Do you notice little red “threads” growing in between individual grass plants? Or maybe you have fuzzy pink clusters in your lawn?
If you notice any of these symptoms, then your lawn may be infected with red thread disease.
In this blog post, you’ll learn more about red thread disease, what causes it and how an organic approach will keep your lawn safe from the disease.
Red Thread Disease: A Primer
Red thread disease typically appears in late spring before the summer heat arrives and your lawn’s grass growth slows down.
The fungus, Laetisaria fuciformis, appears on grass blades as threadlike antlers called Sclerotia, or as pink fuzz called mycelium.
Will Red Thread Kill Your Lawn?
Heck no, Red Thread is what we call a “cosmetic” disease and is more of a nuisance than anything. Have patience, it will grow out soon. While we always suggest that you mulch your clippings back into the lawn and mow at the highest setting, if your lawn is infected with Red Thread you may want to bag the clippings for one or two cuts and help remove it from the lawn.
What Conditions does Red Thread require to become active?
Red thread can occur in many different climates but is more common in areas with high rainfall or high humidity in late spring to summer. The primary conditions favoring red thread are:
- Excessive Moisture
- Temperatures between 68 F and 75 F
- High humidity
How do we treat Red Thread?
We generally do NOT treat Red Thread as much as we wait for it to go away. The best thing to do is to promote healthy and steady growth with fertilizer treatments and be patient. In rare circumstances a chemical fungicide could be considered but oftentimes the damage on the soil food web that fungicides can do is not worth it.
The trick is to make sure the lawn is NOT being over watered. If you have an irrigation system please keep in mind that if it’s raining, you don’t need to run your system.
Red Thread’s Organic Cure
There is no fast and easy solution for getting red thread disease out of your lawn. Instead, it takes some patience while waiting for it to grow out of your lawn.
Indeed, your property’s soil needs to be built up again. Organic lawn care is the best way to go to rehabilitate your lawn.
At LawnMark Plus, in our organic program we use a broad consortium of anti-fungal microorganisms to build up the right fungi your soil needs.
It’s just like when you take a probiotic—you’re adding good bacteria to outweigh the harmful bacteria in your gut. Probiotics keep you from getting stomach bugs and the flu.
So, we add soil conditioners to your soil to build up more “good fungal guys” that cancel out the “bad fungal guys.”
For example, in our organic programs we use a product called Rhizometrix™. It’s a biologically active soil inoculant that makes fertilizer more efficient. It builds up soil biomass that helps lawn grass to withstand stress, weeds and pests.
Rhizometrix™ contains free-living, nitrogen-fixing bacteria that help cycle nutrients in addition to the fertilizers we are applying.
So, if you’ve noticed the symptoms of red thread disease in your yard, you may want to consider an organic lawn care program that puts micro-organisms back in your soil to fight back against Laetisaria fuciformis, the fungus that causes red thread disease.