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Tag: moss

Bentgrass Putting Green Fertility – Helping or hurting silvery-thread moss?

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

At Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS we have two bentgrass putting greens.  On one of them we “try” to maintain as a common putting green with typical disease, weed and fertility programs.  On the other one we don’t apply any fungicides at all to see what disease we can grow.  On that same putting green we are growing a nice crop of silvery-thread moss as we aren’t doing anything to help suppress or control it.

When I came on board here at KSU in 2013, the KSU Turfgrass Faculty and graduate students were really diving into figuring out programs to help control or suppress silvery-thread moss in bentgrass putting greens.  Quick to find out, controlling moss is not just an application but a program and part of that program is fertility.

I quickly went through some of the past research reports on the KSU Turfgrass Website (https://www.k-state.edu/turf/research/index.html) and came across a short report on the influence of nitrogen source and spray volume on the establishment of silvery-thread moss.  Establishment! Establishment!  Why are we studying the establishment?  Well, knowing what helps establishment also tells you what is going to promote growth of silvery-thread moss.

As Drs. Raudenbush and Keeley explain in the research report, “the practice of spraying small quantities of soluble nitrogen at a relatively high frequency my promote silvery-thread moss growth because the moss lacks a vascular system of removing water and nutrients from the soil.”  Apply small quantities of soluble nitrogen at relative high frequencies is a common practice for managing bentgrass putting greens, so we maybe making the problem worse.

To summarize the project that was conducted in the greenhouse, spraying soluble nitrogen increased moss cover compared with the untreated control and ammonium sulfate has the highest moss cover at all the ratings dates.  Comparing ammonium sulfate to urea, ammonium sulfate caused more than a threefold increase in moss dry weight (At 7 weeks after the initial treatment the moss was harvested, dried and weighed.) and there was no difference between urea and the water only control.

There are many other factors to consider when looking at suppressing or controlling silvery-thread moss including but not limited to; watering, herbicide applications, topdressing and promoting healthy bentgrass. But remember fertility, as it does play a roll in silvery-thread moss management.

For the full report check out Page 12 of the 2014 Kansas State University Turfgrass Research Report – https://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2097/20427/Turfgrass2014.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Check out this short video!!!

(by Jared Hoyle and Zane Raudenbush, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

KSU Turfgrass Student, Zane Raudenbush, has been spending his years at KSU conducting research on silvery thread moss.  Today we made a short little video (30s) about one of his current projects.  In this specific project, Zane has been exploring into the influence of irrigation water pH on moss growth and development.  Check out this video!

This is why we do, what we do.

(By Jared Hoyle and Zane Raudenbush, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

An email came across my desk the other day that really drove home the message of why we do what we do.  It is difficult as a turfgrass researcher to try and determine what research will make an impact and help the turfgrass industry.  I go to many different meetings, conferences, educational events, trade shows, site visits, and spend lots of time talking/emailing/texting/communicating with turfgrass managers and extension personnel to try and determine what the needs are.  What are the struggles they face in managing turfgrass?  What can we do to help produce a better turgrass? And most importantly what can we do to help the turfgrass industry in this time of budget cuts and financial struggles.

So we take all this information, brainstorm ideas of how we can help the turfgrass industry and design scientifically valid research projects.  From there we implement the research project and see the scientific process through, all the way until publication of the results.

So, when you hear a story like this, it is refreshing to know that the KSU turfgrass teaching, research, and extension program is having a positive impact on the turfgrass industry.

Below is a communication from, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, Zane Raudenbush, and a Certified Golf Course Superintendent.  Zane has been researching Silvery Thread-Moss in bentgrass putting greens.  There are many different reasons moss has started to infest putting greens (new mowing equipment, banning of heavy metal fungicides, putting green growing media, etc) but no one can really pin-point why.  As a growing problem in the turfgrass industry, Zane thought this was a topic that needed to be explored and has spent the last couple of years researching many different aspects of moss.

Zane applying nitrogen sources in the spray chamber to determine influence on moss growth

Here is the communication between Zane and the CGCS.


I recently read your present research concerning the relationship between nitrogen sources and moss. Interesting stuff. I went on your website to dig into it further and was unable to find anything. Is there something more in-depth I can read besides the write-up in CGM – Cutting Edge – December 2013?

Thanks for your help, CGCS


Unfortunately, I have not formally wrote this study up for publication yet. However, I’ll attached a poster that contains more information and results compared to the GCM article. Ultimately, the take home message from our research is that if you are applying soluble N (especially ammonium sulfate) weekly or biweekly and have problems with moss, then you really need to consider starting a moss control program.

I have also examined the impact of differing quicksilver rates and spray volumes on silvery thread moss control. Our research suggests you may be able to achieve adequate control with a rate lower than the specified 6.7 fl oz/A. I saw the same amount of burn from 1.0 fl oz/A. Additionally, we did not begin to see regrowth until 3 or 4 weeks after treatment. The label specifies 2 week application intervals, but I would recommend spraying quicksilver at 2.0 fl oz/A on three week intervals. If you have 3 acres of greens then each app should cost you around $120-150. The lower rate also allows for more applications since you cannot exceed 0.4 lbs ai/A/Year.

Sorry for the delay. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance.

Cheers, Zane

Zane explaining the importance of carfentrazone applications as a tool for moss control

Hi Zane,

I wanted to let you know I had a great year of Moss Control using your Quicksilver protocol! I was pretty good about spraying 2oz/A every 2-3 weeks for the bulk of the summer. I must say the results have been fantastic. Thank you for sharing your thoughts/research with me. I also cut way back on my true foliar program and my acid inject procedures. Best thing that has happened all year at our club. Going forward I think I have a plan to be almost moss free. That is a big THORN out of my backside!

I will be speaking at a Turf Conference in January. I would like to briefly mention your work in one of my talks, with your permission.

Thanks so much! Great stuff

We are always grateful to hear how our research has made a positive impact on the lives of turfgrass managers. We enjoy conducting turfgrass research, but the greatest reward is supporting the industry in a positive way.

This is why we do, what we do.  Hope everyone has a safe a fun weekend.


Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

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The 2014 KSU Turfgrass Field Day In Review

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

What a beautiful day we had this year for the 2014 KSU Turfgrass Field Day.  Thank you to all the attendees, vendors, sponsors, faculty, staff, students and anyone else that was out at the field day!

If you weren’t able to make it, I decided to post some pictures and  links to research reports so you can get more information about each stop that we had this year.

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Also, I will include the QR codes.  These codes can be scanned by your phone and will take you directly to the information!  Check it out!

This year my stop at field day was “Kansas Turfgrass Weed Control Update”.  Here is discussed one of the most problematic weeds in cool-season turfgrass, bermudagrass.  I talked about both selective and non-selective methods.  For more information about bermudagrass removal check it out here. http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/non-selective-bermudagrass-removal/

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

KSU Turfgrass Research Technician and Graduate Student, Jake Reeves, presented information on the best management practices for buffalograss establishment.  Jake has been conducting some great research that will really help us out when we want to convert cool-season turfgrass to buffalograss.  For more information check out his latest blog post. http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/establishing-buffalograss-in-golf-course-roughs/

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Zane Raudenbush, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, and Dr. Keeley has been conducting research on the cultural management of moss infestations on bentgrass putting greens.  Zane got to display some great looking research on one of the putting greens out at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research center looking at cultural practices in conjunction with chemical applications of carfentrazone.  For more information check out his latest research report. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/SRP1107D-MOSS-FERTILITY.pdf

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Ever wondered what was the best preforming kentucky bluegrass cultivar?  Well, Evan Alderman, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, discussed the best preforming Kentucky bluegrass cultivars in Manhattan, KS.  This study is part of the Nation Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP).  Check out the NTEP website for the most current bluegrass cultivar information. http://www.ntep.org/data/kb11/kb11_14-2/kb11_14-2.pdf And some more information on prolonged drought and recovery characteristics of Kentucky bluegrass cultivars http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=17861

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Although this summer has seen to be pretty mild when it comes to diseases in turfgrass, Dr. Kennelly discussed both turf and landscape disease updates.  Don’t forget to periodically check the blog as Dr. Kennelly updates the blog with what is going on with diseases in Kansas. Here is some more information on all sorts of turf disease publications. http://www.plantpath.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=551

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Is the grass really greener on the other side?  Ross Braun, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, presented on using paints and pigments for coloring turfgrass.  Ross has conducted many trials looking at painting zoysiagrass and buffalograss.  He has evaluated different paints and pigments as well as rates and spray volumes.  Check out his latest research update on paints and pigments. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=17867

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

As it is hard to grow cool-season turf in Kansas it is also tough to grow warm-season turf.  Dr. Fry presented about the best zoysiagrass and bermudagrass cultivars for Kansas.  He discussed everything from color to pest tolerance.  This included information about how the cultivars held up to last winter.  For more information about the zoysiagrass and bermudagrass cultivars here is a great research report about winter survival on the 2013 NTEP zoysiagrass and bermudagrass in Kansas. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/SRP1107G-NTEP-ZOYSIA-AND-BERMUDA.pdf

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Weeds, diseases, and INSECTS!  We can’t leave the insects out of field day.  This year Dr. Cloyd also gave a turf and ornamental insect control update.  For more information about insect control in the lawn and landscape, check out Dr. Cloyd’s list of publications. http://entomology.k-state.edu/extension/insect-information/lawn-garden-pests/lawn-pests.html

Copyright 2014, Kansas State University

Find all the KSU Turfgrass Research Reports online at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/Category.aspx?id=528&catId=545.

Thanks again to everyone that came out to this years KSU Turfgrass Field Day.  It was a great success and hope to see you next year in Olathe.  Also, don’t forget this December is the Kansas Turfgrass Conference in Topeka.  It’s going to be great as well.  Keep and eye out for more information on registration.