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Red Thread

Red Thread Red Thread
  • Do you see patches (75mm - 1 metre) of light brown or bleached coloured turf?
  • Can you see small, pink cottony flocks or bright red threads in the tan turf?
  • Do you see these symptoms when it is wet or humid?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are looking at Red Thread disease.

What is it?

Red Thread is a very common fungal disease of turf within the UK. It is not usually harmful and usually causes no permanent damage, but it can be unsightly.

General description of Red Thread

Red Thread disease is caused by a fungus which lives naturally in your turf. Normally you will not see it, but during periods of high humidity or wetness it may appear. You will first notice small patches of grass leaves turning tan or dying. If you look closely you will see pink fluffy fungal growths or coral red needle like outgrowths, which give the disease the name of red thread.

Why has it affected my turf? 

Low nitrogen fertility encourages red thread. Therefore it is important that you fertilise  and mow your lawn properly.

The spores of the disease are present everywhere and red thread disease may attack a lawn if the climatic conditions are right, even if all the necessary precautions have been taken, and then not reappear for some time. 

How can I avoid it developing?

The condition of the soil under the turf is very important in defending against disease attack. A well structured, free draining soil will help to produce a healthy turf.

Using Teal Turf fertiliser prior to laying your turf will help prevent its development on less fertile sites. Once your turf has established and on an already established lawn, a regular feeding and cutting regime will help to keep your lawn healthy and help to protect it against red thread.

Can I control it chemically?

There is no recommended spray treatment for use by amateur gardeners in the UK to control red thread. It is usually not necessary to use fungicides for the treatment of this disease, as it rarely kills the grass outright, but we would recommend an application of fertiliser (which contains Nitrogen)  at this time.

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