Professional advice

Red Thread

What is Red Thread and how does it affect my lawn?
Red Thread is the most common lawn disease found in the UK and can develop all year round. In the early stages of the disease developing Red Thread can be identified by the red-pink needles of fungus active on the tips of the grass, this is where the name comes from. Over time the colour will disappear leaving behind unsightly bleached patches of turf. Fortunately, the disease only damages the the blades of the grass plant and not the roots. So although these patches might remain in your lawn for a number of days or weeks, the areas that have been impacted will grow out over time.
Why does Red Thread occur?

Red Thread can develop within your lawn all year round, however is more commonly found during warm and wet spells of weather between spring and autumn. For example, a spell of high humidity during the summer combined with heavy rainfall will often see Red Thread developing.

Possible factors for outbreaks of Red Thread are the use of a blunt mower blade. Mowing with a blunt blade will tear the tips of the grass blades instead of achieving a clean cut, leaving a larger surface area for disease to attack. A lack of airflow is also an issue that can lead to Red Thread. Regular aeration and scarification will help increase airflow. Finally, but most importantly, low nutrients levels in the soil and poor soil quality can be one of the main reasons for Red Thread development.

How can I deal with Red Thread?
The most successful ways of preventing this common disease is to ensure as much as possible is being done to combat the issues above. By regularly servicing your mower to ensure the mower blade is sharp. Scarify and aerate your lawn annually to reduce thatch and compaction and increase airflow. Feed your lawn the correct balanced diet it requires to maintain nutrients levels.. Fungicides are available to help prevent fungal diseases springing up in our lawn, however these are very expensive and require repeat applications on a regular basis.
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