Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Turf - Moss Control in Turf

The following are guidelines for moss control in Turf from Virginia Tech.

Moss gradually invades lawns in areas where the turfgrasses are growing poorly. The infested site may be described as wet, shady, highly acidic, and under low fertility. Aprogram to control moss involves correcting the turfgrass growing conditions as much as possible. Remove as much moss as possible by raking, vertical mowing and aerifying to prepare a seed bed to reseed thin turfgrass areas. Select a species/cultivar adapted to the area conditions. Maintain optimum growing conditions for the turfgrass as fertility, pH, moisture (not excessive) and mowing height/frequency. The turfgrass density is very important to prevent further moss encrochment. Sometimes a shade tree may be removed to allow enough light for good turfgrass growth.

Chemical formulations for moss control usually contain iron, copper, or potassium salts of fatty acids as active ingrediants. Ferrous sulfates and chelated iron products applied as liquid sprays are generally rapid and effective on moss. Dry formulations of ferrous sulfate monohydrate are available such as Moss Control Granules for Lawns containing 5% iron (follow label directions). Carfentrazone (Quicksilver T&O) is an herbicide for broadleaf control that can be used in lawns or putting greens for moss control. Apply 6.7 ounces Quicksilver T&Oper acre or 0.15 ounce per 1,000 square feet twice at 3-week intervals. Moss discoloration is a sign of successful treatment and takes longer under cool conditions. Moss control is temporary and treatment may be required annually. Managers should improve conditions for turfgrass growth while minimizing the favorable environment for the moss. Read and follow label directions carefully.

Reprinted from the 2009 Virginia Pest Management Guide (PMG) - Horticultural and Forest Crops edition.

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