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Past Articles Library | Plant Diseases & Control | Control Fairy Ring



 

FAIRY RING FUNGUS IN LAWNS

Fairy ring has its name because people once believed that mushrooms growing in a circle followed the path made by fairies dancing in a ring. In reality, fairy ring can be caused by any one of more than 50 kinds of fungus and occurs in the spring and in the fall. Fairy rings most often occur after two or three days of rain followed by several days of dry sunny weather. Fairy rings grow where large quantities of organic matter, such as lumber, tree stumps, logs, etc. have been buried and are rotting in the yard or garden. The ring is caused by a fungus in the soil which use this undecomposed material as a source of nutrition.

 

 

PLANTS MOST AFFECTED

All grass types are susceptible to fairy ring.

 

 

DAMAGE

This fungus appears as rings of dark green vigorous grass surrounding areas of dead or light colored grass. Grass inside the ring dies because water cannot penetrate the cobwebby surface of the fungus which lies near the top of the soil. After prolonged wet weather, mushrooms (the fruiting bodies of the fungs) may appear around the edge of the ring, where the fungus is actually growing. Fairy rings are usually only a problem on good, long-established lawns.

There are three types of fairy rings: Type I rings have a zone of dead grass just inside a zone of dark green grass. Type II rings have only a band of dark green turf, with or without mushrooms present in the band. Type III rings do not exhibit a dead zone or a dark green zone, but simply have a ring of mushrooms present.

 
 

PREVENTION & CONTROL

Unfortunately, eradication of fairy rings is difficult if not impossible. Destruction of the fruiting bodies does not stop the fungus from spreading (sort of like pulling oranges off your tree does not stop the tree from growing).

Although it is possible to dig up and replace the soil in which fairy rings grow, the rings will reappear if their food source has not been removed. Fairy rings will disappear naturally once their food source is depleted.

Here a few things you can do:

1.Applying fertilizer, except on the ring itself, masks the problem, and is the best solution in a domestic garden.

2. Proper mowing and fertilization will help control fairy rings.

3. Deep, frequent watering and core aeration will also help.

4. Fungicides can help to eliminate the symptoms, but fungicides will not correct the problems causing fairy rings.








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Gardening-tip:



Fungi Problems?

Mushrooms usually appear during the rainy months, but they can appear throughout the year.

If you have lots of mushrooms growing after regular watering, it could mean compacted soil is not allowing water to drain properly.

Allow the area to dry out, aerate it, and apply some gypsite to help make the soil more porous.


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