Over the past couple of weeks our technical team have had an influx of calls regarding brown patches on their lawns; this is due to an increase in red thread caused by the hot and wet weather the country has been experiencing.
What is Red Thread?
Red thread is the common cause of patches of dead grass on lawns. It is type of fungus called Laetisaria fuciformis and can occur at any time of the year if the conditions are correct, however it is most common in late summer and autumn. The fungus is most serious on red fescue but other grasses (such as perennial ryegrass and annual meadow grass) are also susceptible. The good news is that red thread will rarely kill the grass entirely (phew) and the patches will recover with the correct remedial actions.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms are patches of affected grass which will, at first, have a reddish tinge. They will later become light brown or look bleached. It is common that the patches of red thread will vary in size; you could have some small patches (7.5cm) alongside some relatively large patches (25cm). Two types of fungal growth grow on the patches and both of which can be seen with the naked eye. The first fungal growth is visible as small, pink flocks; the second type causes pink/red gelatinous, thin structures to form on the leaves of the grass. The pink/red colouration of the latter type of fungal growth is where the name ‘red thread’ comes from.
Preventing Red Thread
Although you can never completely prevent this disease, there are things you can do to try and prevent the occurance of red thread. One of these actions is to improve the drainage and aeration of your turf. Using a scarifier will remove thatch, moss and leaves from your lawn alongside increasing aeration. Also, ensure that your soil is not deficient in nitrogen, a vital macronutient for grass and plants.
There are two main products on our website that effectively target red thread- Inter Tebloxy and Pan Aquarius.
Containing 200g/L tebuconazole and 100g/L trifloxystrobin, Inter Tebloxy is a strong contact and systemic turf fungicide. It is designed to cure and prevent red thread along with other turf diseases such as fusarium patch and dollar spot.
Pan Aquarius is a soluble granular formulation containing 50% trifloxystrobin. The active ingredient prevents electron transfer in the mitochondria (the ‘power plant’ of each cell) and offers preventative and curative control against red thread and fusarium patch.
If you have any questions about red thread or any other turf disease, please get in touch!