Red Thread (Laetisaria Fuciformis / Corticium)
What Is It?
Red Thread is a fungal disease affecting fine turf with a significant percentage of fescue in the sward. Although less susceptible turf containing dwarf ryegrass can also be affected.
Have I Got It?
As the name suggests Red Thread has an appearance of pink or red threads in the turf. This is usually preceded by straw coloured spots which can increase into patches. The pink or red effect is caused by the fungus growing on the outside of the leaf. If the turf is examined with a magnifying glass the fungal growth is quite easily recognised.
If I Have Got It How Do I Try To Control It?
It is unusual for Red Thread to kill grass but it does look unsightly. Proprietary fungicides are available for this disease, an example is Mascot Fusion used between March and October.
It is usually seen in turf that is short of nutrition so an application of the appropriate turf fertilizer will help. The normal cultural operations such as aeration to improve root growth will always assist the health of the turf. Try to avoid extensive shade caused by bushes or trees. Quite often trees can cause both lack of moisture and nutrition within the area of their root activity. Red Thread is most commonly seen in late summer or early autumn, therefore an example of the appropriate fertilizer would be Mascot Apex 7-0-14 +Fe .
How Do I Try To Prevent Re-Occurrence?
Regular maintenance is the key to avoidance of Red Thread . It is equally bad practice to overfeed turf as it is to underfeed. Both of these actions will cause problems. Always use an appropriate turf fertilizer, recently products have been developed which can be used in every season. Examples of these are Mascot Four Seasons 6-0-12 , Mascot Guardian 6-1-12 Organic and Mascot Apex 7-0-14 +Fe which is a combination of mineral and organic elements. All turf benefits from regular aeration. Whilst it may be difficult to carry out this operation during the playing season on certain sports turf, it should not be neglected. All maintenance products used will provide greater benefits if the soil profile is well aerated.