After a brutal March having 4 major snow storms, we thought that Spring would never come. After having a warmer April, we all thought that there was not going to be the normal “April showers” this year. When May came, we started out in 80’s and even hit the 90’s for a couple of days. Around the middle of May, we started to see the temperatures rebound to the average for that time of year. Along with he temperatures dropping to normal we started to se an increase in rain. From May 11th through May 22nd we had average temperatures with a high of 72 degrees and a low temperature average of 57 degrees. Also, during those 12 days we had some amount rain every day. The most rain came on May 12th to May 13th when almost 2 inches of rain had fallen. May 23rd was the first day that no amount of rain was recorded for our area. Having average temperatures from 57-72 degrees for that prolonged period can promote disease to home lawns and in this case Red Thread or Pink Patch.
Red Thread and Pink patch thrive when conditions are right. They develop when temperatures average between 65 and 75 degrees and prolonged periods of wet and humid weather, just like the conditions that we have had the last 12 days. Red Thread can be identified as patches in the yard that give off a pinkish color in the morning with mycelium. Mycelium is a bundle of vegetative strains of the disease, and in this case the fungi that are attacking the leaf tissue of the plant. The disease only affects the leaf tissue of the plant and does not make its way into the crown or the roots of the plant, thus meaning the turf will be able to come back after the disease has gone away. Since it can not make its way down in to the crown and roots of the plant it is highly unlikely that it will take over an entire property. There are multiple ways to combat the disease.
When it comes to combating Red Thread, there are many options that can help. One way to stop the disease from spreading would be to collect grass clippings when mowing. The disease can be spread mechanically if you mow more than one property. By bagging your clippings this will help prevent the disease from spreading to different areas on the property or to different properties. When mowing your grass, you should cut at a proper height of 3.25-3.75 inches and avoid watering the grass at all costs. Lastly, making a timely nitrogen application will greatly increase the odds of combating the disease and preventing it from spreading.