Lawn fairy rings

Do you have lawn fairy rings? If you have noticed circular or arc shaped rings of dead grass in your lawn then your lawn could be affected by fairy rings. Find out how to deal with lawn fairy rings with helpful advice from Essex turf and topsoil supplier Paynes Turf.

Lawn fairy rings Paynes Turf

Easily identified by the very green grass on the inside and the outside of the ring, fairy rings can also contain toadstools within the ring itself, especially during late summer and autumn. Lawn fairy rings can be of varying sizes, from very small to up to a metre in diameter.

How do fairy rings appear?

Fairy rings are a very common phenomenon caused by groups of fungi which are found naturally in soil. There are thousands of different types of fungi that cause fairy rings, but the most common type makes the grass on either side of the ring or arc to become dark green in colour. The rings (or arcs) develop when the fungi breaks down decaying plant material (already present in the lawn) and feeds on the nutrients in order to grow. Fairy rings are particularly common in lawns that are very wet.

What types of grass are affected?

All lawns can be affected by fairy rings, including well-manicured lawns and rough grass.

How will my lawn be affected?

The fungi present in fairy rings colonises the layer of dead plant material (or thatch), which dries the turf out. Turf that is affected in this way then starts to resist water; this dries the turf out further still, and results in a lawn that is affected by drought.

How to deal with fairy rings

To help prevent the appearance of fairy rings always buy top quality turf when laying a new lawn, and ensure that the ground is prepared correctly with good quality topsoil before laying the new turf.

If you already have fairy rings present in your lawn you can help alleviate the problem with a little lawn care maintenance:

  • Aerate the lawn to allow water to penetrate to the roots of the grass. Find out how to aerate your lawn here.
  • Apply a quality fertiliser.
  • Rake a good quality top dressing through the lawn once or twice a year.
  • Continue to adopt a year-round lawn care maintenance programme.