The Q&A Archives: Red Thread In My Lawn

Question: I have what I believe is red thread in my lawn. It has a cotton candy look to it and is spotty through out my lawn. Can I push it with a fertilizer treatment or do I need a fungus control?

Answer: Red thread is a fungus that is most common on lawns with fine blades, such as fescues. It is a pinkish gelatinous fungus strand that is attached to the blade of grass. It starts out dark pink and then turns light pink, as in your cotton candy description. Low nitrogen and poor soil aeration contribute. It is more common after a year of drought, as dry soils make the application of lawn fertilizers less successful. It seldom kills the grass but it does weaken it. To control, aerate the soil. You can rent a core-aerator at equipment rental stores or have a lawn maintenance firm do it for you. Apply nitrogen as ammonium sulfate. If this doesn't improve it, and you decide to apply a fungicide, you will then need to reapply the nitrogen or the problem will continue.

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