Question: I have some dying patches on my lawn with reddish fibers in them. What is it?
The presence of red or pink webbing or thread is the tell tale sign of red thread. Red thread is a turfgrass disease most likely brought on by low levels of nitrogen in the soil. When I begin to see red thread, it tells me it's time to fertilize.
- Conditions favoring red thread:
- Low levels of nitrogen
- Temperatures between 68° and 75°
- High humidity
Cool season grasses like red fescue, ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and bentgrass are most susceptible. Some varieties have red thread resistant qualities including: 'Bilart' and 'Claudia' fine fescues; 'Chateau' Kentucky bluegrass; and 'Pennant' perennial ryegrass.
Red thread can be treated with chemical fungicides, but the best way to deal with it is to fertilize with adequate nitrogen, maintain a pH level of 6.5 - 7.0 and water deeply in the early morning.