RED THREAD GRASS: IDENTIFICATION & TREATMENT
By Amy Drudge, Garden Advisor
Red Thread Grass is the most common disease lawn's can suffer from, it lives in compacted soils that are lacking nitrogen and are set off by humid conditions any time of the year, but mainly from May through to early October depending on how mild the Autumn is. It can survive in the soil for up to 2 years and can be spread by several methods, airbourne, waterbourne, dirty tools and on shoes. If you have used any tools on affected areas, then to prevent the spread of the disease, thoroughly clean the tools after use.
SYMPTOMS OF RED THREAD GRASS
Red Thread Grass is caused by a fungus (Laetisaria fuciformis), the first symptoms of this disease will be the appearance of small pink coloured particles looking like candy floss, followed by thin strands growing like thread, that are a pink/red in colour, then eventually turning a light straw colour to almost bleached. The patches can vary in size from a small circle up to larger areas.
The lawn may look like it is suffering from lack of water or feed, but on closer inspection it is actually Red Thread.
HOW TO TREAT RED THREAD GRASS
As one cause of Red Thread Grass is due to the soil lacking nitrogen, it is good to put in place a regular feeding plan for the year starting with a Spring feed such as Miracle-Gro® Soluble Lawn Food or EverGreen® Extreme Green and then finish the year with an Autumn feed.
Lawns that suffer from compaction and poor drainage are more susceptable to Red Thread as well, so it is a good idea to aerate the lawn as this will create holes to aid drainage, air cirulation and making it easier for lawn feeds to get down to the roots.
Scarifying the lawn to remove thatch and moss will also aid with air cirulation and remove any affected debris, but make sure that this is not composted and disposed off. This applies for any grass clippings too, as if this goes into the compost, it will spread the disease.There are a limited number of products on the market for gardeners to use, otherwise you may wish to hire a professional company to come in and carryout a treatment using professional products.