Lawn Care, Tree Services, Landscape Design on Cape Cod MA

Professional Landscape Services, Maintenance and Installation On Cape Cod
With Spring Rain Comes Red Thread

By A Landscape Professional

Red Thread (Laetisaria fuciformis) is a foliar disease that usually occurs on turf grasses during the spring and fall, in periods of cool moist weather. When viewed from a distance red thread appears as irregular patches of red, pink or tan turf. Closer inspection of the grass blades will reveal thread like gelatinous structures produced by the fungus from which the disease gets its name.  Red thread is most common on Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue – in other words our home lawns.

This disease is most common in slow growing turf, but don’t rush to fertilize, applying excess nitrogen commonly found in synthetic  fertilizer, especially in the spring, can lead to  more serious disease issues. Red thread may create an undesirable appearance in your lawn, but the disease is confined to the blades – the crowns and roots are not affected, so your lawn will not die and the turf will recover.

While there is no effective control of red thread during periods of prolonged cool, moist weather, it is possible to prevent or reduce red thread through good lawn care practices.

-Maintain adequate and complete fertility.  Organic fertilizers will add beneficial microorganisms, which aid in disease resistance.

-Keep your mower blade sharp to reduce wounding turf when mowing.

-Prune trees and shrubs to improve air flow and sun light penetration.

-Avoid watering your lawn late in the afternoon or at night, which extends periods of leaf wetness and increases disease activity.

-Aeration of lawns growing in compacted soils will stimulate turf growth and reduce disease activity.