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Have I Got Moss Or Algae?

Whilst there are many types of moss they can be placed into three categories. These are:

  • Upright mosses – larger tufted type
  • Cushion mosses – tiny clusters of growth
  • Trailing mosses – feathery appearance

Some mosses can look like algae at certain times but when conditions are right for development algae is quite distinctive. Usually either black or with the appearance of frogspawn.

How Do I Try To Control It?

For long term moss control cultural methods are the only answer. Generally moss and algae prosper when conditions are unfavourable for healthy grass growth. In situations where mowing heights are very low avoid scalping any high spots. If this occurs try to reduce these by the use of a hollow tining fork taking out cores close together. Do this at an angle of about 45° to the surface of the turf; after this operation the high spot should be less prominent.

All sports turf should be well aerated; this will help percolation and encourage root growth. Shade from trees and sometimes hedges when the venue is a bowling green should be kept to a minimum.

Products containing iron sulphate will have a controlling effect on moss but the cause must be addressed.

How Do I Try To Prevent Re-Occurrence?

It is important to keep the grass strong – this does not mean lush. Use a good quality fertilizer with ingredients that don’t release quickly or this can bring other problems. Rigby Taylor technical staff can advise which is best for you. The pH of the rootzone should be maintained between 5.5 and 6.5 to ensure any fertilizer used is available to the grass.

Surface drainage must be assisted by regular aeration, which will allow percolation and help root development.

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