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Turfgrass Mystery: the case of the subarctic stripes

Last month I went to Iceland, visiting 11 golf courses and speaking with the Icelandic Green and Groundskeepers Association. If you would like to see more, I put together this set of amazing photos of those grasses and courses. Those links provide good background information on the climate, grass types, and other turfgrass management issues in Iceland.

This mystery is at a golf course near Reykjavik. Have you ever seen turf look like this? There are stripes going across the green. I had never seen anything look quite like this.

Putting_stripes_iceland

Here is a closer look.

Putting_stripes_iceland2

This striping was not evident on other greens on the course. I saw it only on this practice putting green near the clubhouse.

Can you solve the case of these subarctic stripes? This was quickly identified as lines related to sod, and then to be different varieties of grass (in this case, fine fescues), causing the stripes.

2_fescueCongratulations to Tom Margetts for solving this mystery in record time.

A close look at the turf from the different areas shows it to be primarily fine fescue, a mixture of slender creeping red fescue and chewings fescue, with the color differences caused by blends of different varieties within those species, producing swards of different density and color. One can see a few plants of Poa annua in there as well.

Thanks to everyone who helped to solve this mystery. To see all the turfgrass mysteries from this blog, starting with this one, click the Turfgrass Mystery tag below.

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