With wet, humid weather coming back, the number one question from our customers is “what are the pink spots on our lawn?” Many customers are bringing in patches of grass that are partially brown with touches of pink through it. On close inspection of the grass, you can see tiny little red threads coming off the grass tips that give the common name to this lawn disease, Red Thread.
Red Thread (laetisaria fuciformis) is a common lawn patch disease that is most prevalent in spring and fall. It comes with wet weather primarily to perennial ryegrass and fine fescue lawns. It usually strikes when the nitrogen levels are low in a lawn, so a lawn feeding may be required as the first step in treatment.
A second part of the treatment could be to apply a fungicide to combat the fungus before it results in dead brown spots. I prefer systemic fungicides like Scotts® Fungus Control with Thiophanate or Bayer Fungus Control® with Propiconazole. Both of these products come in a granular form and can be applied with a broadcast spreader. Remember, both these products need to be lightly watered in to be effective.
For those who would prefer to spray, Bonide makes a product called Infuse that has the same ingredient as the Bayer product, and comes in an applicator that can be screwed onto a hose and applied. There is also an organic spray called Serenade that is applied with a hose end sprayer as well.
Good housekeeping is also in order when one of the patch diseases strike. Keep the lawn mower blade sharp and run the engine at the proper rpm to give the grass blades a clean cut versus a ragged edge. Another good practice is if the disease is in one section of the lawn, mow that last and wash off the deck of the mower when done; there’s no sense in spreading the disease throughout your lawn.
If you have an irrigation system, be sure that the system is turned off during wet weather. Why waste water and promote more disease? Be sure to run your system early in the morning instead of running it in the evening and putting the lawn to bed wet. One is far better off running irrigation longer to get deeper into the soil and allowing for more time between water applications so that the surface will dry. Personally, I try to water only twice a week if needed.
Do you have other lawn and garden questions? Come and talk to us, nobody has more answers and knowledge than Morrison’s.