Aussies are understandably proud of their lawns, particularly as we spend so much time in them, and nothing says "living the Australian dream" like a beautiful backyard. So when one Adelaide resident came across an unusual marking on her otherwise perfect grass, she was perplexed.
"Metre diameter dead grass — the heck!" the mum posted on Reddit to seek answers to what was causing the mysterious circular patch. "This is driving me crazy. Absolutely nothing could have caused this on my lawn — that I can think of."
"It started as just the circle getting progressively worse over a few days. Now the inside is dying too. The only other parts that resemble this level of dead are the corner where my dog pees," she continued. "I've made the crop circle reference but I seriously am bamboozled to the point that it is on my mind all the time. Can any Adelaide lawn enthusiasts weigh in?"
While many Redditors made the same crack about aliens, others had some more likely suggestions. "I reckon there's a circle of bricks or something under there that's stopping water coming up from below, so it dries out faster than everything else," one person commented.
Some suggested it could be a soak well or hidden septic tank, but the author of the post shot down those theories as this is the first year the marking has appeared.
Others believed the cause might be hot water that had gathered in a hose connected to an unattended circular sprinkler, however the poster confirmed the sprinkler is only used by her child when they're playing in the yard.
A 'fairy' common problem
"I think it's a type one fairy ring," Joe Rogers, technical manager at Lawn Solutions Australia told Yahoo News Australia after viewing the picture and the poster's description. "This is caused by drought stress and the hydrophobic soils which buffalo grass tends to grow in. This allows a fungus to grow and it can pop up pretty quickly, even overnight."
"While this is pretty common on golf courses and we see it regularly at this time of year, it can occur in suburban gardens as well, particularly when we have a bit of a heat wave such as Adelaide has recently," Mr Rogers explained.
Treating the issue
Mr Rogers suggests that rather than use a fungicide on the area, give your lawn some extra care to clear it up. "Treatment is relatively easy," he revealed, sharing the following steps to restore life to affected grass.
Aerate the area using something like a garden fork to poke 150mm holes into the lawn.
Irrigate deeply into the soil giving it a good soaking and treat it with a good wetting agent.
Remove thatch on the lawn by dropping the mower down and giving the grass a bit of a scalp
Finally, fertilise your lawn to ensure it has all the nutrients to keep it looking its best.
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