Fairy Ring


  • Occurs as a circle.
  • Can produce a ring of tan-colored fruiting bodies.
  • The circle has a perimeter of lush grass surrounding a patch of dead grass:
    Mycelium is just entering this area. As one moves towards the centre of the ring, one finds the older, more established colonies present.


  • Dry, sandy soils with low levels of fertilization.

Why Control?

  • Can give an unsightly appearance to one’s lawn.
  • Can open up sites in your lawn to weeds.


  • Elimination is difficult.
  • Marasmius sp. is a Basidiomycete — The majority of fungicides are not effective against members of this fungal group.
  • For this reason, we recommend a biological control!

If one has only a few fairy rings:

    • Take a metal pole and poke it down into the ring, in front of the ring and in the lush green (that is all the way through the ring).

Normal growth of this organism is to develop a very thick mat of mycelial (fungal stem material) matter six to ten inches below the surface of one’s lawn.

This mat is considered to by hydrophobic, repelling water, preventing it to enter. By poking holes in the mat, one allows water to penetrate the mat.

It is this water, getting down into this region, which favors the growth of other bacteria and fungi. These organisms are considered to act as inhibitors to the growth of Marasmius sp.

  • After poking, one must soak this region every couple of days for four to six weeks.After this period of time, the fairy ring will die. Further, one provides an inoculum of bacteria and fungi in one’s soil that will act against the organisms which cause the fairy ring, thereby preventing its further development.It was mentioned that Fairy Ring was a problem for dry, sandy soils with low levels of fertilization. Thus, as a preventative measure, a good watering schedule combined with an effective lawn fertilizing program may be instrumental in acting to reduce your lawn’s susceptibility to Fairy Ring.

Compiled by: Dr. Bill Paton and Jennell Rempel