Fairy rings - The truth & the consequences

posted by Randy Lemmon - 

On several recent lawn consultations, I’ve seen lots of mushrooms.  In many cases, they’re in circular patterns – what are known as “fairy rings.” 

If you’re seeing mushrooms in your lawn, don’t panic!  Instead, pat yourself on the back.  Mushrooms are a sign that your sod contains lots of organic matter, and organic matter is a good thing.

Unfortunately, excess levels of organic matter can produce fairy rings - an inordinate number of mushrooms in a sort of circular or semi-circular pattern.  In northern states, fairy rings are sometimes just a circle of deeper green grass. (BELOW)

Here are my three suggestions for dealing with them in Southeast Texas: 

  1. Leave them alone!
  2. Pluck out every one, then dust the area with agricultural sulfur, considered an organic fungicide by many “manic organics.”
  3. Pluck out all you can and drench the area with a fungicide like Consan.  Frankly, though, I don’t care which fungicide you choose if you decide go that route. 

Some say fairy rings signal a need to top-dress the lawn with even more organic material, such as compost. I think you should just leave well enough alone. But, if you feel compelled to get more organic matter down into the soil, here’s my top-dressing tip sheet

I also might ask, “When was the last time you fertilized?” Fairy rings often appear in lawns that have lots of organic matter but which have had inconsistent fertilization.  If your lawn falls into that category, get on my lawn fertilization schedule right away!  Do it now, and you’ll be right on time for the summer application!  

And what if you do nothing to fairy rings and just mow the mushrooms into the turf?  You’ll likely just get more mushrooms. That’s it.  So, it’s completely up to you - go with a control, or do nothing at all.

GardenLine with Randy Lemmon

GardenLine with Randy Lemmon

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