Broadleaf Weeds and Red Thread in Turf

Posted on July 2nd, 2019
Dr. Kevin W. Frank
Michigan State University
Thanks for your continued support of the MSU Turf Team and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation. As summer finally gets rolling with warmer temperatures we’re already starting to prepare for the Michigan State Field Day on August. 14 at the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center. There will be morning research tours and afternoon diagnostic walks and tours. REGISTER now to ensure your spot.

Pesky Broadleaf Weeds Flowering in Turf

The trifecta of common trifoliate broadleaf weeds Black medic (Medicago lupulina), white clover (Trifolium repens) and yellow woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta) are all currently flowering and infesting turf. Black medic and white clover are commonly found growing on low fertility, low maintenance sites such as roadsides, boulevards, neglected home lawns and, in some cases, golf course rough. Black medic and clover are very competitive in low fertility sites because they host rhizobacteria that fix atmospheric nitrogen into plant available nitrogen. 

The entire article can be viewed at

Red Thread

The frequent rains this year have not only resulted in mowing challenges, but have also resulted in some turf areas in need of nutrition. Not surprisingly, Michigan State University Extension has received reports of red thread (Laetisaria fuciformison) on lawns and landscape turf areas for several weeks now. 

It seems that every year we observe red thread on lawns or golf course roughs and often the outbreak follows the seedhead production period when the plant is probably looking for a little extra nutrition. The common lawn mix turfgrasses Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fine fescue are all susceptible, with perennial ryegrass being particularly susceptible.

The entire article can be viewed at

Dr. Frank’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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