As predicted last month, the wet weather has arrived, although it's still reasonably mild and grass on greens and pitches in general is still growing. But the 'auld enemy' is creeping in and showing her hand.
Even in strong swards moss has built up and is going to be a major problem over winter and into 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 top dressing if necessary, plus 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. Applications can only be made with a watering can (fitted with a dribble-bar) to ensure a thorough soaking. Below is a table of products that can be used to combat moss.
Worm activity is very apparent now and carbendazim at 4 litres/ha should be used to suppress the worm casts. Again better results are achieved using a pH buffer to ensure the water is more acid than alkaline.
The addition of chlorpyrifos (Cyren) at 1.5litres/ha is an insurance policy against the leatherjackets that are growing, using the grass roots as their food supply, thus causing unseen( just recently) damage.
Turf managers should also be vigilant for disease, especially fusarium, which is rife throughout golf greens at the moment. Spraying with a suitable fungicide should be undertaken at the first signs of the disease outbreak, so as scarring is kept to a minimum.
With regards to late autumn and early winter, if grass weeds are a problem, it is worth looking at herbicides that can be utilised at this time of year.
Kerb (propyzamide) is that option in flat areas and, when 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 and as such is only recommended for use up to the end of January in an amenity vegetation situation, so we are at the start of the application window.
This is a good solution to grass weed in particular and 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 non-target (possibly desirable) vegetation, so should only be used on flat ground.