Red thread grass

Red thread is a fungal lawn disease that frequently affects UK lawns. It is especially prevalent in late summer and autumn, when humidity levels are high.

If you've spotted those telltale red threads amongst the grass in your garden, don't panic - this disease can be fought! An application of fungicide should do the trick, although it may take a few weeks for your lawn to fully recover.


Red thread fact file

  • Red thread is a fungal infection that can be found in various types of grass, including red fescue, ryegrass, common bent and annual meadow grass.

  • The fungus that causes red thread disease is called Laetisaria fuciformis

  • Red thread disease is characterised by the reddish 'threads' (actual fungal growths) that appear on affected blades of grass

  • Patches of browning grass are another common symptom

  • Red thread can take hold at any time of year, but is most common in the autumn months - see Autumn Lawn Care Tips

  • Certain conditions may make red thread more likely to appear; for example, watering your lawn after dark and mowing with blunt blades can make your grass more vulnerable to the disease

READ MORE: What is Red Thread Disease?


How do you get rid of red thread?

Red thread doesn't tend to kill grass entirely, and the disease sometimes clears up on its own.

Still, if you want to get rid of your red thread ASAP, you have a couple of options:

  • Fungicide - In serious cases, application of a suitable fungicide may be necessary to get rid of red thread disease. The RHS website recommends trifloxystrobin, the main ingredient in products like Provanto Lawn Disease Control. After application, your lawn should recover within 2 to 3 weeks.

  • Nitrogen - Alternatively, an application of nitrogen is often sufficient to treat red thread disease. Do not apply nitrogen after August as this may lead to snow mould.

In order to prevent future red thread infections, we also recommend scarifying and spiking your turf to improve the lawn's aeration and drainage.

Here at Lawn & Weed Expert, we specialise in keeping lawns healthy and green. Our experienced lawn care professionals know how to deal with a wide variety of common lawn diseases, so if your grass is in the wars, give us a call on 0800 111 4958 to arrange a FREE lawn survey.

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