Dealing with red thread

Dealing with red thread

31st Mar 2021 Diseases

Why is my lawn turning red?

Patches of red lawn, commonly known as red thread, are caused by the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis which attacks the green part of the grass, making it turn red and eventually die. The fungus is present in most lawns throughout the year, but it is usually active in the months towards the end of the summer and beginning of autumn, when the weather is warm and wet. 

You will easily be able to identify if your lawn is suffering from red thread, dead brown patches will appear across your lawn either in dense clumps or as larger areas.On closer inspection, you should be able to see visible fungal growth which appears as pink or red thread-like growth on the leaves, that may be binding them together.

What causes red thread in grass?

Red thread disease is caused by the Laetisaria Fuciformis fungus, which lays dormant in the soil for most of the year and becomes active once the conditions are right, usually in late summer. However, the disease is usually a sign of under-nourished lawns and can develop at other times of the year if the weather conditions are right and the lawn is not strong and healthy enough to ward it off.

Red thread often attacks Red fescues, but other grass varieties such as other fescue types, ryegrasses, bents, and poa grass are also highly susceptible.

Will red thread go away on its own?

In the right conditions, red thread can go away on its own over time. However, since red thread is often a sign of a nutrient deficiency within your soil, the issue can easily be solved by applying a nitrogen-rich feed to the affected area. Since red thread does not affect the roots of the lawn, a good fertiliser will reinforce your grass, and allow it to outgrow the damage done by the disease.  

How to get rid of red thread, permanently

The best way of permanently getting rid of red thread is to eliminate the conditions that allowed it to develop in the first place. Maintain your lawn well fed all year round, using the right formulation for each season. The So&Mo Performance Liquid Lawn Feed delivers a 12 month plan that takes into consideration periods of growth to ensure your lawn gets the right treatment through the year. 

It is also highly important that you maintain good soil condition. Aim to aerate and scarify your lawn at least once a year. By removing thatch, you’ll allow more air and nutrients to penetrate the soil effectively. You can learn more about aerating, scarifying, and other methods of caring for your lawn by browsing our other blog posts.

More about spotting and treating red thread

Watch this handy video on our Youtube channel:


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