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How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

Posted by claga (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 13:53

Hi,
I live in central Massachusetts and my lawn is suffering with red thread. We have had a cool damp summer, which I understand can attribute to the problem. I am in the process of having the soil test.

Does anyone have a solution to treat the problem?
Listed below is the lawn care service provide by a local company.
The company has one of the most highly recommended programs in the area.

VISIT 1 STEP 1: SPRING (April ��" May) *DOUBLE FEEDING* Controlled time release Granular fertilizer w/ stress protectant, pre-emergent crabgrass control, hot spot post-emergent crabgrass control, blow driveway & walks, disease & insect inspection, and technician recommendations, if needed.

VISIT 2 STEP 2: LATE SPRING (May ��" July) Custom blended golf course grade Granular fertilizer w/ stress protectant, pre-emergent crabgrass control, surface feeding insect control, micronutrient deep green enhancer, root enhancer, broadleaf weed control, post-emergent crabgrass control, blow driveway & walks, disease & insect inspection, and technician recommendations, if needed.

STEP 3: SEASON LONG GRUB PROOFING (May ��" Aug)

VISIT 3 STEP 4: EARLY SUMMER (June ��" July) Organic based slow release granular fertilizer, high potassium summer guard fertilizer, broadleaf weed control with rain protectant, post-emergent crabgrass control, blowing of driveway & walks, disease & insect inspection, and technician recommendations, if needed.

VISIT 4 STEP 5: SUMMER (July ��" Aug) *DOUBLE FEEDING* temperature controlled time release Granular fertilizer w/ stress protectant, , broadleaf weed control with rain protectant, post-emergent crabgrass control, blowing of driveway & walks, disease & insect inspection, and technician recommendations, if needed.

VISIT 5 STEP 6: LATE FALL (Sept ��" Oct) MAINTENANCE LIMING (25lbs per 1000 Sq. Ft.)

STEP 7: (Sept ��" Oct) Fall all granular fertilizer, blowing of driveway & walks, disease & insect inspection, and technician recommendations, if needed.

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

Red thread usually pops up in lawns which are low on nitrogen, but it looks like your care company is overdosing it with fertilizer from May on. Something isn't adding up. Does the lawn look nice otherwise? Do you have any yellow spots or areas where the green is less or more green?

Can you post a picture of the lawn in general and one of the red thread?


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RE: How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

Hi dchall,
I meet with the lawn technician and he showed me the ph test results, which were well within the recommended range at 6.5ph.
We walked the lawn and he explained that short of applying a fungicide (with no guarantee if the weather pattern doesn't change) and waiting approximately two weeks for the red thread to grow out and removed when the lawn is cut there is nothing else could be done. The weather has been cool with unusually high humidity.
His recommendation was to wait for the typical cooler drier air to arrive which usually occurs in early September and the red thread should disappear. And in late June or early July of next year have a pre-emergent red thread treatment applied.
He asked if I had seen what looks like a spider web in morning dew. And I have. He explained that is red thread spores.
The lawn is very, very thick and growing well. I am cutting it twice a week at a height of 3 1/2 inches. I am following the recommended water cycle which is every other day in the early morning at a rate of 1 inch per week.
What the technician could not explain is the why the side lawns which are in the shade looks much better with little or no signs of red thread.
The front lawn which gets the afternoon sun has some but not as bad as the backyard which is full sun most of the day. The backyard is really bad

Thanks for your input.


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RE: How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

I am following the recommended water cycle which is every other day in the early morning at a rate of 1 inch per week.

Lots of people recommend that water cycle, but it doesn't work. Usually it is the sprinkler installers who recommend it. I used to think that was the right way to water, too. What works much better is to water a full inch, all at one time, once a week when temps are routinely in the 90s. If the temps drop into the 80s, then once every 2 weeks should be enough. When the temps drop into the 70s, then once every 3 weeks would work. You should time how long it takes your sprinkler to deliver an inch. Set out some cat food or tuna cans and time how long it takes to fill them all. That is your target time for regular watering. My oscillator sprinklers take about 8 hours to get a full inch. Your mileage will vary. My neighbor's in ground system takes 20 minutes to get an inch.

When you water like that it allows the soil time to dry out completely at the surface before you water again. That keeps the fungal diseases out and also keeps the weeds out. Weed seeds need continual moisture to germinate. It also develops deep, drought resistant roots which can collect water from deeper in the soil.


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RE: How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

Just to add on to what dchall said: You may find that you need to transition to the "1 inch all at one time" schedule. Since your roots will be shallow due to your current watering frequency, you may need to water twice a week for awhile before you can get to once a week or two weeks. You should watch your lawn and it will tell you when it needs water until eventually you can get to the correct schedule. I am still working on this transition on my lawn.

dchall please correct me if I am wrong.


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RE: How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

>>You should watch your lawn and it will tell you when it needs water until eventually you can get to the correct schedule. I am still working on this transition on my lawn.

It can take a while, particularly if the lawn is young. Its first summer, it's pretty thirsty.

Transitioning is a little easier, but a year is still not out of bounds--and the lawn will continue to improve root depth for years.

Appropriate feeding is critical for red thread, but just as bad as too little nitrogen is...too much. It'll encourage a lot of very juicy, green growth that red thread will love (although the grass may actually be able to outgrow the red thread's visible effects...for a while).

Treatment with corn meal or cracked corn at 10 to 20 pounds per thousand square feet will slowly help you get ahead of the problem, but it's not a miracle cure. Application can be started any time, and repeat every 3 months during the growing season.

Alternately, if chemical controls don't bother you, almost any fungicide will set the red thread back. Removing the overly-watered conditions that encouraged it should help with that to finally get rid of it. I prefer not to use these as they tend to be rather wide-spectrum and damage helpful fungi that are actually trying to help control the issue.

Use one or the other--organic or chemical solutions--as the chemical will keep the organic from working by killing the trichoderma fungus you're applying with the corn.


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RE: How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

Thank you All for your inputs and solutions.

It was mentioned the lawn will tell me when it is time to water. What type of indicators should I be looking for?

It was also mentioned by morpheuspa that corn meal or cracked corn will help fight the red thread. Will it have an odor?
Thanks again


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RE: How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

Lawns that need water will wilt and change color. In my case, green turns kind of gray across wide areas when it's time to water it.

Fescues are more subtle about that than KBG is, but you should still see a distinct wilting and color change.

Cracked corn/corn meal can smell if you use too much. Ten to twenty pounds per thousand square feet isn't too much even on a lawn that's never seen an organic before. If you stick your nose into the leaf canopy at the point of greatest decay, you might be able to whiff a little scent, but not much--and you shouldn't notice it otherwise.


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RE: How to care for a lawn with Red Thread

Re needing water I also find that my KBG can just start to feel stiff and dry and get a little brown. Other patches get dark green/grey like morpheus said.


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