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Fairy ring

Appearance: Fairy rings may first appear as a circle of mushrooms.  Then a circular or semicircular patch of dead grass surrounded by a deep green ring will appear.  Small tan-coloured mushrooms may also be present around the ring. Rings usually appear in lawns 5 to 15 years old.

Cause: Fairy rings are caused by fungi growing in the soil. The fungus prevents water from reaching the grass roots, which causes the grass to die and weeds to infest the area.

Growing Season: Spring, summer and fall.

IPM Toolkit

  • Preventive tools:
    • Ensure soil is moist, heavy and fertile. Fairy rings are more noticeable and damaging in drier locations, with lighter soils and lower fertility.
    • Avoid shallow watering of your lawn.
  • Physical tools:
    • To get rid of fairy rings completely, cut out the dead patch of lawn where it is located and remove 5 cm of soil under the affected area. (NOTE: Ensure infected sod/soil does not touch any other part of your lawn to prevent spreading.)  Add additional topsoil before re-seeding or re-sodding  the dead area.
    • Mask the presence of fairy rings through heavy fertilization and watering.  To ensure lawn receives as much nutrients as possible, poke deep holes in the grass surface throughout the dead area using a garden fork. Then soak the area frequently with soapy water for 4 to 6 weeks to increase moisture content. The soap allows the water to penetrate more deeply.
    • Fairy rings will naturally die out when it encounters a sidewalk, flowerbed, or driveway.
  • Biological tools: Not applicable
  • Least toxic chemical tools:
    • There are no least toxic chemical tools to control fairy ring.