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Fairy Rings on the Lawn: Is It A Curse or Just A Lawn Disease?

If you get a ring of mushrooms or discolored grass on your way, just run fast from the ring immediately. It is common advice you may get from your grandparents when you were a kid. Well, the ring of mushrooms or discolored grasses are primarily seen in the forest and sometimes on the lawn. Actually, it’s a widespread lawn disease, and people call it fairy rings. And fairy rings on the lawn are prevalent, especially in Summer.

Oh! About the advice, basically, there are tons of myths regarding the fairy rings where it is nothing but a fungal disease. And people who have lawns are familiar with this disease pretty well. But most of them are irritated by it as getting rid of these rings is pretty much difficult.

Well, if you have a lawn and fear having a fairy ring on it, you should read this article till the end. Remember that these rings can be of different types; if you are not well aware of them, you can never get rid of the harmful ones from your lawn.

What Are Fairy Rings?

A fairy ring is a circle or ring caused by some of a particular fungus. People also call it the pixie ring, fairy circle, or elf circle. However, this kind of fungal infection nourishes decaying roots, logs, leaves, tree stumps, etc., buried in the soil.

There are so many myths and tales that transpire about this type of lawn problem. For many years, people of different cultures have had strong curiosity and, at the same time, fear about this fairy ring. Different countries show different categories of fables. According to several English tales, if a person enters a fairy ring, he or she will have to dance with some spiritual creatures, and there is no way they can stop until they drown in somnolence.

Dutch tradition exhibits another belief that the devil creates the fairy ring as a habitat to protect their milk churn and if any other living beings that entered the circle would suffer souring of their milk.

In Uk, the tradition says it is a work of dancing elves. In Garmany, people believe this type of fungal disease occurred due to the witches’ dance. France believes this lawn disease is the ‘Sorcerers Rings.’

However, despite all these fables, science tells us that it’s a disease that is not a matter of joke but to evaluate with the right legislation. Still, we think it is a curse for the lawn. Well, Fairy rings can be of different types based on what kind of fungus it is affected with.

Types of Fairy Rings

Initially, fairy rings can be decades older and in diameter; they can be longer than ten meters which means around 15 feet. All the fairy rings are not the same to look at. Based on their appearance, it has three different types. To treat the rings, you must know what kind of rings appear on your lawn. It’s because the treatments are different from type to type.

1. Rings of Dead Grass

type 1 fairy rings on the lawnThe most apparent aspect of this particular disease is a clear ring of dead or dying grass. And this situation is most often known as the type one fairy ring. The affected area is surrounded by deep green grass on the inside and outside, but the circle is made of gray and lifeless dry pastures. It is an explicit result of the mycelium occurring in the soil and sometimes may comprise some tiny mushrooms.

This type of problem generally happens during the early Summer and Winter when the weather is mostly sticky. Fungi create a waxy coat around the soil of the lawn; as a result, the plant gets stressed and retains no nutrition in the root. Thus, grasses dry or endure.

2. Rings of Longer and Greener Grass

type 2 fairy rings on the lawnThe second type is about the ring of the longer and greener grass. Initially, the type two fairy rings are generated in an area of grass where the healthy grass is less lush than the affected circle. This one is also similar to the previous type of fairy ring. The only difference is that it is restricted by a thatch layer. In this case, the rest of the grass gets less growth than the circled parts of the lawn.

This type of fungal infection does not create any lawn damage. But it carries a fungus that can cause future damage. Besides, the diameter of the ring may not grow continuously, and that’s why most people often ignore this kind of problem.

3. Rings of Mushrooms

type 3 fairy ringsThe third type, I mean the type three fairy rings, are pretty much different from the past two. This type of fungal infection produces mushrooms or toadstools. This problem is infrequently seen in lawns. It tends to appear in areas that are rarely depleted or have obtained a vast amount of drizzle or irrigation in an abrupt duration.

As we see, the types of the fairy rings are all about how it looks like. They don’t have particular names, but you should learn about them separately. It is essential to treat them.

What Causes Fairy Rings on the Lawn?

You have already learned that the grass within the fairy rings looks deadly brown or even greenish, dense, and taller. And sometimes, there are mushrooms around the rings. Usually, the fairy rings are mostly seen in forested areas still; you can find them on your lawn. And the culprit is just a fungus. Eventually, the same fungus is responsible for all types of fairy rings.

Also, fairy rings can grow because of the mushroom’s mycelium that falls on a commendatory spot. Generally, the fungus that is responsible for producing fairy rings is born from the old mushrooms or compost of decaying woods in the soil. Also, some other types of fungus grow in the compost and help the rings grow. Some of the fungi grow in the dead roots of the grass and cause the first type of fairy ring.

How to Get Rid of Fairy Rings?

cause of fairy rings on the lawnI am sorry to say that fairy rings don’t have any quick remedy. You have to use some fungicides as it is a fungal disease. Also, you can follow some easy tricks to get rid of them. I am not sure which one will work, but I have tried to specify the most effective tricks for specific ring types. Check out the points, and you will learn what to do.

Treatment for Type 1 Fairy Rings

For the type one fairy rings, you should remove the dead grass first. Next, you have to make sure that the soil of the affected area is getting sufficient water. For that, you have to spike the area well. You can use a fork in this case and water the area properly. Also, you can use a watering agent to improve the water consumption of the soil. You should also use the right lawn fertilizer, especially which are rich in nitrogen and safe fungicide as well.

Treatment for Type 2 Fairy Rings

It hurts a lot as there is no known solution for the type two fairy rings. The only thing you can do is to use a scarifier. Make sure to thatch lower and make the grass branded.

Treatment for Type 3 Fairy Rings

The type three fairy rings produce mushrooms around the ring. The first thing you have to do is just remove those mushrooms from the roots. Use a plastic bag and take them in the bag instantly. Make sure that the spore is not getting spread. Next, use fungicide and clean the area properly.

Initially, type 3 fairy rings don’t have any connection to the grass, so you don’t need to remove the grass from the affected area and reseed the land.

Effective Tips to Prevent Fairy Rings on the Lawn

Why do you wait for the fairy rings to grow on your lawn to use the treatment when you can prevent it from the beginning. Eventually, preventing fairy rings is not that susceptible. Sometimes the lawn gets dried out from deep inside, which can destroy the soil’s temperament. Some tricks can help you to get divest from it.

1. Aeration

aeration Aeration is the best way to prevent this fungal disturbance in a standard lawn setting. Aerating stabs into the soil and grasses, cuts the bottom of the grass and digs grassroots to get back into a healthy lawn.

Use a garden utensil to stab your lawn. Every late summer or autumn, aerate your lawn. You can even choose spring to aerate. This is the best time for aeration as it is hard to aerate any other season.

To lessen soil compaction, use a hollow tine aerator every three years. It absorbs water and soil particles, reducing the hazard of producing certain fungi and waxy layers in the soil.

2. Scarification

ScarificationThe next trick to prevent fairy rings on the lawn in to scarify it to lower the thatch. In this case, thatch works as a stimulus for generating a fairy ring. Thatch feeds the fungus to grow and spread over the lawn. Generally, the fungus that is responsible for fairy rings grows on the catch level when it has dead organic matter.

So, lower thatch is a definite direction to get alleviated this problem. It is essential to spook your grassland every couple of years to get relief thatch problem as well as this fungal disorder. Additionally, you can kill the fungus by reducing thatch as it destroys the food those fungi need to live.

3. Using Watering Agent

Using Watering AgentA watering agent helps the lawn to get moisture and proper humidity. If the yard gets, appropriate water lawn gets an adequate amount of moisture which will bring a hindrance to building a waxy layer into the soil. However, Type 1 and type 2 fairy rings mostly appear in the dry soil.

So, if you have dry ground for a long time, we will suggest you try a good-quality watering agent. It would be best if you used it, especially in summer, to get rid of almost all other lawn diseases that are the result of the dry lawn.

4. Top Soil Dressing

Using top dressing is a better way to help break down organic material. It’s the way to get robust soil. To boost the aeration, top dressing with a better long dressing soil improve drainage, supervise rebirth of thatch, and also helps reproduce new grass.

The most appropriate time for thatch is when the grasses will reproduce. It will help to stave off the fungal infection again in the soil. Make it a routine work of your garden care with the other supervisions like proper fertilization and trimming.


Q: Will fairy rings go away naturally?

A: Mostly, No. Fairy rings don’t go away naturally in most cases, not even in a year. Eventually, fairy rings can stay for years if you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent them.

Q: Do fairy rings attack turf?

A: Most often, the fungi that cause fairy rings don’t attack the turf lawns. Grass seed lawns get this disease most often. But turf sometimes gets affected by the specific fungi that cause type 2 fairy rings with the greenish and longer grass.

Q: Can I use Lime juice to get rid of fairy rings?

A: No, not at all. Lime juice can even make the situation even worse. The healthy grass can be affected by the lime juice if you apply them directly. Besides, there is no evidence that line can kill the fungi that cause fairy rings.

Q: Is it possible to get rid of fairy rings without fungicides?

A: Yes, it is possible to get rid of fairy rings without applying any fungicides. But the process is time-consuming. You have to dig out the entire affected area and change the grass or add new seeds in that case.

Q: What is the best fungicide for fairy rings?

A: Fungicides that contain chemical ingredients like chlorothalonil + fluoxastrobin, fluoxastrobin, cyazofamid + azoxystrobin, fluindapyr + flutriafol, etc. are the most effective fungicides for fairy rings.

Final Thoughts

It is true that there are many mythologies regarding this common lawn disease, the fairy rings. Most of them will warn you not to stand in the middle of the rings as it will be harmful to your fate. That’s a myth, and it has no scientific evidence to deal with people’s lives. But the fairy rings are definitely a curse for the lawns.

So, if you have fairy rings on the lawn, you shouldn’t stay still mistaking it as some mere lawn issue. Instead, it would help if you took action to get rid of it instantly. Having fairy rings is a sign of an unhealthy lawn. So, be careful of it.

I am sure you have gotten exactly what I am trying to say. I hope that you will have a beautiful green lawn like the one we saw in the fairy tale show. Just love your lawn and be a little bit industrious when it has some diseases like fairy rings.

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