Getting the most out of your fairy ring program
By Lane Tredway, Ph.D., technical services manager, Syngenta
Fairy ring is different from other turf diseases in many ways, but the most important difference is how it causes symptoms. Most fairy ring fungi don’t infect plants or directly harm them. Instead, they cause turf symptoms indirectly by changing the chemical or physical properties of the soil, which in turn causes a change in the growth or health of the turf.
Type II fairy ring symptoms – rings of darker green turf – are caused by the release of nitrogen or other nutrients into the soil profile. Type I fairy ring symptoms – rings of dead or declining turf – are usually the result of water-repellent compounds left behind as the fungus grows through the soil.
The best way to control fairy ring is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Preventive fungicide applications, beginning in the spring when soil temperatures reach 55-60° F and repeated on a 28-day interval, provide very effective control. Visit GreenCastOnline.com/SoilTemperature to see current soil temperatures in your area, and sign up to receive email alerts when they become favorable for fairy ring or other diseases.
Since spring is also a key time to prevent root diseases like summer patch, take-all patch, take-all root rot or mini ring, selecting the right product rotation can deliver a more comprehensive solution. Our new Fairy Ring Assurance Program provides recommendations for creeping bentgrass, bermudagrass or seashore paspalum putting greens that will not only prevent fairy ring but these other diseases as well.
Rotations of Velista® and Briskway® fungicides, both applied at 0.7 oz./1000 ft.2, are the foundation of the fairy ring prevention programs from Syngenta. These products are now available year-round in a Multipak containing six 22-oz. bottles of Velista and one 1-gal. bottle of Briskway. Other effective options for fairy ring prevention, including Posterity® XT, Headway® and Heritage® Action™, are incorporated into the programs when they provide the most value as part of an agronomic program.
Curative fairy ring control requires a three-step approach to (1) halt pathogen activity, (2) bring the soil properties back to normal and (3) prevent recurrence of the disease.
- Two applications of Velista at 0.7 oz./1,000 ft.2 or Briskway at the enhanced label rate of 0.9-1.2 fl. oz./1,000 ft.2 on a 14-day interval can put an immediate halt to fairy ring activity. Tank-mixing with a soil surfactant, followed by at least ¼ in. of irrigation, is recommended to re-wet the soil and aid fungicide movement into the infested area.
- Cultural practices, including aerification, spiking, heavy irrigation, fertilization and/or additional soil surfactant applications, are needed to remediate the soil and encourage turf recovery. Depending on growing conditions and the severity of symptoms, full recovery often takes several weeks, even though the pathogen has been suppressed
- Continue with preventive fungicide applications on a 28-day interval when soil temperatures are above 60° F. For best results on fairy ring, fungicides should be watered-in immediately after application with 1/8 to ¼ in. of irrigation depending on the depth of the infestation. Preventive applications can be either tank-mixed with a soil surfactant or applied in conjunction with a regular soil surfactant program.
Check out the video below for more key insights on preventing and controlling fairy ring:
For more information on preventive and curative fairy ring measures, visit the Syngenta fairy ring solutions page.
All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.
Performance assessments are based upon results or analysis of public information, field observations and/or internal Syngenta evaluations. Trials reflect treatment rates commonly recommended in the marketplace.
© 2021 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Action™, Briskway®, GreenCast®, Headway®, Heritage®, Posterity®, Velista® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.