What are Fairy Rings?

by Brooke Tolman
(last updated April 19, 2017)

During the spring or summer a circle or arc of dark grass or mushrooms may appear in lawns. These are called fairy rings. People once believed that the rings were formed by fairies dancing in a circle, thus by tradition they are called fairy rings. They are most often found in forests or grassy areas.

The fungus that causes fairy rings grows underground, and in an outward circle. Often, the only outward sign that it is there is the growth of mushrooms or an abnormal grass growth on the outer edge of the fungus circle. As the fungus grows it eats up all the nutrients in the soil, slowly killing the grass. That is why, usually, the grass in the center of the fairy ring is dead. After the fungus has taken up all the nutrients in the soil, the center fungus dies. When the fungus dies, the nutrients are returned to the soil and the grass can once again flourish. The outer edge of the fungus, however, continues to live and widens the fairy rings by secreting chemicals into the ground around it. Which breaks down more of the nutrients in the ground around it, making it easier for the fungus to continue spreading.

There are three main types of fairy rings. One type has no mushrooms, but the activity in the soil can still be spotted by the ring of stimulated grass growth. The second type has mushrooms as well as a stimulated grass growth ring. And the third type contains only mushrooms, with no unusual grass growth activity.

Fairy rings are not a lethal threat to your lawn. Even so, they are easily prevented and very manageable. If the fairy ring is the type with only mushrooms and no unusual grass growth, simply take a rake and rake over the mushrooms, picking up and disposing of them afterwards. If the fairy ring is fairly deep into its disease cycle the best way to deal with it is by simply trying to make your grass look its best. Rake up and get rid of the mushrooms, then water and fertilize so as to increase the heartiness with which your grass is growing. Mowing more frequently will make the fairy ring grass and your normal grass blend together better as well. In rare cases where you need to completely eliminate the fairy ring, you'll have to dig up the sod and underlying soil to a depth of 40-90 cm depending on the development of the ring. New, fungus free, dirt can then be put in its place.

Author Bio

Brooke Tolman

Brooke is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science. She currently resides in Seattle where she works as a freelance data analyst and personal trainer. She hopes to spend her life camping and traveling the world. ...

MORE FROM BROOKE

Window Planters

Window planters are a great way to embellish both the exterior and interior of your home. They help to bring more natural ...

Discover More

Commercial Ovens

If you're in the market to start your own restaurant, you'll need to know all about commercial ovens. Read and find out about ...

Discover More

Cleaning Shower Doors

Shower doors can be stubborn things to clean, soap scum often builds up on them and is a pain to get off. Use household items ...

Discover More
MORE GARDENING TIPS

Planting Grass Seed

One of the most important aspects of preparing your lawn and landscape is actually planting grass seed. If you would like to ...

Discover More

Choosing the Right Lawn Fertilizer

Lawns need to have the right nutrients to grow property. If the lawn has either too much or too little of the wrong nutrient, ...

Discover More

When to Rake the Lawn

Whether it is due to the annual change of weather or because of a sudden storm there are times when we have to rake the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

Links and Sharing
  • Ask a Question
  • Make a Comment
  • Free Printable Forms
  • Free Calendars
  • Share