Have you been looking at your garden and wondering ‘what are the red-tinged or scorched looking patches on my lawn?’. If so, a common cause of these is Red Thread (Laetisaria fuciformis). Red Thread is typically prevalent in lawns throughout the summer months, especially if the conditions are warm & humid. The weather we’ve experienced in & around Cambridgeshire during July and August has seen almost ideal conditions for Red Thread to grow. Also, two of the most common grass species in UK lawns (Perennial ryegrass and red fescue) are particularly susceptible to being damaged by Red Thread. Therefore, it’s important to stop it in its tracks.
How to spot signs of Red Thread in your lawn:
- Patches in the lawn
You’ve noticed patches of grass in your lawn that either have a red tinge, or look bleached or scorched.
- Patches with ragged edges
These dead leaves can be interspersed among healthy green grass meaning there is a more ragged edge to the patch. Patches can vary in size, from a couple of inches to much larger. Small patches can join together to create a larger affected area. When there is plenty of water present in the lawn, the active disease will produce red threads. When the weather is dry the threads become brittle and can be easily spread by mowing or walking over the affected areas.
The most common method is to apply a Nitrogen fertiliser. It’s best to only apply Nitrogen up until the end of August to help to prevent other lawn diseases such as snow mould during Autumn.
Some infestations of Red Thread can be particularly persistent and aggressive. We have successfully treated these with a careful application of fungicide. Click here if you’d like to enquire about having your lawn treated.
When you have Red Thread active in your lawn, avoid watering your lawn later in the day. Instead, water as early as possible to make sure there isn’t a lot of water sitting on the grass for prolonged periods.
Be sure to mow with sharp blades on your mower. They should minimise any wounds to the tips of the grass.
Keep an eye on the levels of thatch in your lawn. Ideally they shouldn’t be more than 1inch (2.5cm). If yours have accumulated to this level or more, scarification will help to reduce them.
If you’re concerned about Red Thread or any other pests in your lawn, we are on hand to help! Click here to contact us, we’ll be happy to get your lawn back to full health ready for Autumn 2019.