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Lawn Fungus And Scotts Products.

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by THEKNEEBITER, Jun 16, 2002.


    THEKNEEBITER LawnSite Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 3

    Hello, i have been using Scotts products step 1-5 and any other product they recomended to me such as grub x and weed control etc. I have owned my home for 11 years now and when i first moved in the lawn was in need. I scratched the lawn deep with a dethacher and then over seeded with Sotts family seed. and started using there products. the first two seasons i had the perfect lawn that could have been on there catolog cover. The next season and there after my lawn starts out as the perfect lawn and then just about this time of year the red thread fungus takes over. I call scotts and get the same answer every time. Use the fungus control all summer every 2 to 3 weeks and overseed with scotts seed. I tried this once and what a waist of money. the lawn just browns out. I water at least an inch a week and only once a week heavy. Non of my neighbors use Scotts and non of them get the fungus. I truly am starting to believe that Scotts products are causing the problems so it becomes a circle and they make money. I want to start using only natural stuff and no chemicals. Does anyone out here have any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks, Mike from Mass.
  2. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Mike from Mass.

    I don't know the Scott's grass seed sold to you in Mass., but here in Illinois the Scott's premium grass seed is not what I would call a premium mix. A mix in more than one grass type. Scott's uses Kentucky Blue, Perrenial Ryegrass and Fine Fescues. A mix with Kentucky Bluegrass and Perrenial Ryegrass should not include more than 20% Ryegrass. A mix with more than 20% Ryegrass allows the Ryegrass to dominate your lawn. Ryegrass is very susceptable to red thread. The Scott's premium mixes I've seen are at least 60% Perrenial Ryegrass.

    Next, a premium mix should list the grass type cultivars. Cultivars are selected strains of Kentucky Bluegrass or Fine Fescue, etc. An example of a Kentucky Bluegrass cultivar in "Midnight" or "Nuglade". The better grass seed mixes want you to know the cultivars they include because you pay more for the better cultivar mixes. Improved Kentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue and Perrenial Ryegrass cultivars all have been breed for disease resistance. This includes red thread. Buy a premium mix with cultivars that have been breed for red thread resistance.

    Last, red thread attacks turf that is slow growing due to nitrogen deficiency, excessively wet soils, excessive thatch or heavy soil compaction. Try aerating your lawn. The more holes the better. All the extention services recommend at least 15 - 20 holes per square foot. This should help any thatch problem, soil compaction or drainage problems. Use a good balanced fertilizer. I like a fertilizer with at least 50% slow relase. The Scott's 1 fert is only 25% slow release. The Scott's grade is 29 -3 - 4 (? or very close to this). A better choice, if you mulch your clippings, is 26 - 6 - 15. Or use the ratio 4.3:1.0:2.4. This is a superior choice fertilizer ratio than what you are using.

  3. davefromnh

    davefromnh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7


    I am here in NH, and am the proud owner of a front lawn that is sufferring from red thread. I tried the Scott's fungicide last year (can you say, "EXPENSIVE???), with no change. I ended up calling in a pro lawn guy, who advised the following:

    1. Lower the lawn's stress level, during hot, humid periods (water well).

    2. Keep fertilizing. This will lower the lawn's stress level, and allow it to grow new grass through the fungal patches.

    3. Make up a weak bleach solution (like 5% bleach, 95% water), and place in a spray bottle. After mowing, spray the bottom of the deck. This will help kill spores that would otherwise enjoy the week of warm, dark, moist enviro between mowings, and will keep the mower from distributing new spores when you mow again.

    I am not religious on the spray, but it does seem better this year, than last. I will keep on it, and hope for a fungus-free lawn next year.

    BTW: Seed - I use LESCO's Prem Athletic Field and Fairway Seed. More expensive than Scott's, but the lawn looks good....
  4. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472


    red thread is a fungal disease that attcks the grass' blades. It rarely kills the grass, but does weaken and contribute to the decline of your turf. Infection occurs during periods of very wet weather on turf that is growing slowly. Slow growing turf can be attributed to several factors. Lack of nitrogen is a big factor for red thread infection. Lack of calcium in the soil, soil compaction, excess thatch, water stress, a sudden drop in temperature, the misuse of herbicides, the use of grass cultivars prone to red thread disease and attack from other diseases can all contribute to a lawn's suseptability to red thread disease.

    Improving the rate of growth on a lawn helps to alleviate the symptoms of red thread. To this end proper watering practices and proper use of balanced fertilizers will help. During slow growth and active disease, removing your clippings can help prevent the further spread of the disease. Spraying the deck of your lawn mower with bleach is a waste of time. If spores are present, the act of mowing will have ensured the spread of those spores. Winds will also ensure that red thread pathogens are well spread throughout your area. Misting the mower deck with bleach is primarily symbolic. It may give you a warm fuzzy feeling, but it is a giant waste of your time. Good luck. Keep up the good fight. Red thread will never win!


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