|Moss is losing the battle here in early May|
Well as always I have a few thoughts and observations to share that could explain why. Who knows?
What I am thinking is that moss is affected by traffic or wear only at certain times of the year. Early this spring and summer I noticed that the existing moss on my putting greens was dying. It was black and basically being taken over by the turf. I was "wearing" my greens daily with a lightweight roller. By the time summer had arrived the moss had all but disappeared in the typical areas on my putting greens. I thought I had figured it out. Before this I had never seen moss disappear. Historically if I had moss it only got worse, not better.
|Moss explosion on my irrigationally challenged|
Back to my moss study green. Even though it has historically had serious moss issues I was easily able to keep it adequately watered this summer. The fact that it was grown in almost full shade made my job easier as the plant water use was much less that it would have been if it was in full sun. The average canopy temperatures were often 10C less than my other putting greens. Some areas were severely thinning due to the excessive wear brought on by rolling up to 8x a day and guess what? Still no moss. There is some moss on areas that aren't rolled ever and recently on the 1x daily plots. All other plots are free of moss. This suggests to me that wear definitely has some kind of affect on moss and that it's not just thinned turf that allows moss to invade.
|Rolled 8x daily plot with 2hrs of sunlight each day. No moss despite|
the thinned turf conditions.
What I would like to know is how moss is affected by traffic at different times of year. What is it's growth cycle? When is it the most vulnerable? Maybe the answer is heavy rolling in the spring and better control of soil moisture and light rolling in the summer. Who knows? It will be interesting to see how the moss population on my upper practice green is affected once the rains start back up and adequate soil moisture is once again reached. I am going to mark out a few plots on the green to compare as the season progresses with my normal daily rolling program.
|Control plot left and 2x daily rolled on the right.|
I am continuing the moss study and will keep it up until I figure this out, probably a few more years yet.