scleranthus annulus ( German Moss)

Asked November 27, 2018, 8:51 AM EST

I had invasion of scleranthus annulus in 2015. , sending lots of money for workers to come and dig them them up by April 2015 but in 2016 and 2017 and this year again they seem to be sprouting up but manageable by me without help. I do not use herbicide. I was very diligent removing them while still young, easy to pull starting the rare ones I saw in October, but by November, they became almost a lawn However, I still find them sprouting up thru the winter until April when whatever I find was difficult to pull up as the tap root grew very long and when pulled, it seems hundreds of inflorescence that is almost not seen by the naked eye would disperse to the atmosphere, which I think is the reason I am still getting them from 2016 till now. I cannot throw those weeds at the recycle center as they are forbidden in my County. Storing them in black plastic bags would be not only unsightly but bad bec I live on the shores of the Patuxent River where it is very windy: and those plastic bag can end up in the river. Questions: 1. if they are young plants, cannot see inflorescence by naked eye, can I just pull them up and leave one the ground without them reseeding? 2. They started sprouting November and in winter, I do not go to that area except every 2 weeks( weather permitting) where they are literally everywhere as they seem to regrow. I think I saw them in April when they were matured. How long do they keep sprouting up? THIS IS MY SECOND EMAIL BUT DID NOT GET REPLY ( PERHAPS BEC OF HOLIDAY?) BUT DID RECEIVE QUESTION RE SATISFACTION THIS MORNING . PLEASE ANSWER AGAIN.

Calvert County Maryland identification knawel weed german moss

7 Responses

We responded to your question on November 19, 2019. Below was our response to you:

We would like to see photos of the weed you are referring to. Please send us photos in focus so we can continue the conversation. We do not get a lot of questions on German moss or Knawel. Take a look at our website for more information and photos. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/knawel-german-moss

Here is some information on German moss, knawel in ornamental beds.
If you pull up and leave the weeds in the area, they may not heat up or degrade enough for total kill. It is possible there may be some survival and it sets seeds early.

In ornamental beds we recommend hand pulling the knawel and then mulching. The safest recommendation is to put the weeds in black trashbags and take to the regular part of the dump. Seal the bags well, weigh the bags down with stone/brick/rocks so they do not blow around and take to the dump when you can.

You can also experiment in a small bed by smothering the knawel. Cover with newspapers or cardboard over top of the bed, add several inches of mulch, and smother it.

mh





Here are pictures. Question is it seems they are still young without flowers that I can see with my naked eye. I o not use herbicide but have been using a cobra to pul out the taproot,, bag them to throw away. If they are y ing can I use a scraper which is used in beets industry, that wil scrape them but though this is a faster method ,the moss is incorporated with dirt and other weeds and difficult to isolate from the dirt.

I have been pulling them manually before they become a nightmare to pull as in 2015 when they invaded my property. Pulling them later means deep tap root that had to be dug up. as well as small flowers, not seen by my naked eye that scattered all over which must have meant a lot of seeds in the years to come.
I learned my lesson, started pulling them from Oct- November on as I do not use herbicide. However, it seems they just keep on returning every week when I thought I have eradicated them. Last year I was pulling them as late as March on a biweekly basis after fall. Here are new pictures that has sprouted up since I eradicated them late October and November. I do not think there are flowers and wander if I can just leave them in the ground if I use a weeder from the Beet Industry that sort of scrape the surface of the soil but leaves a lot of the German moss or do I have to use a cobra to pull the tap root out and gather the moss to throw away? thanks

I have been pulling them manually before they become a nightmare to pull as in 2015 when they invaded my property. Pulling them later means deep tap root that had to be dug up. as well as small flowers, not seen by my naked eye that scattered all over which must have meant a lot of seeds in the years to come.
I learned my lesson, started pulling them from Oct- November on as I do not use herbicide. However, it seems they just keep on returning every week when I thought I have eradicated them. Last year I was pulling them as late as March on a biweekly basis after fall. Here are new pictures that has sprouted up since I eradicated them late October and November. I do not think there are flowers and wander if I can just leave them in the ground if I use a weeder from the Beet Industry that sort of scrape the surface of the soil but leaves a lot of the German moss or do I have to use a cobra to pull the tap root out and gather the moss to throw away? thanks

Knawel is an annual that will sprout from seed in warm or cool weather. (In a warm winter, it will flourish all winter.) You will not be able to see the flowers; they are too inconspicuous. However, it flowers from may to October, so during that time period you will not want to pull and leave plants on the surface of the soil because of the danger of the plants having seeds and reseeding.

Yes, you can use a hoe-like tool to kill immature seedlings. If they are immature and have no seeds, then, yes, you can leave them on the surface.

There is probably already a build up of seeds in the soil (called a seed bank.) Even if you prevent any plants from going to seed, these old seeds in the soil can germinate for years. The problem with hand pulling and hoeing is that it disturbs the soil and turns up buried seeds, which can then germinate.

We recommend that you prevent germination altogether. Cover the bare soil in the beds with 3-4 layers of newspaper, overlapping. Then top that with 1-2" of mulch. When the newspapers and mulch decompose, repeat. Do this for the next few years at least.

ECN

Knawel is an annual that will sprout from seed in warm or cool weather. (In a warm winter, it will flourish all winter.) You will not be able to see the flowers; they are too inconspicuous. However, it flowers from may to October, so during that time period you will not want to pull and leave plants on the surface of the soil because of the danger of the plants having seeds and reseeding.

Yes, you can use a hoe-like tool to kill immature seedlings. If they are immature and have no seeds, then, yes, you can leave them on the surface.

There is probably already a build up of seeds in the soil (called a seed bank.) Even if you prevent any plants from going to seed, these old seeds in the soil can germinate for years. The problem with hand pulling and hoeing is that it disturbs the soil and turns up buried seeds, which can then germinate.

We recommend that you prevent germination altogether. Cover the bare soil in the beds with 3-4 layers of newspaper, overlapping. Then top that with 1-2" of mulch. When the newspapers and mulch decompose, repeat. Do this for the next few years at least.

ECN

thank you
I do not see any flowers right now
I will pull them manually and try not to disturb the soil then as it is not possible to cover almost 1.5 acre with overlapping newspaper and 1-2" of mulch, hoping that the seed bank will be least disturbed.

I have been pulling up by hand since 2016.