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Disease alert- Red Thread

Red Thread (Laetisaria fuciformis) in a lawn

despite the cold morning sand wintery conditions we are getting reports back from our lawn care technicians that red thread is present in a number of lawns, that we are treating with the “Winter Feed and Moss Treatment”.


You may see the following symptoms:

  • Patches of affected grass with a reddish tinge at first, later becoming light brown or almost bleached in appearance
  • Patches vary in size from 7.5cm (3in) to 25cm (10in) in diameter but can be much larger

It is visible to the naked eye, but can be seen better with a hand lens or magnifying glass.

  • The first takes the form of small, pink, cottony flocks, and can be confused with growth of the fungus causing snow mould
  • The second is specific to red thread, and gives the disease its common name. Pinkish-red, cotton-thread-like structures, 1-2mm (less than ¼in) in length, are produced on the leaves and may bind them together


Non-chemical control

If red thread appears, application of nitrogen or iron, to harden the leaf, will often be sufficient to control it.

The threat from red thread can be reduced by taking action to improve the drainage and aeration of the turf. Scarifying the lawn with a mechanical scarifier will remove thatch and moss and increase aeration. Poor drainage and compacted areas can be alleviated by aerating by a machine.

Chemical control

We can apply fungicides throughout the season.  Depending on the severity will depend on whether we think its economical to treat.  The only fungicide available to home gardeners for control of red thread is trifloxystrobin (Bayer Garden Lawn Disease Control). The fungicide can be used all year round except during drought conditions or when the lawn is frozen. There is a risk of resistance occurring in the fungal population therefore the product should not be applied more than twice a year and is best used in conjunction with other control methods.

A local professional lawn care company, such as ProLawnCare, can apply professional fungicides, but there is strict legislation controlling the application of professional products to domestic gardens. You will therefore need to satisfy yourself that the company is operating within the law.

Any questions relating to the above, please call 01480 812393 or visit www.prolawncare.co.uk




Posted by Simon in Lawn Disease on January 25, 2017