Fairy Rings


  • Fairy rings are caused by underground fungal activity. The fungus remains in the soil and can be activated by, lightning strikes (turning nitrites into nitrates), periods of stress or by infrequent watering and fertilizer regimes.
  • The rings of stimulated grass growth are the result of nitrogen released in the soil by the Fairy Ring activity under ground breaking down organic matter to release ammonia.
  • The ammonia is processed by soil micro-organism into nitrates.
  • Decayed organic matter and high levels of thatch can favour disease development.
  • Fairy rings often through up a toadstool although they are only spread by the soil based mycelium.
  • Although it is not always necessary or appropriate to control Fairy rings, they can be particularly troublesome on many different turf types.
Fairy Rings

Type 1: Marasmius Oreades

Ring of dead turf bordered by stimulated turf growth. Causes turf death by soil water repellence and/or toxic substances.

Type 2: Agaricus & Lycoperdon spp

Stimulated grass growth with no fungal bodies. Rarely causes excessive damage to turf. Sometimes has slight sinking of rings giving an uneven surface.


Fairy Rings Type 2
Fairy Rings Type 3

Type 3:  Hygrophorus & Psilocybe spp

No effect on turf grass except when fruiting bodies are present (normally only in autumn).

Cultural Control

  • Try to minimise those conditions which favour disease development.
  • Control thatch in a programmed approach.
  • Apply wetting agents that have a penetrant activity will help to move water through the hydrophobic layer to help cure the symptoms of the disease.
  • Wetting agents should be used in combination with deep aeration.
  • Maintain a good nutrient programme.
  • To prevent spreading pathogen use solid rather than hollow tines.
  • If required, Nitrogen fertilizers and iron products can be used to mask the visual symptoms of light and dark green rings.
  • Rings can be dug out and removed. Dig out everything 500mm all around the ring and remove from site. Cleanliness is paramount as any small amount not removed of dropped elsewhere can reinfect the site. New root zone should be put in and new turf

Chemical Control

  • Apply Heritage WSG (Azoxystrobin) at a high water volume and with a penetrative wetting agent in February on site know to vulnerable or if they appear in the summer then solid tine and apply Heritage WSG (Azoxystrobin) at a high water volume and with a penetrative wetting agent followed by a repeat treatment two weeks later.
  • Solid tine and apply Vitax Clearing on repeated occasions on its own or with Heritage.
  • Always apply Prestige Super Recovery with every fungicide.
  • Use fungicides as part of an IPM programme and be aware of causing resistance to one chemical group by its regular use.

Use plant protection safely. Always read the label and product information before use


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