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Red Thread Turf Disease

by TurfCareBlog

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?

RED THREAD
Image Courtesy of Sygenta UK

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.

Prevention’s

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.

Treatment

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.

Brian

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3 comments

Mark Atkins June 24, 2020 - 3:49 pm

Good and active soil biology can prevent the disease pathogen Laetisaria fuciformis. Very often plant suddenly coming out of dormancy or semi dormancy (winter / summer) will have been weakened yet start it grow creating a demand for nutrients. The combination of the and climatic factors leaves the plant more susceptible to infestation from pathogens. A living soil / rootzone can overcome this demand and ensure the plant is not compromised.
Where red thread has been a problem in the past, maintain a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.0. Applying Iron Sulphate will reduce soil pH overtime and there is not an effective management strategy for prevention.
The treads of Laetisaria fuciformis can survive in the grass sward for unto 2 years therefore keeping the grass sward clean with minimum thatch can help prevent the disease. Where there is infection avoid spreading the treads on equipment and by foot.
Avoid overwatering, as the two main influencing factors of any plant disease are Over Watering or Under Watering. Apply water early morning that can also displace any guttation water (Dew).
Ensure good drainage
Try to limit shade for long periods during the day and so that guttation water and other moisture on the grass will readily evaporate. Prune trees and shrubs etc to create a conducive environment.

Reacting and applying nutrients may help as is well documented in garden and lawn manuals but can then lead to excessive growth.

Regular applications of bio-nutrients / microbial nutriments plus some nitrogen can help avoid Laetisaria fuciformis (red thread) and other fungal pathogens.

Reply
TurfCareBlog June 24, 2020 - 3:58 pm

Thanks for your input mark , l am certainly not expert so additional information always good for further though .

Reply
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