Fairy Ring is a lawn disease which is most notable by the rings it creates in lawns. The rings of Fairy Ring are circle shaped and can begin being noticeable from 30 cm in diameter and will continue growing indefinitely until their food supply is exhausted.
Fairy Ring is a lawn fungus disease, for this reason the disease will in most cases be noticeable by Mushrooms around it's perimeter, but this will not always be the case. Fairy Ring can be caused by many different fungus types and some of these will not contain mushrooms in the lawn.
In cases where there are no mushrooms present, as well as when there are mushrooms, there will always be a bright green ring in the lawn on the outer perimeter of the infection.
This bright green ring is a by-product of the fungal disease which is causing the Fairy Ring. As the infection starts off small it will continue growing outwards in a circular shape, continually feeding on the soil, the waste matter of the fungus will be very high levels of nutrients which the lawn feeds from to become very healthy before it is consumed itself.
There really are no known controls for Fairy Ring disease in lawns. The infection will continue to expand until it's food supply is exhausted. In the case of home gardens, this will eventually occur when the disease reaches the outer perimeters of the lawn and garden of the property.
If Fairy Ring is caught early enough in it's life-cycle then it can be removed by digging out the entire infected area. This should be done by expanding past the perimeter of the ring by 30 cm, and to a depth of 30 cm into the soil. The removal of soil and turf should be close to a surgical removal, having a tarp close by to put the soil onto, and then very carefully removing the soil from the lawn without dropping any soil onto other grass areas. The waste matter should then be placed in the rubbish bin.
While there is no magic bullet to cure Fairy Ring, there are many things we can do to control it, and even help the lawn fight off the disease for itself, this is called Cultural Management. Our aim with cultural management is to make the lawn as healthy as we possibly can, which in turn will make the lawn area more hostile toward the Fairy Ring, and this can be done by following good lawn care practices.
Remove excess thatch by vertimowing or cutting the thatch out with a rotary lawn mower.
Keep up regular fertiliser and wetting agents to the lawn to increase lawn health and to aid drainage of excess water away from the soil.
Aerate the soil if necessary via lawn coring to allow more water to freely drain away from the soil.
Prune back surrounding trees and bushes to increase as much sunlight as possible onto the lawn area.
Wash down lawn mowers with a diluted bleach solution from a handy spray bottle at the end of each lawn mowing, this will kill the fungus on machinery and help stop it spreading.