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  Section: Principles of Horticulture » Weeds
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Mosses and liverworts

  Weed identification
  Weed biology
  Ephemeral weeds
  Annual weeds
  Perennial weeds
  Mosses and liverworts
Figure 13.16 Pot plant compost covered with moss and liverwort
Figure 13.16 Pot plant compost covered with moss
and liverwort

These simple plants may become weeds in wet growing conditions. The small cushion-forming moss (Bryum spp.) grows on sand capillary benches and thin, acid turf that has been closely mown. Feathery moss (Hypnum spp.) is common on less closely mown, unscarified turf. A third type (Polytrichum spp.), erect and with a rosette of leaves, is found in dry acid conditions around golf greens. Liverworts (Pellia spp.) are recognized by their flat (thallus) leaves growing on the surface of pot plant compost (see Figure 13.16).

These organisms increase only when the soil and compost surface is excessively wet, or when nutrients are so low as to limit plant growth. Cultural methods such as improved drainage, aeration, liming, application of fertilizer and removal of shade usually achieve good results in turf. Control with contact scorching chemicals, e.g. alkaline ferrous sulphate, may give temporary results. Moss on sand benches becomes less of a problem if the sand is regularly washed.


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