Fairy Ring is a fungal disease which affects all types of lawns, including buffalo grass. Fairy Ring is most noticeable and distinguished as creating large round patches in a lawn, with the perimeter of these patches either being a very bright green colour or creating an outer ring of mushrooms, while the inside of these circles will often contain turf which is damaged and off colour.
Fairy Rings will first appear noticeable in buffalo grass when they begin reaching around a meter in diameter, and after this time they will continue to get larger and larger to eventually take over the entire lawn, which in reality - really is not a bad thing, as we will soon see.
Fairy Rings will be most noticeable in Spring and in Autumn.
Treating Fairy Ring In Buffalo Grass
There really is no knockout treatment for Fairy Ring in lawns. Instead we must implement a good quality year round lawn care regimen. In doing this, we want to create a lawn environment which is as friendly as possible to the buffalo turf, and as hostile to the Fairy Rings as possible. This allows the lawn itself to battle the disease on its own as we also weaken the disease itself.
Fungicide treatments, and especially those made for control of mushrooms in lawns can be used in conjunction with lawn care practices, but they are not the cure. Fungicides are simply an added help in control of Fairy Ring.
Our main purpose is to keep our lawns looking as healthy as possible, and allow it to fight the Fairy Ring on its own, with the least ugly appearance of the Fairy Rings as possible.
Eventually the Fairy Ring will outgrow the entire lawn and diminish itself over many years, and if we look after our lawns properly in the meantime, then the entire disease can become almost unnoticeable.
Lawn Care To Control Fairy Ring
Controlling Fairy Rings in buffalo grass is the same as with all lawn diseases.
A good year round fertilising program should be implemented as soon as possible. Using a high quality fertiliser with trace elements and being sure not to over fertilise, nor under fertilise.
Watering should only ever be done in the mornings and never at night. Aim to create a watering plan which will water the lawn very deeply and less often. Our purpose here is to reduce the amount of water which is left inside the thatch layer of the buffalo grass as much as possible, and to never leave water sitting on the lawn overnight, as these are the peak growing conditions for Fairy Rings and all other lawn diseases.
Buffalo Lawn Dethatching
Buffalo is a real bear to vertimow and many contractors will not do the work. However, if done regularly then dethatching buffalo is less risky. The aim of dethatching is to reduce the thatch layer of the lawn where the disease is most prevalent and most easily grown.
Buffalo Lawn Coring
Lawn coring will aerate the soil and help reduce the thatch layer at the same time. A lawn soil which is heavily aerated with oxygen will encourage healthy buffalo lawn growth as well as becoming hostile to Fairy Ring and other buffalo lawn diseases.
The mushrooms which often appear growing around the perimeters of Fairy Rings can contain many different types of mushrooms, as there is not one single cause of fungus for this disease. In this respect we must understand that so many types of mushrooms can be highly poisonous and as such, should be removed and never eaten.
Grab a plastic garbage bag and a spade and dig out the mushrooms and the surrounding soil at least 20 to 30 cm around the mushroom itself and to the same depth. Mushrooms contain many Mycelium threads which will be growing invisibly inside the soil and the turf, so we're trying to remove as much of this Mycelium as possible so to reduce the risk of another outbreak.
Once the mushrooms are dug out of the buffalo lawn, seal the bag on the lawn and carefully take the entire bag to the rubbish bin, being very careful not to spill any soil onto any other areas of turf, as this could easily infect other areas of the turf with the same disease.
Fill in the holes with clean soil, and add a little fertiliser around the general area to encourage new lawn growth from surrounding lawn to repair these patches.