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Identify this mess

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Expert Lawns, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    What causes this. It's only in one tiny area about 2ft x 2ft. At first I thought dull blades, but I keep my blades very sharp and it hasn't happened on any other part of the lawn or any of my other lawns for that matter.

  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    Powderly mildew...?
  3. rod-man

    rod-man LawnSite Member
    from maimi
    Messages: 6

    I get the same problem in my lawn but only in one spot and I notice that the area will need water more because it growing on some rocks in the area. The grass will not cut good when it gets dryed out. I notice it will look like your pictrue If is dry.
    I seen some good lawn site at:
    Grass Cutting
    Types of Grass
    Care of Lawns
  4. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

  5. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    yea it does look like grey hairs. it's annoying because it bogs down the trimmer, and the mower won't cut it well.
    Roger, what can you do about it?

    Thanks for the sites rod-man
  6. burroughslawnservice

    burroughslawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Red thread is especially prevalent during the spring and autumn on slow-growing, nitrogen-deficient turf. It may cause severe damage to bentgrass, bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass in humid and cool temperate regions of the world. Red thread is becoming a severe problem on Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue lawns in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. It may be confused with Fusarium patch (Pink snow mold) or Pink Patch.

    Circular or irregularly shaped, small to large patches 2-20 inches in diameter (5-50 cm) of infected grass become water-soaked and die rapidly. The tan color of dead leaves may be the first symptom observed. Dead leaves are generally interspersed among infected leaves, which gives an overall diffuse, scorched, or ragged appearance to the patch. The patches may be widely scattered or close together and may coalesce to form large areas of infected turf. Several other diseases, including dollar spot and pin patch, can be easily confused with red thread.

    Inspection of individual plants reveals that only the foliage is infected, and death usually proceeds from the leaf tip downward. When the air is saturated with moisture, the pathogen produces colorful mycelial structures that are of diagnostic value. Pink to pale red or orange fungal growths called red threads, may extend beyond the end of the leaf tip.

    Pink, cottony flocks of mycelium may also be produced. When the red threads or flocks are present, following humid weather, the patches of blighted grass take on a reddish, pink, or tan cast that is easily detected. Red thread may occur at different times of the year at different sites, and symptoms may be highly variable. The disease is particularly difficult to diagnose when red threads or cottony flocks are not present.


    Pathogen ID

    Pathogen Identification
    Red thread is caused by Laetisaria fuciformis (McAlpine) Burdsall (anamorph Isaria fuciformis Berk.). A former name was Corticium fuciforme (Berk.) Wakef. The fungus forms a weblike, pale reddish mycelium that surrounds and connects the leaf blades.

    Antlerlike processes, called red threads or sclerotia, develop beyond the tips of grass blades; they may be pink, orange, or red and up to 0.4 inch (10 mm) long. Cottony flocks are pink and brittle, are up to 0.4 inch (10 mm) in diameter, and consist of masses or arthroconida. The arthroconida are hyaline, ellipsoid to cylindric, and 5-17 x 10-47 mcm. Tiny basidiocarps may also be produced on dead infected tissue. Hyphae are multinucleate and do not have clamp connections. Strains with different temperature optima appear to occur.


    Disease Dev.

    Disease Cycle
    The fungus survives unfavorable periods as sclerotia (red threads) on infected leaves or lying in the thatch. These threads survive high 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) or low -30 degrees F (-20 degrees C) temperatures and remain viable for up to 2 years when dry. The pathogen is spread locally as arthroconidia or threads moved by running water, equipment, people, and animals. The arthroconidia and infected plant debris may also become windborne and bring about long-distance dissemination.

    The importance of basidiospores in the disease cycle is uncertain, but they may be produced abundantly.

    A film of moisture over the surfaces of leaves or leaf sheaths is necessary germination of mycelia in the threads or of arthroconidia (and possible basidiospores). The fungus may kill leaves within 2 days of primary infection.

    Disease Epidemiology
    Prolonged periods of moisture-saturated air favor rapid growth of and infection by Laetisaria fuciformis. Heavy dews, light rains, and fog are especially favorable for disease development when they coincide with the optimal temperature for growth of the fungus strain that occurs in a particular area.

    The pathogen is described as being capable of growth at temperatures between 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) and 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). It causes disease primarily during periods when grass is growing slowly as a result of low temperatures, drought, inadequate fertility, other diseases, or applications of plant growth regulators. Red thread is most severe when potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and especially nitrogen are deficient. The disease may occur year-round, but is generally severe for no more than several months at any one location.


    Disease Man.

    Disease Management
    1) Maintain adequate and balanced fertility based on soil test reports. Lawn care companies should avoid water soluble fertilizers on cool-season grasses where this disease is a common problem.

    2) Applications of nitrogen are particularly helpful, but avoid excess rates.

    3) Maintain soil pH in the range recommended for the turfgrass species in question (generally 6.0-6.5).

    4) Irrigate to avoid drought stress. Apply water thoroughly but infrequently to minimize leaf wetness.

    5) Do not irrigate in late afternoon or early evening

    6) Design or modify landscaping to increase air circulation and light penetration.

    7) Mow turf when it is dry, where possible

    8) Consult specialists for local cultivar recommendations for overseeding or renovation of areas where disease is a recurring problem.

    9) Fungicides are effective for this disease. Consult specialists for current recommendations.
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    Does it really look like red thread? If the color in the image is true, then there should be some reddish hew, right? From the colors, it looks very white, or a bit off-white, tending toward grey.

    Tell us more about the situation: when did it appear; kind of grasss; mowing frequency and height; watering and fertilizer patterns, etc.
  8. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    What up EXPERTTTTT.... theres one lawn that I cut where the whole thing is like that... it feels like soft arse carpet. i just figured it was normal for the type of grass she had, I guess not.

    anyway, time to go pratice my magic Hudini trick!!!
  9. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,873

    Looks like the sight of a good cat fight or a big dog decided to get a nice back scratching in.
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    It's poa trivialis. It shreds when you cut it, and it sucks.

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