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Origin of Fairy Ring

Legend tells us that fairy rings were the result of a circle of dancing fairies. It was also believed to be the result of lightning strikes. Science has shown us the dark green circles are a result of fungi growing in the thatch or soil. As these fungi consume organic material in the soil or thatch, they release nitrogen causing the grass to grow taller
 and greener than the surrounding grass. Adding additional fertilizer to a fairy ring will only hasten its life cycle, and create a dead area. This dead area in turn will usually be taken over by weeds or quack grass. During periods of wet weather or watering,
mushrooms will usually appear within the ring. These mushrooms are the "fruiting bodies" of the fungus. Removing these mushrooms will not weaken the underlying fungus, but does help to improve the appearance of the lawn.




Fairy ring occurs in soils that are high in organic material. They also appear in lawns that have a thick thatch layer. Deep core aeration will help to alleviate this problem by reducing the thatch layer within the lawn. If you are putting in a new lawn, ensure you remove tree stumps, and discarded building material from your site. The fungi can use these objects in later years. Dead or dying tree roots are also a good source of food for the fairy ring fungus.

Development of a Fairy Ring

Fairy rings begin from a piece of mycelium feeding in the thatch layer or in the soil's organic matter. Organic material, obstructions, soil type, and conditions of the lawn all will influence how much growth will occur each year. Generally speaking if 2 fairy rings grow into each other they create a scalloped effect. This condition is thought to be due to certain chemicals produced by each fairy ring to inhibit growth of other fungi. The mycelium of the fairy ring creates a layer that is very difficult for water to penetrate. As a result the soil under this layer becomes very dry and is extremely difficult to water, killing the root system of the lawn. Depending on environmental conditions, several years may pass without the presence of the ring or mushrooms. Turf grass that is under stress is more susceptible to fairy ring.



I encourage you to submit any success you have had in dealing with fairy rings and I would be happy to post them to our site

you can email us at paul@fairyring.ca 

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