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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Fairy Rings

Mushrooms and Toadstools in the Lawn

Posted by John Fulton -

The symptoms of "fairy rings" have been classic this year. Dark green grass in rings that looks like a target pattern is a symptom of fairy rings. Fairy rings are visible now. Fairy rings are caused by a fungus that is in the soil. Actually there are about 50 fungi that can cause fairy rings. These fungi feed on decaying organic matter such as large roots from trees that were in the area, or from buried lumber. The dark green circle part of the equation comes from extra nitrogen that becomes available as the organic matter is broken down by the fungus. There is also a portion of dead grass in the center of the green streaks this year. It will fill in eventually.

Some prevention will help keep the problem from occurring. Simply removing stumps and large roots, and not burying lumber help prevent this type of problem. As for a cure, fungicide drenches have been successful on a very limited basis. Removal of the fungus usually involves simply mowing it off when you mow the lawn, or breaking it off with a garden rake and removing. One option to mask the symptoms of the dark rings is to fertilize the surrounding grass with a high-nitrogen fertilizer to make that grass green also.



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