Pesky turfgrass diseases

Dollar spot and red thread are two diseases that have been appearing in turf in the last couple weeks. For lawn height turf, these diseases are generally considered to cause cosmetic damage and will usually not create enough damage that would require any fungicide applications.

Red thread is a pesky disease we have been receiving reports on from homeowners. Red thread, if a problem, is usually found in underfertilized/slightly starved turf. It is often found in areas dominated by fine fescues or perennial ryegrass. Red thread is easily identified by the pinkish-red mycelium that is thread-like and surrounds the leaf blade. In some extreme cases, it might remind you of miniature balls of pink cotton candy. The areas infected by red thread will die and the turf may appear wilted. The simplest fix is to apply a quick release nitrogen carrier such as urea at about 0.5 lbs. N/1000 ft. 2 to encourage turf growth to mask the symptoms.

Dollar spot is also considered a disease that occurs on turfgrass that might be underfertilized. This is especially true on home lawns and often a light fertilizer application will help the turf recover from the symptoms.

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