Red Thread? Now what?

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Old 06-09-17, 07:26 AM
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Red Thread? Now what?

I have a big lawn. It was really green after I used the 27-0-0 fertilizer back in april? Also put down crabgrass preventer back then.

Not as dark green as it was (how often do you put that down).

Now I'm noticing these brown spots all through the lawn - we've had it in previous years also. Looking close at them, it looks like red thread.

I think in the past we'd spend a fortune on fungicide? But we have 25K suare feet of lawn. That gets expensive. The brown spots are pretty common throughout the lawn.

Your thoughts on what to do? Ignore it? treat it (and what would you recommend we use for that?

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Old 06-09-17, 10:31 AM
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I use Fathom 14.3 MEC (propiconazole) and Prostar (flutolanil). Prostar seems more effective but is considerably more expensive. Fathom is quite cheap and works well enough but has a heavy chemical odor. 25'000 feet of lawn is only about half an acre but you still might find it cheaper to buy your chemicals online or from an agricultural supplier (local feed supply that serves farmers). Many products are 1/3 the price compared to getting a consumer branded product from a big box home center.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 11:18 AM
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Most lawn fungus problems are aggravated by poor watering times. Lawns that have the least amount of problems are watered near dawn so that the grass can dry out during the day.

Red thread will often go away on its own if proper watering times are observed. Some people like to see their sprinklers running during the daytime, or think that their lawn "needs a drink" during the heat of the day, which are both incorrect and is often the whole reason fungus is even a problem. So check your watering times. Once a day at dawn at most. Every other day is even better, imo.

Red thread will also decrease as summer progresses, as it does not like excessive heat. Dethatching is always good as it removes clippings that the fungus enjoys. Fertilizer can also help, and it's likely time for another application if your last one was in April.

If it was my lawn, I would prefer to ignore it and instead do what you can as mentioned above to make your lawn less of a target.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 11:54 AM
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thanks for the info...

I have an inground sprinkler but haven't run it at all this year yet... it's been rainy. yeah, breeding ground for stuff like this.

And in previous years, I've been doing the 10 zones on the sprinkler, 30 minutes at a time and starting in the middle of the night. Just dawned on me reading your comments - I can do 1/2 the zones 1 day then other 1/2 of zones the next day. So it's not running all through the night : )

and I want to cut back on sprinkler anyway.... water bill last few years has been hundreds of dollars. And not much better lawn to show for it.

An expectation check - should I be able to have a lush green lawn that's weed free without spending my life doing it or turning the area into a toxic waste dump with all the chemicals I'd use?

Or is that a falicy?

I do have to say - I remember learning the 3 numbers on the fertilizer bag represent top - down - all around and that the 27-0-0 stuff just gives you a green lawn... but not healthy?

So I've used the starter fertilizer when I can over last few years.

This year, I did the 27-0-0 and kinda liked how it looked. How often do you do that? It's been a couple months and it's not as dark green as I remember earlier in the year.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 12:17 PM
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I think you're watering too little and too infrequently - give it the same amount of water but just in longer waterings twice a week. What you're doing promotes shallow root growth.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 12:35 PM
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how long would you say each zone shoudl be running? (rainbird 5000 heads). and again, with the red thread this year - I haven't watered at all... just rainy spring so far here in NJ
 
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Old 06-09-17, 12:59 PM
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Rule of thumb is a lawn needs 1-2" of water per week. You only need to provide what the rain does not.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 02:06 PM
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Here is their online calculator. Rain Bird 5000PRS Water Savings Calculator

Its not possible for us to say how long or how often you should water as there are too many variables. A good method that doesn't involve the math is to save a bunch of tin cans and spread them out in various places within one zone. Then after the zone has run for 30 minutes, let's say, measure what is in each can to get an average.

Some zones may put down more water than others... it all depends on the coverage, and how many heads are in x number of sq ft. Does one head overlap another? That also factors in. Is the area in full sun or mostly in the shade? Shady areas don't need as much water.
 
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Old 06-09-17, 06:22 PM
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Expectation check... Yes you must expend a lot of effort, time and money and turn your lawn into a chemical dumping ground to have a perfect green lawn of one species. Mother Nature is about variety so trying to get only one thing in your lawn is fighting an uphill battle. I think a little effort gets you a lot of benefit but as you strive for perfection it gets increasingly difficult and requires more chemicals. So, it's up to you to find the happy medium for you.

I have 7 acres. The main lawn gets fertilized in spring and fall and in the spring it gets a medium dose of crabgrass control so by mid summer it starts to look a bit varied. Then I have a very tiny bit of "pretty grass" next to our patio that I maintain the snot out of. It's small enough that I can manually pull ALL the weeds and still by this time of year you can see some brown grass. Even with what I consider a high level of attention and money it's still not perfect and I'm not up to expending the money, effort and chemicals needed to obtain perfection.
 
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