After all this rain, does the lawn look like has dying patches?? Well, don’t crank up the watering, it’s the opposite. The grass is too wet and probably has developed a disease. There are ways to fix it, but first, let’s discuss what it is.

Red thread is a fungus and a turfgrass disease that is common in cool season grasses (ryegrass, fescue and kentucky blue). It’s most active late in the spring and into the summer month, but it can be visible most of the year. During the growing season the grass is using up a lot of nitrogen to grow, and a lack of nitrogen is a cause of the disease.

Take a look at the picture to the right -> does your lawn look like that?Related image The answer is more than likely yes. These fungus pathogens are typically present at all times in the thatch layer. And when the conditions are just right, it will work its way into the grass blade and begin to discolor the lawn. Those conditions are as follows;

  • a lot of moisture and/or humidity
  • night time temperatures hovering around 65-70 degrees
  • lack of nitrogen


Image result for red thread in the lawn

It does look like the lawn is drying out, doesn’t it? But go take a closer look. Pull out a clump of the ‘brown’ grass and take a look to see if there are fibers coming out.

<– If yes, it’s red thread.

So, do you have it? And should you worry??

Well, the appearance is ugly, and it will continue to spread as you cut the lawn and the mower carries the pathogens around. But other than the look to the lawn, there is no danger of the grass dying. Red thread does not infect the crown or the roots of the grass. BUT, why do we want to the grass to look dead when it should be at it’s healthiest? So here’s how to get rid of it.


As mentioned before, the growing grass is using up a lot of nitrogen. So a consistent fertilizer program and adding nitrogen will help. Along with the proper treatments, mowing is very important. You must clean the lawn mower and use a sharp blade. The pathogens can and will be carried around the yard. We typically recommend mulching the grass and not bag the clippings. But with the presence of red thread, bag it up and get the clippings away from the lawn.

If the conditions remain the same however, the turf disease may stay. If this is the case, there is an effective fungicide treatment that works very quickly. We use a granular fungicide and it clears up the disease within a couple days.

Red thread limits the potential of your lawn, keeping it from really looking great. Once the disease is gone, your lawn will really green up!

Contact us for more information or if you have questions.