Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chemotherapy and Moss Control

What an analogy. The methods we have to control moss seem to have the same effect on bentgrass as radiation has on the human body. The chemicals we use do a number on the moss but the grass doesn't really like it either. We have been using Terracyte and ferrous sulfate (iron) through the winter to injure and kill the moss. Most of the time we see minimal damage to the turf. As it gets warmer we transition to a product called Quick Silver. All of these products are a little hard on the turf and the conditions have to be just right to use them. Quick Silver seems to work best after temperatures reach 70 degrees. Since we have seen 70 degrees for a total of 5 minutes this entire year we are still waiting to switch to Quick Silver. The Terracyte is the exact opposite. We need cool and moist to avoid damage. This week we spot applied our last Terracyte application to 4 of our greens. Apparently 57 degrees and rain was a little too warm. We saw extensive tip burn to the turf where it was applied. Fortunately the damage appears to be superficial and is mowing off. It looks bad but keeping up on the moss removal is critical. So, we lost a little hair and don't feel the best. But in a week or so we will feel better and hopefully that cancer called moss will be feeling horrible. None of the methods we use eliminates the moss completely so the best we can do is stay committed to thinning it and allowing areas for grass grow into.

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