Actually, you want your lawn to be a vibrant green. In this color the lawn looks healthy and it is a sign that you, as a gardener, have done everything right.
It is not uncommon that this wish does not come true. The lawn becomes yellowish or takes on a slightly reddish color. If your lawn is riddled with spots that look like the blades of grass have died, there could be a fungus behind it.
But what exactly is red top and how do you combat this lawn disease?
What causes red threads?
Red thread is a widespread disease of the lawn. It is not limited to the European region, but occurs worldwide. The trigger for the conspicuous discoloration of the lawn is a fungus.
Frequently, lawns in gardens or on sports fields are infested with this fungus. It has very narrow growth conditions. Only at temperatures between 16 to 22°C and higher humidity in the lawn, the fungus can spread. That is why the red tip is considered a lawn disease, which appears especially in the summer.
However, this does not mean that the fungus only finds itself in the lawn at this time. It can also attack your lawn in the fall or spring. However, due to the worse conditions, it does not spread, so no change in the lawn occurs.
The characteristic feature of the red thread is the discolored spots on the lawn. The spots usually have a diameter of 3 to 6 cm. However, it can also happen that the spots are larger and have a diameter of up to 30cm.
If you look more closely, you will notice that the blades of grass are not simply brownish in color. Between the blades you discover small red threads that grow into the healthy areas. If you discover the red threads, this is clear evidence that your lawn is affected by red-pointedness.
One of the main reasons why red pointiness occurs is waterlogging. This occurs when the soil is more compacted in certain areas. The rain or moisture due to irrigation no longer penetrates the soil, so the water collects on the surface. In the warm and humid environment, the fungus feels comfortable, so it spreads in the lawn.
In addition, if the lawn is not in the best condition, the fungus can spread more easily. If there is a lack of nutrients, the lawn is less resistant and gives in to the fungus.
What damage is caused by the red thread?
First and foremost, the red tip looks unsightly. The discolored areas tarnish the visual impression and there may be a presumption that the blades of grass have died completely.
The good news is that the grass is still alive in the affected areas. It is not dead, but merely discolored. With appropriate remedies, it is possible to return the lawn to its beautiful green color.
If you act early against the fungus in the lawn, you will quickly notice an improvement. Thus, the lawn may appear less beautiful, but there are far more dangerous lawn diseases, where you can hardly avoid reseeding the lawn.
Effective control methods
Red thread does not prove to be dangerous. However, if you would like the lawn to appear healthy again, it is relatively simple to do so with the following procedure.
Rake away the felt
Over time, a felt forms on the surface of the lawn. This affects the health of the lawn and reduces the oxygen supply. Nutrients are absorbed less easily and the health of the lawn suffers.
By carefully removing the felt with a rake or manual scarifier, the blades of grass can breathe again. By doing so, you’ll lay a good foundation for the lawn to recover.
To prevent the spread of red-tip and prevent the fungus from attacking, you should strengthen the lawn. For this, it is recommended to apply a fertilizer, which has a high content of nitrogen. Also a high content of potassium helps to strengthen the defenses and put the fungus in its place. It is only necessary to lime the lawn if the soil has a pH well below 7. Otherwise, it is not necessary to carry out this measure.
It is important that the fertilizer acts quickly. A slow-release fertilizer, such as the one used in the spring, is hardly suitable for this task. This provides the nutrients over too long a period and it takes time for the nutrients to be absorbed by the lawn.
In severe cases, some areas of the lawn may have been damaged to the point that reseeding is necessary. Mend the areas and after a short time you should notice an improvement in the lawn thanks to the abundant fertilizer.
Watering also has an impact on how comfortable the fungus feels in the lawn. To prevent excessive moisture, it is advisable to water in the morning hours. The blades of grass absorb the water and the excess amount evaporates. During the night, on the other hand, it could happen that the water stands and the moisture is preserved. This could allow the fungus to form and the disease to appear.
Isolated discoloration in the lawn may be due to the fungi “Laetisaria fuciformis & Corticium fuciforme”. If the lawn is excessively moist and not sufficiently supplied with nutrients, the fungus spreads and with its red fungal stroma it has a special conspicuousness.
Provide the lawn with sufficient nutrients and when watering, make sure that there is no waterlogging or that the moisture lasts too long. Then the blades of grass will appear in vibrant green and the garden will look well-groomed and healthy again.