Fairy Rings


Charming though they may sound, you definitely don’t want these blighters plaguing your lawn, in severe cases the only way to be rid of this problem is to completely dig out the offending area of turf. This disease develops when fungus is allowed to develop and grow feely, destroying the grass as it goes. The so called ‘Fairy Ring’ is a dark green patch that appears on the lawn as a result of the fungus destroying the healthy grass, and along with this you might also notice other types of fungus such as puffballs and other smaller toadstools that have grown as a result of the invasion.

Within the Fairy Rings category there are three main sub types, and these vary in their severity:

Grade 1

By far the most severe type of Fairy Rings, these kill the grass rather than damage it, so rather than off colour areas you’ll find dead patches of grass instead. The fungus that causes this problem actually repels water, effectively starving the grass of hydration. If you dig up the affected turf you’ll find a musty smelling network of white thread like fungus, and it’s this ability to take hold of the whole turf, not just the surface, that makes this disease such a nuisance.

Grade 2

Less severe than grade one, this variation of Fairy Rings will cause dark green patches and the presence of visible toadstools, but otherwise the turf will be unaffected

Grade 3

The least problematic of all, grade 3 Fairy Rings will not effect the appearance of the grass, instead only the toadstools and other surface fungus will be present. This is easily dealt with by simply raking the lawn or removing the fungus by hand

Prevention

Grades 2 and 3 of this problem can be fairly easily managed by removing surface fungus, and by applying nitrogen and iron sulphite based chemicals to improve the appearance of damaged grass. Grade 1 Fairy Rings are much harder to control, and in many cases the best option is to remove the affected turf and start again. None the less it would be worth trying the same fungal control and fertilizer application methods as the other 2 grades, as well as the regular application of water to try and discourage the water repelling fungus before resorting to removing the turf altogether.

Unfortunately most grass species are affected by Fairy Rings, so seeding your lawn with a variety og grass seed species will in this case be ineffective.

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