Key points to remember
- Fairy rings are usually only visible during periods of low rainfall.
- Treat in the same way as dry patch.
- Pick off fruiting bodies (toadstools) and bin them.
Fairy rings usually appear in late summer and autumn. As the name suggests they are usually circular but can be irregular too. The rings get bigger each year and are most noticeable when the fungus, fruits. Toadstools appear around the ring.
A fungus is the cause of the fairy ring. It affects the turf directly above it and often this fungus will create a waxy coating on the soil particles in much the same way as Dry Patch. This will send the grass dark green and ultimately kill it, leaving a brown ring due to lack of water. Not all fairy rings are so harmful but almost all are noticeable at some stage of the year. Often grass will flourish on either side of the ring as the fungi interact with and enhance the soil biology.
If the ring is not too big, it can be dug out, but this is time-consuming and expensive and if any spores re-infect the soil you are back to square one, so best left alone. Treat in the same way as Dry Patch. Fork or aerate the circle and water thoroughly with a wetting agent. This will reduce the stress on the grass plant. Pick off the toadstools when they appear and dispose of them in a bin.