red thread

maxineheather(z5 MA)May 18, 2007

We are in year 2 of our organic lawncare efforts. Last year I had an organic landscaper do it, and this year we're on our own. Last spring, with all the crazy rain we had in the northeast, we had such bad red thread that we even had pink fungus all over our orange grass.

I worry that I'm starting to see some orange blades already. Are there any natural fungicides I could try before things get out of hand?

I saw that corn meal doesn't work on read thread? How about milk? And if that would work, do you think I could try spreading powdered milk?

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Reconstituted powdered milk should be fine. If it was me I would use milk daily to get rid of it. That's something you can't do with chemicals, but I would be anxious about it. Since you can...I would.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 2:03AM
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maxineheather(z5 MA)

what about putting powdered milk on the lawn in powdered form, and watering it in? I thought that would be easier.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 8:02AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Part of the benefit of liquid sprays is they stick to the surface of the plant and feed the 20 layers or so of invisible microbes living on the plants.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 7:44PM
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I've only tried spraying whole milk with an orhto sprayer at 3oz/gallon. I sprayed in the back as that was where it was the worst. The front has identical conditions but the red thread was less severe and I decided not to drag the hose and instead use that as a control. I have a red fescue/KBG lawn in a new development (not alot of shade).

We've had alot of rain in MA the last two weeks and temps have been in the low 40's to 60's (sometimes a high of 70).
The back is red thread free. The front has alot of red thread and areas that had a slight problem last year now have it again.

I will spray milk as soon as I can until then I have done some soil drenching. I will also spray the back again as it can only help and NE springs are wet and cold.

In my experience the redthread only attacks weak stands of grass. I am working on the soil in these areas with extra grains, UCG and some compost as it becomes available. I believe these areas also have alot of rock in it prohibiting root growth. I'm hoping that with a soft soil and hard winter freeze, the rocks will rise and can be removed. If I get sick of it, I may find a tool to dig out rock before it breaks my weedhound.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 11:02PM
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