Red Thread turf disease can often pop up in Carolina fescue lawns in spring and fall. Disease development occurs often during cool temperature periods in fall and spring, especially during rainy periods as we have experienced earlier. Symptoms appear as circular patches of tan or pink turf about 4-8 inches in diameter. The pink or red color is caused by the sclerotia and flocks of pink mycelium on leaf blades. Mycelium are the vegatative part of the fungus. Red Thread affects mainly cool-season grasses such as tall fescue, bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. The disease is sometimes associated with low quality, slow-growing turf, but outbreaks can also occur on well-managed turf during wet, cool conditions.
Red Thread found in a home lawn will not kill the turf, but will look unsighly while it is active. A good application of nitrogen fertilizer will often help the turf outgrow the disease, and removing clippings after mowing may help some. Turf fungicides can be applied to clear up the problem, but unless the disease problem is severe, one may want to just wait for drier and warmer weather. Do not over-irrigate your lawn, and always water in the early morning so that the turf can dry out quickly after irrigation.
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