Alan Abel, a Complete Weed Control franchisee for 30 years takes a look at moss control.
With Greenkeepers and Groundsman alike, the most often used phrase these days are 'I haven't seen water there for forty years' or 'it's never been as wet as this' etc.
The awful weather over the past year has affected sports surfaces (including synthetic) like never before. Even in strong swards, moss has built up and is going to be a major problem in early spring. On synthetics, algae and moss are prevalent and will need treatment and then mechanical brushing.
There is quite an arsenal of products available on the market for this application, including MMC Pro, StayClear, MossGo as well as others. Remember that the water volume is important and rates on labels must be adhered to for good results.
With regards to moss in turf, the most cost-effective method is spraying Sulphate of Iron with the addition of a wetter/spreader to ensure total coverage of the moss. A pH buffer should also be included, as a more acid mix will give better results. After the iron has given the desired blackening of the moss, then scarification should take place.
With an aeration programme and maybe some topdressing if necessary, and a good early warm spring (is that being too optimistic?), then the turf grasses should out-compete any moss remaining.
Jewel from Everris, is an alternative, but you must wait for warmth and growth as it contains Mecoprop-P for broad leaf weed control, plus carfentrazone for the moss control.
Mogeton from Certis has approval for moss control, but only in a golf scenario. High water volume is necessary for good results.
The application of a total herbicide around tree bases is another job that can be undertaken early. There are products that are residual, such as Chikara and Pistol from Bayer that will keep the bottom of trees and signage free from the 'sock ' look.
Chikara (flazasulfuron) has longevity and needs glyphosate added if vegetation is already present.
Kerb (propyzamide) is also an option in FLAT areas and mixed with Gallery or Flexidor (isoxaben) will give good control of grasses and shallow rooted broad leaf weeds. Kerb needs cold weather to be activated, so is only recommended for use up to the end of January in an amenity vegetation situation, so we are at the end of the application window.
However, if a cold snap were forecast, it would be worth considering this mixture, which can also be used in shrub areas around the golf course. Kerb is also useful where grasses are interfering with heathers, maybe on upland or links courses. It is very soluble so it can run and damage grasses in the proximity that are wanted, so should only be used on flat ground.
All we want now is some dry weather enabling us to carry out some of these weed control options
A number of moss control products can be seen on the following link Moss Control