Etiolated Growth – Why, Just Why?

It’s that time of year when we all step back and search for the reason for the Etiolated growth that is appearing on many venues across the UK over the last two weeks.

Etiolated Turf Growth

This soft, pale elongated growth can appear quickly and detracts from the visual impact of the surfaces you’re presenting.

There has been many hypothesis put forward as to why this occurs but I’m not sure we’re any closer to a conclusion.

I personally always felt it was down to reducing light levels – so now I have the access to data and a better understanding of how light is used I thought I test my own ideas.

We began to see this unwanted growth around the 12th of August and since then it has gained momentum.

Minutes of Sunshine per day

Whilst day lengths have begun to shorten the amount of sunlight we’ve had has been high and more consistent than it’s been since the etiolated growth started.

Light levels – Green = Utilised light Red = unutilised light

I have learnt that day length, sunlight hours and light intensity are related but ultimately different things. Although the period the Etiolated growth begun was a very low period of light since then the light intensity has been high.

No real conclusion – maybe it’s something that is triggered by a low light period but since it arrived this year we’ve seen nothing but good light.

From a management point of view ensure mowers are sharp and well set and use iron or Ryder to mask it, rarely does it get bad enough to impact the putting surface other than it’s visual appearance.


Let me know if and when you see this frustrating type of growth, the more data I can get the more chance we have of seeing a pattern.

For more on light check out these blogs:

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