What are they?
Fairy rings are circles of mushrooms or dead grass that form in grassy or forest areas. When a mushroom spore lands in an appropriate location, the underground fungus roots grow out evenly in all directions. Overtime the fungus grows and the oldest parts in the middle dies out, leaving a circular formation. If the fungus doesn’t die out, this can last for several years and grow larger continuously.
How to get rid of fairy rings?
Despite being visually unappealing, fairy rings are damaging to gardens and are highly difficult to eradicate. They occur all year round but are more visually apparent during the summer and autumn months. If you have identified a fairy ring on your lawn, the non-chemical way requires you to…
- Replace the colony with fresh soils, which consists of removing 30cm (at least) of the natural turf with fresh soils and returfing or reseeding.
- To eliminate the water-repellent features of the fungal cluster, spiking and watering is necessary on the dead patches of grass.
- Removing toadstools has no effect, as the infection is still present within the roots in larger volumes.
Fairy rings are unable to be removed with fungicides, meaning that there is no chemical control against this lawn disease.
How to prevent fairy rings?
There are several steps that can be takes in order to prevent fairy rings, as listed:
- Eliminate extra thatch and aerate compacted soils, to allow the good air in and bad air out. A garden fork or air drain fork is appropriate on residential gardens.
- Keep garden well hydrated with water.
- Remove mushrooms by raking or mowing.
- Keep your lawn well-trimmed, without exceeding the 6cm threshold.
- The use of nitrogen rich fertilizers only disguises the problem rather than removing it.
The typical regime that is recommended is to fertilize, hydrate, aerate and mow to effectively prevent the occurrence of fairy rings.