Fairy Rings Essay

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Fairy Rings During the spring or summer a circle of stimulated grass or of toadstools may appear in lawns. This is called fairy rings. The rings can be as small as a few centimeters to 20 meters in diameter! Rings can increase in size up to 0.5 m annually and can become quite large after years of infections. The rings of growth in the lawn are caused by the release of nutrients, specifically nitrogen because of the activity of the fungus living on organic matter in the soil. These organisms are mushroom or “puffball” forming fungi. Some mushrooms or puffballs are very poisonous when eaten and it is important that they are routinely destroyed if small children are likely to be attracted to them. There are three kinds of fairy rings. The first type has no mushrooms just stimulated grass growth revealing the activity of these fungi in soil. Another type contains a ring of mushrooms as well as a ring of stimulated grass growth. A third type contains only a ring of mushrooms, with no evidence of unusual grass growth. Fairy rings usually do not present threat to a lawn or other turf, but sometimes a ring of dead grass occurs in addition to the ring of stimulated grass growth. Small rings appear as the initial symptoms of the infection. If the fairy ring consists only of mushrooms or puffballs, with no stimulated grass growth, just simply rake off and dispose of these fungal structures. If handling the mushrooms, make sure to wash your hands when done because they are poisonous. If the lawn isn’t in horrible shape it is suggested to just disguise the symptoms by providing lots of water deep into the root zone, and apply a moderate rate of fertilizers. This should increase the vigor of the surrounding grass to the level it more like that of the grass in the fairy ring. More frequent mowing may also cover the difference in height between grass of the fairy ring and the other

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