NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 11, 2014

Tim's Tips: Avoid the dreaded red thread

Our weather still seems to be bouncing from cloudy with showers to sunny and warm. All that being said, we did have a beautiful weekend.

The cool and showery weather has led to an increase in fungus diseases on plants. Over the past few days, several people have come into the store and told us about issues with their lawns.

Some have reported a reddish-pink coloration on their lawns. This is a fungus disease called red thread. This disease occurs most often when the grass stays wet for extended periods of time. The disease is also most prevalent on lawns that need an application of fertilizer.

You can treat the lawn with a fungicide if the problem is widespread through the lawn. Sometimes, an application of fertilizer will help the lawn outgrow the problem.

If you have a sprinkler system, it is advisable to have it come on less frequently and have it set to come on early in the morning and not while it is still dark outside. Grass that is wet during the late-night hours can lead to red thread developing on your lawn.

Lawns are not the only things that will develop fungus diseases. Be sure to check your vegetable plants, your annual and perennial flowers, and your rosebushes for signs of brown or black spots. You may also see a white powdery substance on the leaves. In some cases, the leaves may look like they have rust on them.

All of these things are an indication of fungus disease on your plants. If you do not treat your plants for these diseases, the disease will damage the plants’ ability to make food. Ultimately, the plants may die.

Take some time this week to check your plants for signs of disease, and make sure to treat them with an appropriate fungicide. If you do not see any signs of fungus disease, there are some good organic preventative sprays that you can use to prevent diseases from starting on your plants.

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