Red Thread Advice

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by SterlingLawn, Jun 11, 2002.

  1. SterlingLawn

    SterlingLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I'm in my first year as a licenced applicator and need some advice on dealing with a very particular customer who has a red thread problem in his back yard. I have searched the past threads and spoke to my Lesco rep about treatment and the general consensus seems to be that not many are treating with fungicide due to cost and just fertilize to "grow out". There seems to be many conflicting opinions and I'm not sure what to advise customer. He's afraid of losing lawn and hates appearance obviously. I'm not thrilled either. Hit the lawn with 24-5-11 today. Will this improve it? Does it in fact grow out or can I expect to renovate? Does this eventually lead to other problems such as Brown Patch? Why isn't his neighbors on either side being affected? He lives on golf course which has a problem with red thread. When can expect it to get better and should I cut higher and/or bag? Sorry, rather wordy but these are all things that Ive been reading and hearing. Thanks
  2. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Rule #1
    Any lawn w/ a fungus must be bagged to avoid spreading fungus.
    Next, have client water in app. very well. If no results in 10 days, apply a fungicide labeled for red thread and water in accordingly (if dry fungicide).

    Red thread usually indicates lack of N.

  3. SterlingLawn

    SterlingLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Thanks. Will the affected areas return to a normal healthy lawn or will they require renovation?

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    As long as host+pathogen+cool, wet weather is present, you will get re-occurence of red thread. I have had excellent results with Bayleton. 2 months so far in a real problem lawn... no red thread.
  5. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Red Thread rarely kills turf to the crown. But it looks awful. As the weather changes & the fert kicks in, the turf will recover. This takes time since you have to wait while the individual grass plants regrow all or most of their leaves.

    I use fungicides at my own house & have several Lawn Care Operators who are my customers that offer monthly fungicide treatments to their custom ers. (among other things, I sell fungi's)

    Most commonly, the guys offer either Bayleton (a local penetrant of the Sterol Inhibitor family of which there are others), or better yet a combination of a contact & a systemic. Around here, most treat first in May, then every 3-4 weeks up to 3 times. Weather should dictate the schedule, not yours or your clients wishes. Convenience isn't likely here. The same conditions that favor Red Thread, also put "Full Service Landscapers" behind the mowing shedule (rain) so look out. This isn't a program option with broad based appeal in most areas so routing & scheduling is a disaster for the bigger LCO's. That's why most don't offer it at all.

    Like all diseases, RT is best prevented. Treating after the second full mowing is my preferred choice. This way you are in front of the disease & in control. Let the disease start first & you're just along for the ride.

    One way to disguise the blighted areas is to raise the mower a little bit. Even 1/4" of additional height will help to "hide" the spots when the lawn is viewed from afar. Walking the turf will still show the symptoms clearly, but it will look better from the street or a first floor window. Agronomically, higher mowing will have little impact on disease pressure. The additional canopy could limit air circulation a little & make the causal pathogen even more agressive under the right conditions.

    For the record & to be fair to all manufacturers, the Sterol Inhibitor class of fungicide family include: Bayleton, Eagle, Rubigan, Banner, and ProStar. These are the Trade names & may have other names created by off patent private labling agreements. I don't feel that any one is markedly better than the rest at controlling Red Thread. The winner is usually the one who spent the most money on advertising!
    There are other types of fungicide chemistry that will also work, but this is the most popular group.

  6. SterlingLawn

    SterlingLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Thank you very much for the advice. I've got some solid info to work with.
  7. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    High Fert
    Reduce Water
    Don't plant fine fescue unless you're in the shade.

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