Red Thread

One of the most common diseases found in lawns especially in the UK, Red thread is like other lawn diseases, usually a result of a lack of nitrogen in the soil.


Weakened patches of pinkish grass around 20cm in diameter will appear on the lawn, and these will get larger as nutrient supplies are exhausted. The name of the condition stems from the red strands of damaged leaves that appear and are visible on closer inspection.

Favoured Conditions

  • Above all nitrogen deficiency
  • Cold and damp conditions, so it’s likely to strike late in the season in the Autumn
  •  The species Red Fescue and Rye


The good news with Red Thread is that it is fairly superficial in its intrusion, with only the leaves being effected. Once the infected grass leaf is cut, the plant can then regrow. The important thing is making sure all trace of the disease is removed so that it doesn’t continue to cause problems.

Whilst fungicides may help they aren’t typically available on the domestic market, and besides it’s better to try and control it using milder methods such as:

  • Ensuring sufficient nitrogen is present in the soil
  • Improve drainage
  • Keep your lawn mower blades well sharpened so that the grass blades are neatly cut rather than torn, torn and weakened grass is especially vulnerable to red thread.

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