At this time of year we can often see our nice lush green lawns begin to look quite yellow and losing all colour. The wet summer months we have had since July this year will have removed a lot of nutrients in the soil and can make the lawn prone to disease.

It is vitally important we do not allow falling leaves to gather on the lawn as this can block out all light and cause total death of grass allowing weeds and moss to colonate causing us problems in the spring and summer next year and giving us extra work to try to bring the lawn bac to its best.

Make sure any work on the lawn is carried out in good dry conditions as working on lawns when wet only compacts the soil making it difficult for roots to grow. Any scarifying or aeration should be done in good conditions. I’ve noticed this year we have the presence more of disease in lawns and this could be down to the wet summer months depleting nutrients in the soil and fungi such as fairy rings appear more prevent possibly due to lack of nutrients in surrounding areas.

If you have perhaps noticed areas of darker green grass making up rings or parts of rings in the lawn then this is probably part of the fairy ring family. The name is worth researching as has its origin in a myth relating to dancing pixies.

The rings are associated with a number of different fungi in the soil, this could be from leaf litter of the past that has not been collected or thatch or another kind of dead organic material in the soil.

There are three different types of fairy rings that can affect turf. The first type commonly known simply as Type 1 can kill off the grass and badly damage areas after the fungi has run its course. You will possibly see the fruiting bodies of the fungi on the surface which can be carefully picked and thrown away but this unfortunately does not stop the fungus from continuing and causing problems with the lawn. Type 2 fairy ring can appear with or without the fruiting bodies and will display as thick green lush grass as it gathers up and uses available nitrogen eventually leaving areas of dying grass. Type 3 is also known as thatch fungus and to try to eradicate all three of the types it is best to scarify when weather permits and aerate the lawn. Other fungi can appear in longer grass areas from dead or decaying roots of trees and some fungi can be extremely harmful to shrubs and trees so always best to check them out.