Fairy rings can appear on lawns as a perfect circle of mushrooms or just a circle of deep green grass that grows faster than the rest of your grass. You may see a circle within a circle or a partial arc. Fairy rings often come back year after year in the same place and they may get bigger as time goes by.
Fairy rings are extremely hard to eradicate, but the lawn care pros at Fairway Lawns can evaluate your yard and help determine the best possible response. Contact our lawn disease treatment specialists today!
Where Does Fairy Ring Come From?
Fairy rings are a bit of a mystery. There are a couple of theories about how fairy rings develop:
Some say they start with the spore of a mushroom, but mushrooms are the fruit of thread-like mycelia, which spreads underground and can become massive. Mycelia is like a plant (the vegetative part) and mushrooms are like the fruit of the plant, usually visible only under certain weather conditions.
Others say that these rings could begin by joining neighboring oval colonies or genets of these mushrooms. A genet is a group of clones—genetically identical plants, fungi, or bacteria that originate from a single source vegetatively (not sexually).
Long-term research in England also reveals that rabbits can play an essential part in sustaining fairy rings, because they eat the grass around it, but not the fungus. Their droppings also return nitrogen to the soil, and by the time the fairy ring has grown to about 20 feet, the rabbit droppings restore nitrogen to the inside of the circle, and a second ring begins inside the first.
Fairy Ring Characteristics
Characteristics of fairy ring lawn disease are either a necrotic zone (where your grass is declining or dead) or a rapid growth zone (where your grass is more lush and green than the rest of your lawn).
The necrotic zone is usually caused by the underground mycelia, which may coat the roots of the grass. The fungus also depletes nitrogen in the soil.
The rapid-growth zones are caused by certain fungi that produce a hormone-like substance, accelerating growth.
Fairy rings usually grow larger over time, from a few inches to several feet per year.
Step-by-Step How to Control Fairy Rings
Some people decide to just leave this lawn disease alone and enjoy a little bit of strange nature, but here is what you need to do to manage fairy rings:
Step 1. Measure out one foot from the outside of the ring and remove the sod.
Step 2. Dig up the soil to a depth of one foot.
Step 3. Replace the soil and re-sod or re-seed.
Seeding is preferred because there is less likelihood of re-establishing the fungus. However, this is very difficult, and even a little spilled soil can start the fungus again.
Fairy Ring Trivia
One of the largest fairy rings ever found is still located in France. It’s about 2,000 feet in diameter and estimated to be 700 years old.
Few fungi would be referred to as fascinating, but fairy rings have shown up in myths for centuries. In fact, it’s mentioned often in European literature in the 13th century.
In France, fairy rings are known as sorcerer’s rings.
In Germany, it’s said that witches dance in the fairy rings.
In Austria, fairy rings are attributed to the fiery tales of flying dragons.
If your yard is a host to this interesting lawn disease, the lawn care experts at Fairway Lawns can handle the hard work for you!