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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Stopping the Spread of Red Thread

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This time of year, lawn care can be a tricky situation, especially when you’re dealing with summer’s hot temperatures and dry weather. However, it’s important to also understand what can happen to your lawn when excessive rainfall becomes an issue.  

Bacteria lives in every lawn, so when the weather becomes cool and wet, you may start to see the spread of disease. One common fungus problem that develops in these conditions is called Red Thread. This bacterial disease is characterized by light tan or pink circular spots. It takes on a stringy texture similar to a web that binds on grass blades and can spread from inches to feet across your lawn. While Red Thread commonly develops in the spring or fall seasons, it can also survive the winter and summer for up to 2 years.  It is important to note that not all grass blades become infected, but the sporadic patches associated with Red Thread can certainly grow and link together. This disease does not always kill your grass but, once a grass blade is infected, it has the potential to be killed off in a matter of days.

If you fear that your lawn may become infected by Red Thread or it already is, you can take the following steps to prevent and maintain it:

  • Bag your lawn clippings when mowing to remove harmful grass blades that contribute to the spread of bacteria.
  • Keep your lawn fed regularly to ensure it receives the proper nutrients needed for strong growth.
  • Consider opting for a “slow release” fertilizer applied 5 times per year starting in mid-April or early May.
  • Ensure that your lawn is sufficiently drained by aerating it in the fall to prevent moisture that bacteria thrives on.
  • Examine shady sections of your lawn that may contribute to damp conditions and consider removing shrubs or thinning branches.
  • Speak with a lawn care professional about applying a fungicide, but make sure the treatment fits your lawns needs.
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