spores.

Fungicide Application: Consider using a fungicide specifically designed to combat red thread. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully when applying the product.

Replenish Nutrients: Boost your lawn's health by applying nitrogen-rich fertiliser to aid in its recovery.

Is red thread worth worrying about? Find a blog here from Jack at Kingsbury Lawncare 

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