How to Get Rid of Fairy Rings

Last updated: 09/01/2021
Estimated read time: 2.5 minutes

Perhaps the strangest lawn affliction that you’ll ever encounter, fairy rings may look like magic made them. But, while harmless enough, they’re still a sign that proper lawn maintenance is needed. So before concluding that your lawn is home to the supernatural, learn a little more about how fairy rings occur and what you can do to prevent and treat them.

fairy rings are circular rings of dark green grass often accompanied by mushroom growths

What are Fairy Rings?

True to their fanciful name, fairy rings are circular rings of dark green grass often accompanied by mushroom growths. Covering a distance of 3 to 20 feet in diameter, fairy rings can easily expand to cover much of your lawn and can survive for years if left untreated. This common turf affliction has existed unchanged for millennia, and ancient civilizations often concluded that fairies or other magical woodland creatures were responsible, hence the name. Nowadays, though, we know the cause of fairy rings, and unfortunately, it’s not nearly that exciting.

How to Treat Fairy Rings

Despite their light and irreverent name, fairy rings can be pretty challenging. As a result, most homeowners choose to mask the problem with high-nitrogen fertilizers rather than treat the root cause. However, we recommend a maintenance-based approach that prevents fairy rings from occurring at all. A few of the most effective methods include:

  • Foster beneficial soil microbes: The use of manure or high-quality organic fertilizers is an excellent way to achieve balanced nutrition across your lawn. This prevents areas of unnaturally high concentration, making it difficult for fairy rings to develop.
  • Lawn aeration and thatch removal: From reducing standing water to removing excess organic material, and strengthening your existing grass, aeration and thatch removal hinder the development of fairy rings at every turn.
  • Proper watering technique: Regular, infrequent, heavy watering of your lawn helps prevent water-soluble organic material in your soil from triggering fairy ring-causing fungi.
  • Disposal of lawn clippings and yard waste: Like thatch removal, proper disposal of lawn clippings and other yard waste like fallen leaves reduces the amount of decaying material that can one day cause fairy rings to develop.

It should be noted that fairy rings are notoriously resistant to fungicides and that there are no natural control methods. This means that proper lawn maintenance is the only option available, whether by yourself or an experienced professional. Contact our team of experts at Blades of Green to learn more!

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