Red Thread – The UK’s most common lawn disease!

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, damp 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.


Other 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, low nutrients inputs or poor soil quality can be a factor in Red Thread development.

How can I deal with Red Thread?


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. The most successful ways of preventing this common disease is to ensure we’re doing everything we can to combat the issues above. By ensuring our mower blade is sharp, regularly aerate and scarify your lawn and to feed your lawn the correct balanced diet it requires.

Red Thread Prevention – In Summary:
  • Mow with a sharp blade. Sharpen your mower blade 2-3 times during each growing season, especially if it is a rotary mower.
  • Aerate your lawn at least once per year.
  • Regularly scarify your lawn to reduce the thatch layer, perfect environment for disease.
  • Feed your lawn at the correct times. Keep an eye on rainfall as this will wash the fertiliser through much faster.
  • Carry out over-seeding with a high quality, disease tolerant lawn seed mixture.

If your lawn is suffering from Red Thread, why not fill in our Contact Form to arrange your Free Lawn Survey from Will’s Norfolk Lawns.