Yes, it is that time of the year again where people are heading back outside to start work on their yards and turf. One of the first things people notice is a light green matt in areas with thin to no turf cover, our answer, is often that you have moss. Moss appears in areas that are not conducive for turfgrass to grow. These are often areas that hold water, have compacted soil, poor quality soil, lawns that receive insufficient fertility, and may be in full sun, under trees with root competition, or partially to heavily shaded. The best way to prevent or get rid of moss is to reverse the reasons it’s there in the first place. Get rid of the shade, work on the drainage, alleviate compaction, correct nutritional deficiencies, etc…in the affected area. This is sometimes easier said than done and usually requires a lot of work and time. One of the biggest challenges in dealing with moss is getting the type of moss identified correctly. Chemical control is usually the wrong approach to the problem and can be challenging whether you are a home lawn owner or a professional turf manager.
Home Lawn Moss Management
- Cultural controls; improve drainage, sunlight, soil conditions and implement an appropriate fertilization program. These maintenance procedures will take time to improve the lawn and restore turf density.
- Moss should be raked and removed from the lawn to allow turf grow and to encourage density.
- It there is bare soil, the site may require seeding or sodding.
- Commercially available products usually must be reapply several times and usually do not get to the real cause of the problem.
- Home products and home remedies must be applied routinely to see results. Again these usually do not get to the real cause of the problem. Some of materials can be phytotoxic to living turf.
Golf Greens Moss Management
- Cultural controls; improve drainage and turf growth.
The following products have been tested at Ohio State University:
- TerraCyte; a granular product that is applied dry. Very effective on silver thread moss. Very difficult to apply. If applied wrong can damage the turf.
- QuickSilver T&O Herbicide; great product on silver thread moss, must be reapply several times, very safe product on grass varieties. Do not ignore the primary causes for moss but address those issues to improve turf density and maintain a desirable stand of turf on the green.