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Necrotic Ring Spot vs. Fairy Ring: How to Identify & Treat 2 Lawn Diseases


The first thing you notice when comparing necrotic ring spot and fairy ring is that one sounds like a gross icky problem and the other sounds like a magical trinket you’d find in an enchanted forest.

But guess what? Sorry, no enchanted trinkets. Or fairies. Both of these lawn diseases can make your lawn ugly real fast.
Do you have necrotic ring spot or fairy ring lawn disease? What should you do, besides saying, “Rats, no fairies?”

Let’s take a look.

First, a Look at Necrotic Ring Spot

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

Is your Eau Claire lawn compacted and in need of aeration? Necrotic ring spot loves that, too.

necrotic ring spotYou’ll see circular straw-colored patches usually less than 12 inches across.

It’s most common in newly sodded lawns, but it will hang out in seeded lawns, too.

Next Up: What the Heck is Fairy Ring?

If you believe medieval lore, these mysterious rings appear after a band of fairies dance on your lawn.

Aw, how cute! Actually, they appear because of fungus in your soil. Hey, we can’t believe in fairy tales forever, right?

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

CC- Fairy RingWhile necrotic ring spot shows up as circular straw-colored patches usually less than 12 inches across, 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, rings of mushrooms can form at the edge of the discolored grass. (Bonus!)

How to Treat Necrotic Ring Spot and Fairy Ring?

Treating lawn fungus like necrotic ring spot and fairy ring isn’t cheap.

It can cost several hundred dollars for an application of fungicide and typically takes more than one application.

lawn spot spray for fungus

The good news is, lawn fungus often clears up itself if you’re patient. And the grass typically comes back on its own after the fungus disappears.

The other good news is there are a few things you can do to prevent necrotic ring spot and fairy ring in the first place.

Preventing Necrotic Ring Spot and Fairy Ring

Your best bet to control lawn fungus like necrotic ring spot and fairy ring in your Eau Claire or Minneapolis lawn is to prevent it, with proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing.

A healthy lawn is better equipped for trauma like drought, insects, and summer lawn diseases.

landscape maintenance team aerates lawnHere are some tips:

  • Fertilize your lawn in the fall and spring so your lawn is healthy and has a better chance of surviving lawn fungus.
  • Aeration. You want to reduce compaction and improve your lawn’s drainage.
  • Don’t water too often — you don’t want your lawn to be too wet.
  • Keep your grass height between 3 and 4 inches and avoid mowing during wet weather.
  • Water early in the day, before sunrise, so your lawn has time to fully dry before evening.

Necrotic Ring Spot or Fairy Ring Being Stubborn?

If you have the same lawn fungus issue every year, we can help prevent it with a lawn disease control product.

But typically, we treat these summer lawn diseases when they pop up, if you don’t want to wait for them to clear up.

lawn team fertilizes grassBe patient. It can take a month or longer to see results. It always takes multiple treatments.

Remember, each of these lawn diseases is caused by environmental conditions, so fixing those conditions is key to banishing the fungus.

Read Our Guide to Lawn Care in Minnesota & Wisconsin

Control Lawn Diseases with RainMaster

Lawn diseases like necrotic ring spot and fairy ring attack your lawn just when you want to enjoy your yard the most.

Help keep lawn fungus from creeping in by setting up your Eau Claire Wi or Minneapolis lawn for success, with a proactive lawn care program that includes a custom nutrition plan and aeration for your lawn.

The roots will be nourished, the soil will be packed with nutrients and drain better, and your lawn will be thick and healthy, so lawn diseases like necrotic ring spot and fairy ring will have a harder time taking hold.

Also, consider a regular irrigation maintenance program, to make sure your sprinkler system delivers the right amount of water at the right time so you're not encouraging lawn diseases.

Ready for a lawn care program to fake out the fungus? Request a quote today! We’ll review your lawn care options together so you can make a great choice. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Image Source: Necrotic Ring Spot, Fairy Ring, Fairy Ring Header

Topics: Lawn Care, Minneapolis, Eau Claire

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