We are yet to experience any real wintery weather that was originally predicted for the North East. With a handful of frosty mornings to date and constant winds with some prolonged stretches of rainfall, this has had a severe impact on many golf courses saturating the soil profile. This weather can aid towards an ideal scenario for moss to thrive on the golf course and create unwanted issues for both a green keeper and a golfer.
Moss is a spore producing weed plant with a ‘spongy’ texture that will tend to develop where turf is struggling to grow vigorously. This can therefore be an issue on greens where it can affect consistency of a ball roll, or more frequently seen on tees where there are more isolated areas of traffic and wear. Any areas where turf growth is sparse of grass coverage or areas where there is excessive shade or moisture has an increased risk of moss establishing.
There are no chemicals that totally eradicate moss and there are limited products that ‘aggravate’ such as sulphate of iron. It is therefore necessary to diagnose potential issues before the winter period, as the lack of growth will mean any curative work to fix the ‘problem’ areas will need to be carried out in the following spring. This emphasises the importance of autumn renovations and the health of the turf plant leading into and throughout winter.