Intermediate Cut and Walkways

The intermediate cut around the fairways  and the walkways from the tee to fairways will be grown out for the fall.  The hill in front of 3 green will be given the same treatment as well.  The thin and damaged areas that are visible now are the result of a disease called summer patch.  Summer patch is more severe in areas with a lower height of cut.  This is evident in the picture on the left.  The taller areas next to the walkway do not show symptoms of the disease.  This disease was highlighted, with a picture of our walkway, in the August 27th Turf Scouting Report.

From Purdue University Extension, Turfgrass Disease Profile:

"The pathogen attacks and colonizes roots and crowns during periods of environmental stress and limited root growth. As a result, infected plants often die, leaving patches of dead turf. Summer patch can be particularly severe on golf greens containing moderate to high proportions of annual bluegrass. Turf killed in midsummer adversely affects playability and ruins turf’s aesthetic appearance.

Summer patch symptoms begin to appear during the heat of summer because infection- impaired roots cannot keep plants alive during periods of heat and drought stress. Initial symptoms resemble small (4-6 inches in diameter) circular or oval patches with an orange-brown color and often occur in clusters. Individual patches expand to more than 12 inches in diameter. After initial disease establishment, patches enlarge in a radial fashion. Most turf damage occurs at the leading edge of the patch. Areas in the center of a patch may fill in with creeping bentgrass, particularly on golf greens, or other turf species in Kentucky bluegrass stands. In turf stands where the disease has been established for several years, the infected areas have field patterns that resemble frog eye patches or arcs and rings of damaged turf. Plants with moderate to severe infection will exhibit a characteristically sparse and necrotic root system.

Infection by the summer patch pathogen is highly dependent on the temperature and moisture status of the soil. When soil temperatures are elevated (75-85°F) and there is ample soil moisture, the summer patch pathogen readily infects and colonizes turf roots. At these temperatures, root growth is slow and no new roots will be initiated until fall. By midsummer, plants with even moderate levels of infection will succumb to heat and drought stress due to impaired root systems."

We have stopped mowing this lower cut for the year to allow for these areas to recover.  These areas have been overseeded.  The height of cut on these areas will be consistent with the surrounding turf.

This is a picture of how these areas looked in July.
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