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Be prepared for moss problems

Greenkeepers may need to consider moss control before the end of this month as conditions come together to increase the risk of moss colonies establishing on tees and greens.

Chris Whittle, Course Manager at Royal Birkdale Golf Club

Greenkeepers may need to consider moss control before the end of this month as conditions come together to increase the risk of moss colonies establishing on tees and greens.
Chris Whittle, Course Manager at Royal Birkdale Golf Club explains that the challenge of keeping courses in perfect condition is never ending, with issues such as moss that thrives on tightly cut greens presenting a potential problem.
He notes that moss is also a particular issue following an active playing season and following periods of hot, dry weather when greens and tees are stressed. “Following the recent heat wave across the UK, this is a problem that greenkeepers are currently up against.”
Tim Lodge, Director of independent sports and amenity surface consultancy Agrostis, identifies that although, in many situations, moss is out-competed by grass; where the sward is sparse on intensively managed areas of golf courses, the moss sees its opportunity to grow and flourish on finely kept tees and greens.”
He adds that Bryum argenteum, commonly known as silver moss thrives on free draining and low nutrient soils, the surface of which is frequently moistened. “It is also a very dense moss which makes it difficult for traditional products like iron sulphate to kill it.”
The latest addition to the moss control armoury acts differently to iron sulphate; Mogeton provides an alternative solution.
Mogeton contains the active ingredient quinoclamine, which works by inhibiting the moss’ ability to photosynthesise. It is formulated to penetrate deep into the moss cushion, treating the whole plant and not only the exposed parts, turning the moss brown when it dies.
To achieve the maximum effect from the product, treatment should take into account the light, temperature and humidity, making the timing of treatment a vital consideration; applications are restricted to the period from May through to the end of August.
Tim believes that there is a niche in the market for products like Mogeton. “Traditionally, I’ve always advised iron sulphate to scorch the moss, as you can see the product at work. However, it is not a long term control and can be unsightly. It is also not appropriate to use in hot weather or if the moss is particularly widespread,” he explains.
When using Mogeton, Certis advise careful and responsible use, that adheres to the label application rate of 1.5g/m2 (15kg/ha). With one application permitted per calendar year, greenkeepers are urged to carefully plan ahead for the strategic use of the product.
For more information please contact the Certis technical hotline on 0845 3730305.