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Fairy Ring vs Necrotic Ring Spot: Identifying and Treating Lawn Diseases

Before you pack up your belongings and head off on a mystical quest for magical lawn rings, hold on a minute.

There’s nothing magical about these two lawn diseases and no enchanted rings are involved. No fairies, either. It’s a bummer. And, honestly, kind of misleading.
Fairy ring and necrotic ring spot are actually two yucky lawn diseases that can make your Idaho grass gross fast.

How to treat necrotic ring spot fungus? How about treating fairy ring lawn disease?

Put down your enchanted map and let’s take a look.

What’s Necrotic Ring Spot Lawn Disease?

This summer lawn fungus loves specific conditions — cool and wet, followed by heat and drought.

Necrotic Ring

It also tends to show up in Idaho lawns that are compacted and need aeration.

What does necrotic ring spot look like? Look for circular straw-colored patches usually less than 12 inches across. You’ll definitely notice it.

What’s the Deal with Fairy Ring?

First of all, why the heck is it called fairy ring? Medieval lore says these mysterious rings appear after a band of fairies dance on your lawn.

But if you dress in camouflage and hide in your shrubs for a midnight fairy stakeout, you’ll likely be disappointed. (The neighbors might get a kick out of it, though.)

Fairy ring is actually a fungus in your soil. Not enchanting at all.

Fairy Ring

Necrotic ring spot vs. fairy ring: they’re both rings, so how to tell them apart?

Necrotic ring spot shows up as circular straw-colored patches usually less than 12 inches across, but fairy rings in your grass are usually much bigger, ranging in diameter from three feet to as large as 20 feet.

Fairy rings have a distinctly different color or texture than the grass inside or outside of the ring. Look for rings of grass that are denser, greener, and faster growing, or possibly browner and drier than the surrounding grass.

During wet weather, you might also see rings of mushrooms at the edge of the discolored grass.

Fairy ring vs. Necrotic Ring Spot: How to Treat Them

Applying fungicides can help treat lawn diseases like fairy ring and necrotic ring spot. A professional lawn care technician can help with diagnosis and proper treatment.

lawn care expert sprays lawn with fungicide

The good news is, be patient. Lawn fungus often clears up by itself. And your grass will usually come back on its own after the fungus goes away.

And while we’re delivering good news, here’s more: good lawn health care can help prevent necrotic ring spot and fairy ring lawn diseases in the first place.

Preventing Fairy Ring and Necrotic Ring Spot

Head off lawn fungus with good preventive maintenance:

  • Keep your mower blades sharp. Grass blades that are torn by dull mower blades are not only susceptible to lawn fungus, they also help to spread it across your lawn by introducing it to healthy grass while it clings to the mower blades.
  • Invest in a balanced fertilization program that provides the necessary nutrients at the appropriate times of year, especially if you have recurring patches.
  • Don’t water too often — you don’t want your lawn to be too wet. And water early in the day, before sunrise, so your lawn has time to fully dry before evening.
  • Aeration. When your soil becomes compacted, your lawn can't breathe. Its roots can't take in water or nutrients, which weakens your turf and opens the door for disease and weeds. Lawn aeration uses a machine to pull out plugs of soil, creating spaces so that air and water can penetrate, which leads to healthier roots.

Is it Lawn Disease — or Something Else?

There are a lot of things that cause stress for your lawn.

If you see unsightly patches of yellow or brown lawn, it might be a fungus like fairy ring or necrotic ring spot.

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It could also be the result of poor irrigation. Or bad mowing. Or drainage issues. Or too much pesticide. Or too much fertilizer. Or insects.

You get the idea. A lot is happening out there on your lawn.

We’d be happy to take a look, diagnose the problem, and help you get your healthy green grass back again.

Is Your Idaho Falls or Boise, ID Lawn Ready for a New Best Friend?

The only thing worse than discovering there’s nothing at all magical about fairy ring spot is spending your precious weekends trying to keep your lawn healthy.

It’s a lot of work.

Why not leave it to us? It’s the next best thing to magic.

Choose an Idaho Falls or Boise professional lawn care service that bundles your yard’s most-needed treatments into one convenient, no-fuss, six-visit plan that includes everything your lawn needs to grow healthy and green, including weed control and grub control that’s perfectly timed throughout the year.

Fertilizing, weed control, grub control. Done.

Got a few minutes? That’s all you need to get started.

Fill out the form on this page.
Call us at (208) 656-9131.
Or read more about our services.

Then kick back and relax in your healthy, thriving yard.

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Image Source: Necrotic Ring, Fairy Ring

Is your lawn ready for a new best friend?

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