For the next two decades, a four-acre stretch at the ISU Horticulture Research Station will serve for turf experiments dealing with soil content and management practices. Planting a mixture of primarily Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, researchers will focus on improving foot traffic resistance and weather tolerance.
"One of the biggest challenges is traffic," said Dan Strey, research associate in the ISU Horticulture Department. "Figuring out how to make turf thrive while withstanding that kind of use is a big part of the job."
While the new research will focus on many types of conditions, golf-like conditions will be excluded at the new grounds. An adjacent plot is already dedicated to replicating the turf conditions found in fairways and on greens, meeting the many requirements in irrigation, drainage and soil composition mandated by the U.S. Golf Association.