With a break in the weather , that has brought some rain to already stressed turf has seen a increase in red thread turf disease.
This blog just looks at the in’s and out’s of this turf disease.
Have you seen it?
Have you seen/identified this disease on your sports ground at any point If not, you have been very fortunate. I have seen this at the country’s top venues, down to my village club.
What does it look like?
Small pink threads 1-2 mm in length and/or cotton wool shaped balls of fungus.
When is it active?
Red thread can be active at anytime of the year, when conditions are right i.e. a damp, warm environment and a plant that is lacking in nutrients.
Does it kill the plant itself?
It is more of a nuisance than fatal, but it can kill the leaf, but not the plant.
It can spread, in patches and the loss of leaf canopy can encourage in moss and algae and possible weeds, so it is best to treat.
What underlying conditions can create it?
Surface moisture and poor drainage assists in fungal attack. Removal of surface dew is helpful during spring and autumn in the prevention of all turf fungal diseases. This can be done by either brushing or switching the surface, or by the use of dew dispersing liquid products which are sprayed onto the grass.
A plant that is stressed and lacking in nutrient, is very vulnerable to red thread attack.
A well-fed plant, rather than a hungry and yellow looking plant.
During autumn/winter/spring a fertiliser containing iron (Fe) will help keep a stronger, less disease prone plant.
Check your mower! If it is not cutting well and tearing the leaf, this can be a route in for fungal attack.
Prevention in moisture management as above is always better than cure, but we all have our challenges in time and resources so if you do have red thread the application of a nitrogen-based fertiliser will treat this condition.
For more expert advice with the option of using fungicides, take a look at this link –https://www.greencast.co.uk/red-thread
Did you see our summary of fairy rings on turf, which again is another turf disease most of us know well –https://turfcareblog.com/fairy-rings-on-cricket-pitches-summary/
I hope like me you have learnt something and please feel free to comment below.